Intro: If you’ve just retired and are wondering what to do with all your newfound spare time, read on for some great ideas…
Adventure, travel and adrenalin highs aren’t just for the under 25s. So why not make a ‘bucket list’ of all the things you want to see and do in your retirement?
Nobody is suggesting that your time is anywhere near up – think of your bucket list as an inspiration to get more out of your life now that you have the time to actually do it without the constraints of a 9-5 job. Are there any dreams which you just never got round to fulfilling because you were trying so hard not to fall off life’s treadmill? Do you wish you’d travelled more?
Try using our list below as a starting point and start jotting down whatever springs to mind!
1. Learn something new.
Sometimes our brains just need to learn something completely new to jolt us out of our routine. Whether it’s learning Mandarin, joining a theatre group, enrolling in a cookery school, playing a new instrument or taking up a hobby, push yourself to venture into the unknown.
And the added bonus is that you’ll probably meet a whole new group of like-minded friends in the process.
2. Jump off a plane, bridge or hill
If 102-year-old Dorothy Custer from Idaho can brave jumping off a bridge to celebrate her birthday, there’s no reason why you can’t get the adrenalin pumping through your veins either.
3. See the Northern Lights
Or anywhere in the world you’ve never been to really. Whether you go on an around-the-world cruise embark on a road trip around America or simply book a short city break, retirement’s the perfect time to travel in comfort and style. Leave the hostels to the gap year crowd!
4. Get a makeover
If you’ve been wearing the same clothes for so long that they’ve become a ‘uniform’, and have sported the same safe hairstyle for as long as you remember, take yourself out of your comfort zone. Next time you go shopping, don’t just let yourself gravitate to your usual colours and cuts. Take a friend and let them pick out everything for you, and try it all on without protest.
Even better, book an appointment with a personal shopper – they’re pros at finding things that suit people, and you may be surprised by how much you like your new look.
5. Do something embarrassing
Youth is most definitely wasted on the young. We’re all so busy worrying about what everybody else thinks that we can miss out on doing the things that really make us happy. Not anymore. That Ferrari you were told would make you look tragic? Buy it. Felt too sheepish to go to a One Direction Concert with your friends? Book your tickets today. Worried you couldn’t pull off pink hair? If Helen Mirren (who’s over 65) can, what’s stopping you?
6. Single? Go on a blind date.
Whether you’ve never gotten round to marriage, have gone through a divorce or have lost your partner, romance could be just around the corner – so put yourself out there! Try online dating, go on a singles holiday or just ask around your group of friends to see if they can introduce you to someone.
7. Start a business
Ok, so this might take more time than going to an evening class. And why, you might ask, would you start a new job just as you’ve given up working for good?
But what you did for a living might not necessarily reflect what you’re really passionate about. Do you have a novel in you that’s waiting to jump onto the page? Do you dream of starting a small-scale foodie business, even if it’s only a stall at a farmer’s market? Or would you like to give something back by starting a charity of your own? If you choose the right model, you don’t have much to lose.
Of course, what you can realistically expect to achieve will depend on how healthy you are, and how much freedom you have. As you get older and perhaps make the move into a care home, you’ll probably have to work with your carers and check with your doctor before doing anything too extreme or physically taxing. Most good care homes will be more than happy to help you tick things off your list and organise the details for you, so just ask.
What’s on your post-retirement bucket list? Do let us know and we will publish the best on site!