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Planning Retirement Online

What to do in Retirement

Part 3


With about an extra 50 hours a week of leisure time in retirement, it's extremely likely that a lot of us will be taking up extra hobbies, as well as doing more of what we have always done and enjoyed, as part of what to do in retirement. Even if we don't take up new activities straight away, there is every likelihood that, in retirement, at some stage we will be looking for new things to interest and excite us.


Guide to 'What to do in Retirement'. Content Links

For many people, therefore, new hobbies are an extremely important part of what they do in retirement. We can choose what we do in retirement, certainly when it comes to hobbies, and we need to choose those that we believe we are going to enjoy and get some satisfaction from. Of course, we can do more of those that we already know we enjoy but new hobbies will probably play a part in our own 'What to do in Retirement' sooner or later. Therefore, before we start thinking about which hobbies to try, we should think about two things:

What sort of person am I?

What are my life-style preferences in retirement?

For the first of these questions we need to think about what motivates us, what really gives us pleasure, what frustrates us, what interests us and so on. There are hundreds of different hobbies, some that will suit our skills, temperament, personality and so on and some that won't. So give some thought to who you are and what sort of hobbies are most likely to give you enjoyment and satisfaction.

To answer the second of the questions, some of the things we need to consider are:

  • Whether we want risk and excitement or calm
  • To mix with lots of people or to do things alone
  • To do things on a regular basis or as and when we feel like it
  • To be more physically active or do a preponderance of things that will keep us mentally active

Once we have thought about those and other related issues, we can then start to think about what hobbies we can do that will suit us. Because there are so many, people very often find it difficult to think about all the choices they have; it's too big a choice and therefore the brain can't cope with it! So it might help to think about categories of hobbies so that the brain has a sharper focus and can be more forensic. Some categories of hobbies might be:

  • Mental - hobbies to keep us mentally active
  • Physical
  • Outdoors
  • Sport
  • Creative
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Musical
  • Cultural
  • 'Discovery' - hobbies in which we discover new things, so genealogy, archaeology, astronomy, local history and anything that causes us to do research. Another kind of discovery is travelling and discovering new places, be they local to us or more far-flung.
  • 'Committee' - helping organise any club to which we belong, being a school governor or a parish councillor etc
  • Collecting
  • Pets/animals
  • Computers
  • DIY
  • Socialising

So think about all the different hobbies that fall under those categories and you can probably think of your own categories, too. Once we have come up with all the different options that we have, then we can set about choosing those that we think, in retirement, will give us the maximum enjoyment and satisfaction. For more help, look at two of our other Guides: 'Hobbies and Interests'  and 'Arts and Crafts'. You might also find our Guide to Making the Most of the the Internet useful.

Now click on the links in the box and look at some of the other things that might make up what to do in retirement.


Related guides and articles:

Retirement Today - Introduction to retirement
Planning Retirement
When to Retire

Retirement Pensions

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This Guide to What to do in Retiremen is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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