Retirement is an opportunity to reinvigorate yourself and spend your days doing the activities that you enjoy most. Maybe that’s perfecting your golf swing, traveling the world or spending time with family.
The best part of retirement is setting your schedule and having the freedom to explore and pursue your passions and hobbies. After spending the majority of your life at work, you might not know what to do with all of this new free time. If you’re looking for a few ideas, here are a few of our tops picks of things to do during your golden years
This helps to give you a sense of purpose and a reason to get up every morning. It is never too late to start a bucket list, but the earlier you start one the better.
Studies have shown that less than 40% of people retire when they planned to. I have found, time and time again, that the people who had a bucket list of a variety of interests while they were still working, transitioned into retirement more smoothly than those who didn’t have one.
I have met people at my presentations who said they have to keep working because they didn’t have enough money to retire yet. When asked what they wanted to use their money for, often they had no plans for what to do in their retirement, except perhaps ‘play golf’ or ‘go fishing’ every day. And what if the weather is bad, what will you do then?
Men in particular, can lose their sense of identity and self-worth when they retire from full-time work, so developing a bucket list along the way, can ease this perception and give meaning to this new stage of life.
Reinvent yourself. Use the skills and talents you have developed over the years, to share with others by joining groups, volunteering, developing hobbies, etc. Even if you have already been retired for a few years or more, it is never too late to start new activities and meet new people. So good for your health and well-being.
The Ultimate Retirement Bucket List
When we reach retirement, it can feel more important than ever to get those remaining items ticked off our bucket lists while we’re healthy and able to!
Our retirement years are a fantastic opportunity to fulfill those dreams we’ve held for many years, but until now, perhaps haven’t had the time or sufficient finances to bring to fruition.
You may not have an official retirement bucket list written down – most of us probably don’t – but you may have a few places in mind that you’d still love to visit, experiences you haven’t had yet, and ambitions you would like to say that you’ve achieved.
Writing down your bucket list is a great way to put down on paper your hopes and dreams for your retirement years; it can really motivate you to make those things happen when you can see them in black and white.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve got a whole host of ideas for your ultimate retirement bucket list. Have a read through some of these ideas, combine them with your own, and discover what adventures are awaiting you!
Tip: Once you’ve made your ultimate retirement bucket list, try placing it somewhere you’ll see it every day so you are inspired to make things happen!
The Ultimate Retirement Bucket List
- Go on a Caribbean cruise
- See the Northern Lights
- Spend more time with the grandchildren
- Rescue a shelter dog or cat
- Enter a sporting event for charity
- Grow vegetables / start an allotment
- Travel across Europe by car or caravan
- Witness a solar eclipse
- Fly in a helicopter
- Re-visit original honeymoon destinations
- Volunteer for charity
- Watch a sunset / sunrise
- Visit all seven continents
- Go on safari
- Learn a foreign language
- Try an extreme sport such as skydiving or paragliding
- Have afternoon tea at the Ritz
- See the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids
- Gamble in Las Vegas
- Learn to play the piano / other musical instrument
- Christmas shopping in New York
- Go horseback riding
- Have a spa day
- Take the grandchildren to Disneyland
- Donate blood
- Pass a skill or hobby of yours on to younger relatives
- Renew your wedding vows
- Whale and dolphin watching
- Book a trip on the Orient Express
- Visit distant friends or relatives
- Ride a camel
- See Stonehenge
- Take a canal trip in a narrowboat
- Write a book
- Try skiing
- Take the grandchildren to meet Father Christmas
- Hot air balloon ride
- Work on the family tree / track down long-lost family
- Go scuba diving or snorkelling
- Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
- Ride an elephant
- Sell something you have made yourself
- Go to a concert of a favourite band / singer
- Learn to paint / make pottery
- Volunteer for community or local school
- Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant
- Go cage diving with Great White sharks in South Africa
- Go back to education / join the University of the Third Age
- Take dancing lessons
- Try yoga or tai chi
A Curiosity List
Like other areas of traditional retirement planning, creating a bucket list or building a honey do list can feel cliché, even old fashioned. They’re both common tools used to help new retirees fill their time and replace their work identity as they make their transition into retirement.
However, there is something more personal and meaningful that exists. It’s called a curious list.
A curious list is exactly what it sounds like, a list of things you are interested in and, at some point during retirement, would like to consider learning more about.
What are you curious about?
What makes the curious list different from other lists is the fact that it does not require a specific commitment of time or energy. Instead, it simply denotes that you wish to spend some amount of time and energy at some point in the future exploring a particular subject.
The goal of a curious list is to help you understand that the true essence of retirement is in being, not doing. It encourages you to be patient and let your calling marinate over time, instead of forcing you to either start working on it, or feeling guilty about avoid it.
For example, if you are feeling compelled towards a musical instrument, it doesn’t mean you have to go out and learn to play it. Your curiosity towards it could result in the creation of a relaxing playlist of its great masters… buying an antique version of it to display in your home… sponsoring a local band student…or volunteering for the local orchestra.
In any event, it’s a process about embracing it rather than trying to accomplish it. Giving yourself time to explore the fullness of that calling and to consider different paths towards it.
The secret of the curious list lies in the fact that it creates a desire to do more, be more, or learn more. When you are curious about something you want to take that next step and see what’s around the corner.
Through small and simple steps you’ll not only help build momentum in areas of interest but also gain useful insights, foster experience, and ultimately add energy and direction to your new life.
Therefore, I would encourage you to take a few minutes to write down a list of things that you are curious about. To ask yourself, “What do I really want to see myself doing or being a part of in retirement?”
A good curious list will support a balanced retirement that incorporates mental and physical health, social activities, financial well-being, and spiritual growth. It will also go a long way in helping you fill your time and replace our work identity.
As a new retiree I could find hundreds, even thousands, of books on financial retirement however very little on lifestyle so I decided to write one. I spent a long time talking to various retirees from wealthy to the poor, from the well to the sick, from couples to single, from young to the old and the one common denominator was knowing what to do with all the spare time and how to have a great lifestyle. PDF