10 things to try in your retirement years

For some, retirement is something to dread. The potential boredom and isolation of a life without work can weigh heavily. It’s little wonder leaving employment for good ranks tenth on the list of 43 stressful life events.

But the truth is, retirement is often what you make of it. If you embrace it as a fresh opportunity, you’ll soon realise you’ve got more time to pursue new interests, passions, and life goals. 

Here, we share 10 things to try in your golden years.

Get inspired: new things to try now you’ve retired

1. Volunteer

Perhaps the best way to fill the time after you’ve left work behind, volunteering can be a rewarding experience — and a great way to make new friends while making a difference.

Check the GOV.UK website’s list of volunteer opportunities to find something near you. You can also brush up on your rights as a volunteer before you get started.

2. Lend your expertise

If you’ve just left a highly skilled role to enjoy your retirement but still miss talking shop, you could share your valuable experience with the next generation. By becoming a mentor or coach, you can stay active and involved with your community.

3. Pick up an instrument (or start singing)

Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument. Or perhaps you did in the past and would like to dust it off and start again. Now is the time! It’s never been easier to get musical, with various apps, resources, and online tutorials to help you along the way. 

And if you’ve always enjoyed a spot of karaoke over the years, your local choir could give you the stage to perform. Check your local library or community centre to see if there’s a group you could join.

4. Learn a new language

Similarly, learning a new language has never been more attainable. With apps like Duolingo, online and offline courses, and local language groups, you can brush up on your French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, and more.

5. Travel (near and far)

Depending on budget and mobility, travelling can be a terrific way to spend your retirement. Whether you stay local or venture further afield, there’s always something new to discover. You could even combine your new-found language skills with a trip abroad!

6. Research your family tree

Wondering how your ancestors spent their retirement? Researching your family tree could be a fascinating way to while away the hours. Online resources like Find My Past and 23andMe can help you fill in the blanks and tell your family’s story. And you could even rope in your children and grandchildren to share what you’ve uncovered. 

7. Find new ways to move 

Finishing work doesn’t need to be the end of daily activity. Find new ways to move your body and stay fit. Whether that’s ballroom dancing, yoga, cycling, walking football, swimming, or something else, regular exercise can keep you feeling healthy for longer.

8. Grow your own veg in an allotment 

Fresh air, community spirit, and a pile of veg at the end of it. Taking space in an allotment is a great way to spend time, make new friends, stay active, and reduce your shopping budget!

The National Allotment Society should have all the info and advice you need to get started.

9. Snap some memories

Photography can be a fun and stimulating activity — and one you can share with friends and family. Print photos and gift photo albums, or join Instagram and post your favourite snaps. 

And once you get the hang of the “point and click” side of things, you could even try your hand at photo editing to enhance your pictures. Try Skillshare to sharpen your skills.

10. Get social (online and off)

Catch up with old friends and make some new ones by joining Facebook. Explore communities related to your interests, past employment, or even your primary or secondary school! 

And if socialising online isn’t your thing, you could always join an in-person social group. Whether it’s the local pub for a game of darts, the community centre for tea and cake, or the Men’s Sheds Association (spaces for men to connect and create), you’re bound to find a like-minded bunch to spend time with. 

There you have it! Ten things you can try in retirement. If you’d like to volunteer and share your skills with our residents, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 01904 654 269.

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