25 Things to Do When You Retire

Here are some ideas to keep your retirement years exciting.

By + More

After decades in the workforce, retirees finally get complete control over how they spend their time. Here are some of the many terrific things you can do with your time and energy in retirement.

1. Live within your means. You earned your retirement, now make it last. If you have a fixed income each month from a pension, make sure you create and stick to a budget to stay within your limits. If you are spending down your nest egg, be sure to research your appropriate withdrawal rate and the tax rules that might apply.

[See 10 Key Retirement Ages to Plan For.]

2. Travel the world. Now that you don't have to worry about the limits of vacation time, take extended vacations. Go live in a foreign country for a while or take a long cruise.

3. Buy a motor home. Buy a new or used motor home and take your bed and kitchen with you on your travels. Make it a goal to visit each national park or every major league baseball stadium.

4. Remodel your home. Use your time to make home improvements. It could be something as simple as organizing the stuff in your house or a big project like adding on additional space. You've got the time now, so learn to make the changes yourself.

5. Move to the country. Are you tired of the traffic, noise, and expense of the city? Move out to the country. Since you don't need a job anymore, you can live where you want to. Use your new space to start a garden, orchard, or raise animals.

6. Move to the city. Do you want all of life's necessities within a few city blocks? Move to the city. Downsize your house and become an active member of the metropolis, where you'll get to experience the best of art and culture.

7. Start a business. Now that your career is over, start that business you've always wanted. Consider using your career experience to start a consulting firm or take your existing part-time business and expand it into a full-time enterprise.

8. Get a part-time job. Do you still want a place to go everyday? Find a fun part-time job with a company you love. Having this job will not only bring in a little extra income, but it will give you a place to socialize each day. If you still need insurance, you can find a part-time job with benefits.

9. Teach. Use your hard-earned wisdom and experience to teach others. Start a free course at your local library or community center. You could even possibly teach at a local community college or university.

10. Volunteer. Use your time in retirement to give back. Contact your local church or other charitable organization to find volunteer opportunities that suit your skills. Don't forget to consider overseas opportunities as well.

11. Go into public service. Serve your community by participating in the political process. Become a local representative or school board member.

12. Spend time with friends. Get to know some of the other retirees in your area. Make plans daily or weekly to just hang out.

13. Visit family. Spend more time visiting with family members, near and far. Explore your roots and find relatives you never knew you had.

[See Tax Time Opportunities to Save for Retirement.]

14. Babysit. Use your free time to help your family or local families in need of a babysitting service. This could even be a way to bring in a little extra cash if needed.

15. Be a mentor. Find a young person to mentor. Many young people would love the chance to learn from the experienced and successful. Take time out of your week to change the life of someone else.

16. Get educated. Go back to school. Finish your diploma or get a graduate degree. You could even just take classes for fun to learn a subject of interest. Many colleges offer discounts to retirees above certain ages.

17. Read. Spend your days reading all of the books you never had time to. Aim to read all the classics or join a book club and add a social element to your passion.

18. Write a book. Writing a book takes time. Now you have plenty of it. Write a novel, a cookbook, a how-to guide, or even your memoirs.

19. Start a blog. Learn to blog and start sharing your retirement experience online like Sydney Lagier, who blogs at Retirement: A Full-Time Job. You could also start a blog sharing your knowledge from your past career or a hobby you have.

20. Learn a new language. If you have plans for foreign travel in retirement, take the time to learn the language. It will serve you well on your extended vacations, and it will keep your mind sharp.

21. Learn to play music. Take lessons and learn to play the piano, guitar, or your favorite instrument. You'll impress your family at the next get together with your new musical talent.

22. Start a new hobby. Now is the time to expand on your interests. Take on a new hobby such as fishing, hiking, gardening, painting, photography, or even just playing cards.

[See 7 Retirement Savings Mistakes You Might Be Making.]

23. Take up a new sport. Stay active by taking on the challenge of a new athletic pursuit. Many people complete marathons or snow ski well into their retirement.

24. Join a fitness group. To stay committed to your new active lifestyle, join a team of others who are also looking for accountability toward their fitness goals. Work toward getting in the best shape of your life.

25. Nothing. You earned your retirement. Go do whatever you want, including nothing.

Philip Taylor is the author of 104 Ways to Save Extra Money. Read his popular blog, PT Money: Personal Finance for more insightful money tips, like his recent suggestions for the best online checking accounts.