Creative Ways to Spend Your Time Once You Retire

On average, about 10,000 people retire each day in the U.S. One day, it will be you. Are you prepared for retirement? Once retired, how will you spend your time? Thinking about these issues now will make retirement easier and more enjoyable.

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Creative Ways to Spend Your Time Once You Retire
4 Min Read March 2nd, 2023

Once you retire, you will have plenty of time to enjoy. After all, you no longer have to commute to work and have set hours during the day. Some people think retirement is when you sit in a rocking chair and knit all day. While you could do that, if that is enjoyable, many people find retirement can be much more.

Retirement can be an exciting and intimidating time as you enter a new phase of life and look to begin exploring new interests and activities. Whether it's learning a new hobby, taking up a part-time job, or volunteering, there are many different ways for retirees to spend their newfound free time. 

Travel and See the World

You might not be able to join the Navy and see the world, but once you retire, traveling and seeing the world is a popular activity. Many younger adults don't have the time or financial resources to travel extensively, but once you retire, this might be high on your priority list. 

If you've adequately saved, you should have a good supply of time and money. You can consider visiting places like France, the U.K., Costa Rica, Germany, Iceland, and Italy, to name a few. Cruises are popular, cost-effective options for travel and entertainment. 

Traveling can sound difficult for some people depending on age and health, but many countries and cities have extensive accommodations to make traveling easier. If you plan far ahead, you can join established tours to avoid finding your way around the city alone.

You never know when your health may start declining, so many experts suggest you enjoy travel sooner than later. Please don't put it off since you don't know when your health may make it more challenging to enjoy traveling. 

Start a Business

Why would you want to work after you finally retire? You should start your own business after you retire because it's a great way to continue exploring your passions and keep yourself active.

One benefit of starting a business when you retire is that you can remain actively engaged and challenged with something you are passionate about. You can avoid the boredom or lack of purpose that can come with the end of a traditional career. 

Starting a business after retirement allows you the freedom to explore new ventures and use your skill set to pursue your passions in ways that may not have been possible before. Furthermore, certain business activities provide opportunities to supplement retirement income and make a profit. 

Additionally, starting a business after retirement allows you to stay socially connected. It can provide a sense of community and companionship that can be difficult to find in other post-career activities. 

Networking with other entrepreneurs and exchanging skills and expertise can add further value to the experience. Through their business venture, entrepreneurs can also support their local communities and environment, which can be gratifying.

Pick Up a Hobby

Hobbies are an enjoyable way to spend your time doing something you are passionate about. Explore crafting activities such as knitting, woodworking, pottery, jewelry making, or painting. If you don't have much experience, there are many online resources that provide video tutorials and instructions to help get you started.

Volunteer Work

When you retire, you could contribute to the community by volunteering. Local churches, libraries, schools, hospitals, and other organizations often need help to keep running. You can find volunteer work in an area you're experienced in or interested in. For instance, if you love animals, you can look for animal shelters and rescues. If you have an accounting background, you could find local non-profits in need of financial support. Volunteering is a great way to stay connected in the community, make an impact and meet new people.


Even if you don't think of yourself as being athletic, taking up a new sport or skill can be an enjoyable and challenging way to spend time once you retire. Golfing, fishing, bowling, tennis, yoga, and dancing are all accessible, fun activities to try. 

Pickleball has become hugely popular. It is fun, easy to learn, and suitable for older adults. The sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It can be played indoors or outdoors on a court with a low net and a perforated plastic ball. Players use solid-faced paddles to hit the ball over the net and try to score points by making their opponents miss or commit errors.

According to the CDC, older adults need at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, dancing, and nature walks. So you don't need formal sports activities to keep busy, stay active, and maintain good health.

There are often classes available for those new to a sport or activity. 

Use Your Time

When you retire, you will have time, but as you know, time goes by quickly. Don't waste your relatively good health when you retire to enjoy your retirement.

You are only limited by your willingness to try something and keep busy. 

Be it learning a new language or trying a hands-on hobby like woodworking, pottery, painting, or photography, trying a sport, traveling, volunteering, or starting a business, there are fascinating things you can learn and enjoy.

Being prepared for retirement takes some work before you retire. Be sure you fully fund your 401(k) and other retirement accounts. Make sure you have a living will and medical and legal power of attorney paperwork in place. 

Be ready for future declining health and the costs of long-term health care. The time to obtain Long-Term Care Insurance is ideally before you retire when you still enjoy good health.

Retirement is a reality, and aging happens. Get ready and plan on enjoying the time once you start the first day of the rest of your life.

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About the Author

Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

Retirement and aging are connected. Long-term health care costs can be expensive, and relying on family caregivers can be difficult for them, and often they lack the skills to provide quality care. 

Caregiving is hard on loved ones, and professional care costs are rising rapidly. Have you considered how you would pay for quality long-term care services without draining assets or placing a burden on your family?

Look at the current and future cost of care where you live:

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Consider adding Long-Term Care Insurance to your retirement plan. An LTC policy provides guaranteed tax-free benefits and covers your choice of quality care services. Plus, with professional case management, you'll get assistance in setting up a suitable plan of care, giving your loved ones the time to be family. 

Don't delay since policies are medically underwritten, and most people obtain coverage in their 50s. Premiums are much more affordable as well when you are younger. Don't assume you cannot afford Long-Term Care Insurance, as policies are custom designed to fit your needs. 

How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

Plus, most states offer Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance which will allow you to shelter part of your savings, even if you have limited assets.

What is Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance?

Be sure to seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you in your research. Most financial advisors and general insurance agents lack this expertise.

A specialist will look at all the top insurance companies and match your age, health, family history, and other factors in finding you the right coverage at the most affordable cost. Specialists will provide you with accurate quotes from the top companies to help you as you shop. 

Premiums and underwriting rules vary dramatically between insurance companies.  

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