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What Will I Do in Retirement?

If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “What will I do in retirement?” try a new hobby, like one of the eight below.

what will i do in retirement

Are you looking forward to retirement, but wondering what in the world you’re going to do with all that free time? If you’re pondering the age old question, “What will I do in retirement?” you’ve come to the right place.

Finding multiple hobbies you love is one of the great secrets to having a happy retirement. Your hobbies can help you stay physically active, keep your mind sharp and connect you to new friends.

retirement guide

The New Rules for Retirement Planning

In this guide you can learn all the new rules for retirement. No matter your age, these articles on retirement planning and saving will help you make your golden years as comfortable as possible.

And there are so many possibilities to choose from! You can finally get into the hobby you’ve been itching to do for years but never had the time, or check out an exciting activity that’s totally new to you.

Not sure where to start? Get your wheels turning with these eight ideas for hobbies you can do in retirement.


Have you always dreamed of writing a novel? Retirement is the perfect time to dive into your novel, memoir, cookbook or children’s book. You could even start a blog based on your interests or experiences.

And you can write almost anywhere—from the comfort of a cozy chair, at your favorite coffee shop, in your neighborhood park or even a hammock at the beach. Find a writing group through or your local library to connect with other writers.


Whether you’re growing fresh veggies for dinner, transforming your backyard into a tranquil Zen garden or vying for a blue ribbon with your gorgeous roses, gardening is one of those hobbies that ticks a lot of boxes. It’s creative and inexpensive, it promotes relaxation, physical exercise and connection with nature, and you can do it alone or with others. Plus, your friends will be more than happy to share your summertime bounty of tomatoes and zucchini.

Fitness or sports

Love yoga? Crazy for tennis? If you’re wondering what to do in your retirement, the answer could lie in your morning workout or favorite sport. Staying physically active has huge benefits for your health.

There’s so much to choose from, both indoors and outdoors, low-impact and high—yoga, hiking, cycling, running, swimming, tai chi, Zumba, rock climbing, walking, weight-lifting.

Need more golf, basketball, softball or tennis in your life? Join a club or community league to make friends and have fun playing your favorite sport.


There’s something so satisfying about making things with your hands, especially after a career that involves sitting at a desk.

Here are some ideas to explore:

  • Woodworking
  • Pottery
  • Stained Glass
  • Mosaics
  • Crocheting
  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Scrapbooking
  • Jewelry making

Create items that are useful, beautiful or both. Design tiles for your new garden, knit cute scarves for your grandkids, sew blankets for people in need, build the perfect dining table.

Take a class to learn your new craft or join a group that crafts together. If you’re interested in selling your work for extra income, you could open an Etsy shop online or get involved with local craft fairs.

what will i do in retirement

Learn to play a musical instrument

Maybe you played piano when you were young but had to give it up, or you’ve always wanted to learn the violin but never had time.

It’s never too late to learn a new instrument, and studies have found the process can improve your memory, boost concentration and reduce stress.

Sign up for one-on-one lessons or tune in to instructors on YouTube for a DIY approach. Make music with new friends at a weekly jam session or join a community orchestra.


Dancing is a wonderful way to meet new friends and stay active in your retirement. There are so many styles of dance to choose from, you’re sure to find one that matches your physical ability and musical taste.

Try swing dancing, waltz, contra, salsa or country line dancing. Most community dances offer a free lesson before the main event, or you can build your confidence with lessons at a dance studio (spangly costumes not required!).


Want to see the world? Whether you’re planning the ultimate barbecue road trip or want to sip wine at a Parisian cafe, with your newly flexible schedule, retirement is the perfect time to travel.

Avoid crowds and save on airfare by traveling during the off-season. You can also snag deals and discounts by visiting


Have you always dreamed of getting into photography? These days there are plenty of affordable, entry-level digital SLR cameras to choose from. Get started with a photography class to learn your craft and make new friends.

Through taking photos, you can explore your city, engage with nature, document your travels, and capture moments with your family. You’ll gain technical skills, develop your artistic side and create something special to share with others.

Are you still asking “what will I do in retirement?” Are there any hobbies you’re excited to try? Tell us in the comments below!

To find out how AAA can help you save for all sorts of life changes and milestones, visit and

  • Linda C.

    Like your ideas. I belong to a gym, garden, travel, and build dollshouse’s with furnishings. I also have lunch w/girls 1-2 x a month, when we’re all in same county. I’m still trying to find a volunteer thing that fits me. I am thinking of going back to work p/t too.

    • Dana L.

      Hi Linda!

      Thanks so much for reading. It certainly sounds like you’re having a wonderful retirement. Good luck in your search!


  • Sylvie G.

    I think the key is to start developing other activities before retiring. If you don’t already have a hobby or other interest outside your work and family you should start exploring now. I plan on retiring in about 5 years but I will still need a supplement income so my sister and I have started a small farm. Now it doesn’t take much energy and time and all we sell is eggs on a very small scale but we are planning on the future of the farm. I look forward to spending time with the animals, being my own boss and being as one with nature.

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