100 Things To Do in Retirement

The Big Question

One of the things I get asked often is what have I found to do since I retired. I don’t mind the question since I long ago realised I didn’t always have to be doing stuff to be a real person. But there are times when I wonder what can I do today. So I thought I’d put down a list of 100 things you can do in retirement just in case you are feeling the same way. So here they are…

 Sports/Physical Activities

  1. Go fishing often – try new types of baits or lures and find your preferred style and secret location.
  2. Go whitewater rafting – try to keep the water out of the raft.
  3. Hike every bush track within a two hour drive. Save some energy for the drive back.
  4. Run marathons or ultra marathons (or more likely half marathons)
  5. Join a martial arts club – learn some judo. You may even earn a white belt!
  6. Enter an amateur bodybuilding championship or at  least get fit!
  7. Coach soccer or cricket or rugby or tiddlywinks or anything really!
  8. Swim across a local waterway – just avoid the ones with crocodiles.
  9. Go canoeing – you can hire before you buy to make sure you like it.
  10. Go kayaking – you can make a splash and hire before you buy to make sure you like it.
  11. Go surfing – lessons are provided (for a fee) on many Australian beaches. If you don’t live here – then come for a holiday and go home as a surfer.
  12. Go stand-up paddle boarding – that always looks easy. 
  13. Get in shape – this involves walking or biking or jogging more and eating less – but you already knew that.
  14. Go geocaching. Find your way to hidden places. See geocaching.com.au
  15. Learn how to roller skate or ice skate or ski or snow board.
  16. Learn scuba-diving – for people who like holding your breath or spitting into a mask.
  17. Fly kites – you may need to build them first which is at least 80% of the fun.
  18. Fly model aircraft – you could build them but you can buy cheap electric models to start. You must learn to land your craft safely before you spend too much money!
  19. Learn juggling – they say it increases your brain power.

Creative activities

  1. Draw pictures – there must be a market for stick men drawings somewhere.
  2. Learn ceramics or pottery – you may have a hidden talent or just want to support Greek dancing.
  3. Learn to sculpture / paint – you know you always wanted to. They say its easy to sculpt an elephant. Start with a rock and chip away all the bits that don’t look like an elephant.
  4. Learn photography – get some hints from this website but there are courses on iTunes U and YouTube.
  5. Take a photo per day – and put it on Facebook to annoy everyone.
  6. Edit photographs with Photoshop Express (or any other photo editing program) – try adjusting the exposure, correcting colours and even removing camera movement.
  7. Publish photos or artwork online – Pixabay will accept photos from you.
  8. Learn a musical instrument – you can find many lessons online for the instrument of your choice or you can take up the Ukulele where you don’t need lessons! 
  9. Join a band – this assumes you have done the above first.
  10. Improve your singing and learn new songs. You can do Karaoke at lots of places but do try and do it well! You will stand out at most locations, if you do.
  11. Write your own songs – what the world needs now is great new songs.
  12. Paint your own wall art – or change the colour of the walls you currently have.
  13. Study interior design – this has always been a mystery to me.
  14. Write a book, blog, or play – or at least begin to write. You can write a story for retiredblokes.com Theres a “Contribute” button at the top.
  15. Create a comic book – assuming you have taken art lessons first.
  16. Learn to Knit – you never know when you need to know how to do this!
  17. Learn to Crochet – different from knitting and requires more dexterity.
  18. Make Needlepoint art work – hope you get the point.
  19. Design and make clothes or toys or model figures or trains or paper planes or anything really.
  20. Make a quilt – you can find a use for your old ties after all.
  21. Write a memoir – it helps if you have done something interesting. If you haven’t start today!
  22. Record some memories and anecdotes from elders in the community. Visit your local nursing home. Theres lots of people who need you to record their life’s journey for them and their family.
  23. Host a podcast or write stories of retirement and submit it here to help other blokes.
  24. Cultivate bonsai trees – start small.
  25. Create / improve your garden (or mine if you live on the Gold Coast!)
  26. Try new recipes – the best chiefs in the world are blokes.
  27. Write, produce and direct a film – start with a YouTube 5 minute blockbuster.
  28. Learn to use iMovie to edit the home movies you have stored for years. You’ll need to transfer the old tapes to your computer first – read about that on this website. For 8mm film you’ll need to pay for the transfer to USB drives or DVD’s
  29. Start a Youtube channel based on your interests. It’s as easy as you talking to a movie camera. But do use an external microphone near you and if you are going to show how to make something or pull it apart, make sure the camera is focused and pointing the right way.
  30. Try Woodworking / carpentry. Probably best not to begin by building your new home.
  31. Get into Wood carving. I’ve seen this done with knives and chisels and chain saws.

Social Activities

  1. Spend more time with family and friends. A coffee or two a week is a good start but time with grandchildren repays any investment you make. If you don’t have any grandkids read this.
  2. Meet your former workmates near their workplace on weekdays for lunch
  3. Throw more parties or BBQ’s for the neighbourhood. You may even get to know the people who live next door.
  4. Write more letters – Emails save postage costs.
  5. Join a book club – probably best to be a good reader.
  6. Volunteer to do things at your local church. Sound systems, lighting, stage decoration, setting up, cleaning up, helping others in need.
  7. Find a partner and begin to dance.
  8. Join a club maybe a chess club or a bridge club or seniors club or any club really.
  9. Join your local Mens shed group.

Spiritual Activities

  1. Learn to really worship. Many people never do.
  2. Read the bible in a year.
  3. Make a pilgrimage – you know you always wanted to go there!
  4. Volunteer. Theres lots of opportunities to do stuff for others. If you can’t make things volunteer at your local nursing home to be a visitor to people without families.
  5. Go on short term mission trips and help others overseas. Habitat for humanity build housing all over the world.

Intellectual Activities

  1. Read the classics
  2. Sit in on university lectures and audit classes.
  3. Take courses on your favourite subjects on iTunes U.
  4. Do a course from U3A or Open University 
  5. Learn a new language; travel to where it’s spoken and use it as much as you can.
  6. Get a PhD or at least start one. We could always do with more research.
  7. Offer free help to a student working on an interesting subject. Best if you know something about it.
  8. Play chess. You computer has a Chess game on it so you can improve your skills there before going out to conquer the world.
  9. Do crossword, Sudoko and other puzzles; then try to create puzzles.

Volunteering etc

  1. Volunteer at the library / police station / hospital. If you’re an Aussie have a look at Volunteers Australia
  2. Become a mentor for start-up entrepreneurs – best if you know something about their business or business in general.
  3. Develop open source software. You can download Xcode from Apple – best done after you’ve done a course in how to write software though. You can find some courses on iTunes U
  4. Open a coffee shop – in a busy location. Remember, all the profit is in the last slice of cake.
  5. Become a tour guide for your favourite place – better get to know it well first.
  6. Drive the support vehicle for amateur cyclists or professionals.
  7. Become an activist for a cause you care about – you can be part of the rent a crowd group.
  8. Join the road crew of your favourite band – especially if you like lifting things.
  9. Tutor English to foreign students. You may end up with friends in many overseas places.
  10. Teach English (or other language) abroad – you will need to get qualified first.
  11. Volunteer at an animal shelter: Walking dogs, Socialising cats or even just cleaning cages
  12. Sell your crafts / junk / stuff on eBay or Gumtree 


  1. Make a bucket list and start planning to do all the things on it
  2. Make bird houses. Then get some birds to put in it if you like tweeting.
  3. Become a master gardener – learn at least one correct plant / leaf / flower name per day for a year.
  4. Become an expert game player of the game of your choice. Lawn bowls comes to mind.
  5. Sail, backpack, walk or cycle around the world. Don’t try and do this in 80 days.
  6. Enter ham radio competitions (contact every state, etc.) Google “Ham Radio clubs”.
  7. Read trashy novels – or aim to read a whole row of books from your local library.
  8. Fix up cars or motorcycles for others or rebuild a classic car.
  9. Build a boat
  10. Research your family tree. Start with Family Search and then for Australian forebears go to trove.gov.au for newspaper articles about the crime they committed or just the family notices.
  11. Watch birds – join a twitcher club.
  12. Get into amateur astronomy. Best done with a telescope but get advice from your local club before spending any money.
  13. Live well on half your budget for a year and prove it can be done.
  14. Go to the top of a high building and throw away 200 $5 notes.
  15. Save the world.
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One Comment

  1. Great site all the subjects are helping me focus on the complicated subject of what to do in my retirement.

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