More things to do when you retire

Jun 12, 2019

The time when retirement signalled the end of your best years is long over. Nowadays retirement is seen as a golden opportunity where you can try new experiences and do the things you’ve always wanted to but never had time.

So what can you do to fill all that time you may now have on your hands?

Stay physically active

Staying active in retirement is generally accepted as a good way to remain physically and mentally healthy. Most of us could have 20, 30 or even more retired years ahead of us so it makes sense to take care of our health.

Stay busy

Studies have shown that having a sense of purpose can help you live longer. When you retire, you may feel that you’ve lost your sense of purpose, but actually it’s just your purpose is no longer linked to work. In fact many of today’s retired people find themselves busier than when they worked for a living (especially those who have grandchildren).

Start a business

Just because you’ve retired, it doesn’t mean it has to be the end of your working life – not unless you want it to be. It’s never too late to start your own business and many retirees do.

So what have you dreamed of doing but have never had the time? Perhaps you could set yourself up as a consultant or a professional speaker, or launch an online business. Or maybe do something completely different, such as run a bed and breakfast or start a dog walking business.

Go on an adult gap year

If you’ve always wanted to go travelling, take a leaf out of the school-leavers’ book and go on a gap year. There’s plenty of evidence that people aged 60 and older are travelling further afield these days and staying away for longer too. Most of them aren’t content to lie on a beach either, and it’s not unusual for people who have retired to want the kind of adventure that only younger people used to embark upon.

Visit your dream destination

If a gap year sounds too extreme but you love going on holiday, now’s the time to plan the trip of a lifetime. According to a survey by Skipton Building Society, seeing the Northern Lights, gambling in Las Vegas, scuba diving in the Maldives, driving along Route 66 in the USA, travelling around Europe in a camper van and visiting the Great Wall of China all feature on a list of the top 25 things to do after retirement.

Write a book

It’s never too late to publish your first novel. The literary world is full of examples of late bloomers, including Frank McCourt (who’s first book, Angela’s Ashes, was published when he was 66), Mary Wesley (whose first novel for adults was published when she was 70, with The Camomile Lawn published a year later), and Daniel Defoe (who finished writing Robinson Crusoe just before he turned 60).

There’s heaps of advice online if you need help with writing a novel. Simply search ‘how to write a novel’ for millions of results.

Write a blog

If a book or novel sounds like too much of a daunting task, but you’re keen on the idea of writing, why not start a blog? You could blog about your interests or hobbies, your pets, your home town or even your thoughts on retirement.

As with novels, you can find lots of help online about publishing your blog – 2 of the most widely used free blogging platforms are Google’s Blogger and Wordpress (both are fairly easy to set up, even if you’re not that computer literate).

Pass on your knowledge

Helping others is always a worthwhile activity as it keeps you involved in your community and allows you to continue developing your interpersonal skills.

Being a coach or mentor is one way to make sure the skills and experience you’ve gained during your personal life and/or career will make a difference. Whatever type of coach or mentor you’d like to be – personal, business or otherwise – you’ll be supporting others and helping them achieve their potential.

Article reproduced with the kind permission of CABA, the organisation providing lifelong support to ICAEW members, ACA students and their close family around the world.