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Things to do in retirement – 25 ideas to inspire you

The idea of not going to work might sound appealing – but as anyone who’s been through lockdown knows, freedom can come with its own set of headaches. It is not uncommon for boredom to follow retirement ideas to inspire you, so don’t look at it as the end of something but as the beginning of something new. But what is that new thing? The purpose of this article is to help you find out.

Taking a proactive approach to retirement ideas to inspire you is tip number one. The world might expect you to be a certain age, but you should act your age. Your retirement ideas to inspire you planning will continue to keep you young for longer when you include new experiences.

Age UK’s Index of Wellbeing in Later Life concluded that engaging with the world around us through social, creative, physical, and community activities contributes more than 20% to our well-being in later life. Furthermore, determining the right goals and activities helps people of all ages make more friends, provide structure and routine, and achieve a sense of accomplishment. The following 25 retirement ideas to inspire you and will help you to start the next chapter of your life in a fulfilling way.

1. Get rid of clutter in your home and clear your mind

Make a point of looking through all the cupboards, wardrobes, drawers, and desks – and while you’re at it, clean out the attic of all those things you’ve been meaning to do for years. Any special items (and the memories afterward) should be kept; the rest should be sold or donated. When all your possessions are arranged and all the things that matter most to you are gathered, you’ll have the peace of mind that nothing is forgotten – and what you discover will remind you of your younger days and the things you’ll enjoy rediscovering.

2. Have a look around your local area

Luxury, worldwide cruises are the big retirement ideas to inspire you cliché, but there’s also a whole world to explore in your own community. Unless you’ve been working 9 to 5 or longer, your world probably consists of your house, workplace, and commute. Almost certainly there is somewhere that you will love less than an hour’s drive from your home – just go and explore. You’ll discover forgotten paths, hidden woods, secluded rivers, and cross-country paths. The chances are there is a local walking group near you, no matter whether you prefer to stroll sedately or hike fast. Check out all the resources at Walking for Health to ensure you are not trespassing and getting lost.

3. Get hired as a tour guide

Discover more about volunteering as a tour guide if you love interesting places and are fascinated by the past. Historic and cultural sites can be found all over the UK, and organizations such as the National Trust are always looking for enthusiastic room guides, conservation assistants, and storytellers.

4. Volunteer to help wildlife

You can volunteer with organizations such as the Wildlife Trusts if you love nature and wildlife – whether you’re raking hay meadows, monitoring or recording wildlife, helping with a toad patrol or taking part in citizen science projects such as bird and butterfly counts.

5. Do your family tree research

Do you wonder whether you are descended from royalty (or rogues), where your ancestors lived, and what their occupations were? Thanks to a number of online resources such as Find My Past, you can now research your family tree more easily than ever. Census records, military records, and passenger lists can help you locate relatives who have traveled the world. You never know what you’ll discover! Make it a family project by getting your children and grandchildren involved. Giving the family this gift is a great thing to do – and generations to come will be grateful to you.

6. Dress appropriately

Whether you’re fascinated by history or enjoy dressing up, joining a re-enactment group or drama society might be perfect for you. Visit Historic UK to learn more about The Knights of Skirbeck, Regia Anglorum Vikings & Saxons, Dark Age Cornwall, Lord Hopton’s Regiment of Foote Tudors & Stuarts, and many other topics.

7. Take a musical class

Now’s your chance to harness your inner maestro, whether you’ve always wanted to play an instrument or used to but have neglected it for years. It doesn’t matter if your heart calls you to the piano, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, theramin, or serpent (Google it), you now have the time and discipline that you might have lacked in your younger years. Getting started on BBC Learning is easy thanks to a wealth of information. In addition, if you are capable of holding a tune, you might want to join a choir. There are community choirs throughout the country – check with your local library to learn about singing groups and rock choirs near you.

8. Learn how to dance

A few things are more effective than dancing at keeping your body and mind healthy and delaying the aging process. You’ll have a great time, despite the fact that you don’t dance. Regular dance classes, whether you prefer line dancing, ballroom, salsa, tap, or ballet, will keep you on your toes. Many online ballet exercise classes are provided for free by organizations such as Silver Swans, which lets seniors exercise to music at home.

9. Take some time for yourself

Spend some of your quiet time in your own company with an absorbing hobby that’s just for you. Invest in a classic car and fix it up. You can make your own furniture, ornaments, gifts for friends, or decorations to sell by learning woodworking. You can create greeting cards according to your wishes. Finish writing a novel (or start one, then keep writing). There are so many options. Give yourself a break.

10. Get outdoors and explore

It is possible to get out of the house and meet new people by choosing a hobby that allows you to do so. You might consider birdwatching, trainspotting, fishing, fossil hunting, buying and selling antiques, beekeeping, amateur astronomy, searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (it’s a thing), or metal-detecting.

11. Keep fit and flexible

Get moving with a hobby such as yoga, golf, darts, bowling, pool, walking football, croquet, Tai Chi, archery, or Pilates – which aims to strengthen the body evenly while emphasizing core strength to improve general health and fitness. The atmosphere doesn’t have to be somber, either – senior karate students, judokas, and fencers are available.

12. How to help

You can always help charities – whether it’s delivering food to homeless people, walking dogs or caring for cats at a local animal sanctuary, or sorting donations at a charity shop. This will allow you to meet a whole bunch of new people and feel good about doing your part.

13. Know everything there is to know about anything

The catch is, that you’ve got time to practice till you’re perfect, whether you’re learning conversational Chinese, baking the perfect souffle, performing mind-boggling magic tricks, or incredible feats of juggling, identifying bird songs or learning all the Latin names of your garden plants. Anders Ericsson, a professor at the University of Colorado, says that anyone can become an expert in anything after practicing for 10,000 hours.

14. Invest in an allotment and plant your own food

It must be incredibly rewarding to grow your own food – and that time spent digging and harvesting your crop outdoors will keep you healthy and active. Monty Don’s every word about how to care for your seedling potatoes, runner beans, and carrots will be top of your viewing schedule as you watch Gardeners’ World. Visit The National Allotment Society for more information.

15. Ways to upcycle furniture

Put away those tools and get some inspiration from The Repair Shop. You can dress up your old furniture (and home) with upcycling, eliminating the need to dump unwanted items in landfills. We have some ideas for beginners. If you get really into it, you could even turn it into a small business (see below).

16. Establish a small business

Consider turning a hobby or skill you have into a small business if it has the potential to earn you some money. You might make items to sell at marketplaces or online if you’re skilled in arts and crafts. Consider becoming a dog walker, dog groomer, or pet sitter if you love animals. Starting your own cupcake business would be a great idea if you’re an expert baker. Check out Government’s expert advice on starting a business for some top tips.

17. Get a part-time job

Having a part-time job can be really beneficial for those who find is difficult to maintain a routine when they no longer need to, as well as those who are very self-motivated. Besides earning some extra income, it also allows you to structure your week. The Rest Less website offers some tips on finding a paid part-time position that is appropriate for you.

There are several fantastic part-time career opportunities for retired professionals who have spent many years working in a corporate environment and have extensive knowledge and experience. If you become a part-time consultant, you exchange your knowledge for money. The advantage for businesses is that they gain access to expert knowledge and advice without having to hire a full-time employee. You can build up a client base by finding freelance work on sites like Guru and Upwork.

18. Take charge of your finances

It’s an ideal time to brush up on your financial knowledge if you’re not completely sure how compound interest works, wish you knew more about the stock market or aren’t sure what your tangible assets are. Having your financial affairs in order when you speak to your financial adviser can also help you feel more confident. When you’re satisfied that everything is sorted out, you can enjoy your retirement ideas to inspire you.

19. Start homebrewing

You may enjoy a mug of ale or a glass of wine, so why not make your own? After you get the hang of it, you can make IPAs like Galena, oatmeal stouts like Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (Craft Metropolis is a good place to begin) or elderberry, damson and blackberry wines out of fruit you’ve foraged. You can learn how to make wine from Almost Off-Grid. This site will also teach you how to invest in wine.

20. Make the pub your regular hangout

There’s more to it than pints! Skittles leagues, pub quiz teams, and darts leagues often take place in local pubs – or you can arrange to meet up with friends to play traditional pub games such as dominoes, backgammon, or draughts.

21. See life from a different perspective

Photography seems to be just about snapping pictures to post on social media just for fun for people below a certain age. In reality, though, there’s much more to photography than meets the eye. With a camera in hand, you can see the world in a whole new light – and looking for the perfect shot makes every adventure that much more exciting. Taking photographs also helps you to use and develop the artistic side of your brain.

22. Ride your bike

With more people looking to use their cars less and increase their exercise, cycling is becoming increasingly popular. The Sustrans website has the UK’s National Cycle Network routes as well as plenty of ideas for routes to take – from art and art trails to romantic rides, routes to the best Sunday Lunch locations, or even the most haunted places to bike through if you’re seeking a thrilling cycling adventure. Even if you aren’t as fit as you once were, don’t think this is inevitable – many people find fitness levels higher after retirement ideas to inspire you than they had before. You can still enjoy all the benefits of cycling if your joints get stiff by investing in an electric bike.

23. Take up online gaming

Any type of puzzle activity is known to keep your mind sharp, but why not take it a step further? Senior citizens have become more comfortable with online gaming. It gives you the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world while playing a variety of puzzles and games. There are a number of free websites to explore, including,, (Scrabble), and However, you don’t necessarily have to settle for the traditional ones. Pensioners can still kick ass in Fortnite or World of Warcraft and teach the younger kids a thing or two.

24. Build your friendship group

The time has come for you to get to know your friends (that you like) a little better. If you make friends with people of all ages instead of just those in your own age group, you will be exposed to new experiences and new points of view, which will help you stay youthful at heart. Also, you will be able to benefit from your life experience by sharing it with younger friends. Even better, you could sign up for a pen pal service like Postpals, which connects you with seriously ill children so you can send them letters, cards, and gifts to make them smile during a difficult time.

25. Be social

Keeping in touch has never been easier, whether you’re catching up with friends on Facebook, setting up a group on WhatsApp for ‘ladies who lunch or ‘pats who chew the fat over a pint’, skyping your relatives in Australia, or zooming with an old friend in New Zealand. You can chat with friends and family all over the world when you are up to date with social media and all the latest online communication platforms.

Choosing from so many activities, you’ll wonder how you ever found time to work.

You might also find our article on the best places to retire in the UK interesting if you liked this one.



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