Many people are scared of retirement and always try to put it off. However, retiring means that you can now do whatever you want to do. So, instead of putting it off, grab this opportunity to do what you’ve always been passionate about or what you’ve always been dreaming of doing but could never do because of work or family obligations.
Learn a New Skill by Enrolling in a Class
Concentrate on a hobby that you want to improve, such as learning to crochet more complicated patterns or carving more difficult wood sculptures. Look for classes at a community center or a college near you. You can also try to learn a completely new skill and rely on your spare time to experiment with something you’ve always wanted to try.
Many colleges and universities have lifelong learning programs for seniors, where you can take adult learning classes for very little or nothing at all. In a learning environment, you can also make new friends.
Choose a Cookbook and Try to Cook Every Recipe
If you’ve never felt confident in the kitchen or want to expand your recipe repertoire, pick a cookbook and go through it one recipe at a time. This could be a cookbook focusing on a specific eating style, such as a vegetarian or gluten-free diet, or a region of cooking, such as Thai food or Polish food. You could also learn how to properly braise meat or make a nice soup by reading a food bible, such as Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And, then use your friends or relatives as guinea pigs and invite them over for a dinner meal, or have a potluck where everyone cooks something.
You Should Read Your Way Through a Book List
Perhaps you have a running list of books that you’ve been saving for when you have the time to read them. Visit your local library and try to come up with a book list, whether it’s a personal one you’ve been keeping or a comprehensive one of Western classics, top thrillers and mysteries, nonfiction must-reads, or great sci-fi books.
You can also focus on reading as much as possible about a specific genre or topic that you really like. For example, historical fiction set during World War II or woodworking. Ordering books online is now easier than ever thanks to Amazon and Indigo.
I recommend you search for the book’s title or author, find it online, and try to order it for fast and cheap shipping right to your door. Audiobooks, or books on tape, are another good option if you prefer to rest your eyes and listen to a good book read by a voice artist or even by a professional actor.
Write Your Autobiography
This could take the form of letters to living relatives or daily journal entries. By documenting your past experiences and adventures, you will be able to share them with loved ones and pass on life lessons to others.
Begin by keeping a journal of your memories or writing letters to a specific member of your family, such as your children or grandchildren. To get the habit of writing down your every single thought and memory, try to write a little every day.
You could also enroll in a memoir writing class at a nearby college or university. For seniors, many university-level classes are free or heavily discounted.
Study a New Language
Learning a new language will help to keep your mental faculties sharp and clear. Consider using a computer-based language program such as Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. There are also over 48 languages, ranging from Spanish to French to Korean, that you can learn online for free by downloading and completing courses at your own pace.
Sign up for a language class where you can do in-person activities and practice sessions to improve your conversation skills if you’re looking for any reason to get out of the house.
Participate in a Club
Look for clubs that might interest you, such as a bridge club, a senior women’s or men’s recreational club, a reading club, or a church club. Look for club listings in your area online or on the community board at your local coffee shop or grocery store.