The Best Hobbies to Take Up as a New Retiree


If you want to lead a richer, more fulfilling, more social life as a retiree, you need to take up some new hobbies. The problem is that some hobbies are exorbitantly expensive, which might eat into your living budget. Some hobbies are also inaccessible to older folks who aren’t as athletic as they used to be.

What are the best hobbies to take up as a new retiree?

Hallmarks of the Best Hobbies to Take Up as a New Retiree

Inexpensiveness

Even if you’re retiring wealthy, it’s a good idea to look for hobbies that are relatively inexpensive. Your stream of income may be consistent and you may feel confident about not outliving your savings, but you also don’t want to splurge so much that it starts to threaten your overall lifestyle. Inexpensive hobbies, including ones that are completely free, are financially sustainable.

Revenue Generation

If you can find a hobby that gives you enjoyment and an opportunity to generate revenue, jump on it. Making extra money can help your fixed income go further, provide you with more financial stability, or potentially mitigate the costs of an otherwise expensive hobby. If you genuinely like what you’re doing and you can make money doing it, make sure it finds a home in your weekly schedule.

Accessibility

How easy is it to partake in this hobby and how often can you do it? As a simple example, you may like the idea of fishing, but if there are no lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water near you, it’s going to be hard to practice. Conversely, there are some hobbies that attract large meetup groups all over the country and can be practiced at home quite conveniently.

Physical Demands

It’s also important to find hobbies that have limited or nonexistent physical demands. Even if you’re in good shape now, there’s a chance you won’t be as mobile or as flexible in the near future. You’ll want to have at least a few hobbies that you can continue to practice even if your health and physical shape deteriorate. That said, it’s also a good idea to find hobbies that force you to engage in some level of physical activity, so you can stay in shape for longer.

Mental Demands

Good hobbies for retirees have some aspect of mental stimulation. You need to keep your brain active and challenged if you want to sustain your memories and cognitive potential for as long as possible. In fact, one of the best ways to prevent dementia and other degenerative conditions of the brain is to regularly engage in intellectually stimulating activities.

Socialization

Socialization is important for your health and happiness, and unfortunately, it becomes harder to make and keep friends as you get older. Hobbies are one of the best ways to meet new people and form new friendships, so it’s important to give extra attention to hobbies that naturally encourage more socialization.

Growth and Development

Finally, think about the growth and development potential of each hobby. Is this an activity you simply do over and over, with no real changes to your approach? Or is this an activity with boundless potential for new learning and development? For example, there’s practically no limit to the skill ceiling of a game like chess; even the best players in the world are learning new things about it routinely.

Hobbies to Give a Try

Using this list, you can generate your own list of potential hobbies to try.

Traveling

Traveling is an incredibly valuable hobby for retirees. It’s very intellectually stimulating to travel somewhere new. It gives you significant potential for new social interactions. It can keep you physically active and mentally engaged. And because there are infinite travel destinations, you’ll never run out of interesting places to go. The only real downsides are the cost of traveling and the potential physical demands. But if you choose the right destinations, and come up with proper plans, you can mitigate these downsides.

For example, if you want to stay in the country, you could visit a place like Las Vegas. Las Vegas is home to a wide range of activities, from gambling to hiking trails. Depending on where you stay, it can range from very inexpensive to luxurious, and it offers something to people from all walks of life.

If you’re interested in international travel, you could visit continental Europe. It’s not the cheapest travel option, but if you’re willing to forgo some of the tourist traps and stay outside major cities, it can be quite affordable. Many countries in Europe are close together, enabling relatively quick, nomadic travel paths – and plenty of activity options.

Blogging

Blogging in its purest form is a bit outdated, but whether you maintain a traditional blog, a social media platform, or both, this hobby is a way to express your thoughts, connect with an audience, and potentially show off your expertise in a given area. You can think of it as an advanced hybrid form of journaling and giving a seminar; it’s a way to explore yourself and connect with others, including your closest friends and family members. Plus, if you’re able to build an audience, you may be able to monetize your blogging efforts and turn it into a revenue generation opportunity.

Blogging can be practiced anywhere and you don’t need any special skills to start one, though there is plenty to learn and develop.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of this hobby is the fact that you can blog about practically any topic. If you already have an area of expertise, you can write about it. Or, if you’re interested in learning something new, you can document your learning trajectory. If you just want to spill all your generic thoughts, you can do that too (though keep in mind the best way to build an audience for a blog is to cover a specific niche).

Programming

Stereotypically, retirees are averse to new technologies, but in reality, advanced technologies offer some of the best hobby options to retirees. Among these hobby options is programming, which allows you to use various advanced languages to create apps, video games, and simple scripts that can make your life easier. If you’ve ever been interested in computer science, or if you’re a very logical, analytical person, this could be a great way to challenge yourself and achieve a wide variety of developmental goals. There’s an infinite amount of knowledge to learn, since the programming field keeps advancing. Once you reach a certain threshold of knowledge, you’ll have the expertise to create all kinds of interesting scripts and widgets.

Another reason why programming is so valuable for retirees is because it can offer amazingly lucrative side gigs. If you’re willing to knock out a couple of projects every now and then, you can establish a meaningful stream of new income without even leaving your house.

Gaming

Who doesn’t love games? Games are extremely intellectually stimulating and they offer excellent opportunities for meeting new people as well. Most of them aren’t physically demanding at all, yet they offer high skill ceilings that keep you adequately challenged for as long as you keep playing.

There are also many different types of games to consider.

Puzzles and word games.

Puzzle and word games, like sudoku, crossword puzzles, and word searches are ridiculously accessible, cheap, and replayable. They also don’t require other players and can be played anywhere.

Board games and traditional games.

Board games and traditional games like cribbage or poker offer similarly deep intellectual stimulation, with the added bonus of socializing with other people while you play. Today’s board games are much more interesting, balanced, and robust – so you’re bound to find something that you like on store shelves.

Video games.

Of course, you can also get into video games. Whether you play by yourself or with family members elsewhere, manipulating a controller requires minimal physical activity. Modern games have advanced far beyond the rudimentary physics of Pacman; there are genuine works of art to enjoy in this medium.

Gardening

If you love being outside and have some extra property space to work with, you could take up gardening. Gardening is an opportunity to connect with the earth and witness the growth of beautiful things from individual seeds or saplings. For some people, the joy of gardening is in creating elaborate, aesthetically interesting displays around the house. For others, it’s in growing delicious foods that you can later incorporate in homemade dishes. Either way, there are limitless possibilities.

Birdwatching

Another way to enjoy the great outdoors without putting too much strain on your body is birdwatching. You’ll spend a lot of time in natural environments, identifying common and rare species of birds alike – and meeting new people who are also fascinated with avian species. This is a hobby you can take anywhere, from your own backyard to exotic locations in your further-reaching adventures.

Cooking

Cooking is another great hobby to keep you occupied and intellectually stimulated. As you master the basics, you’ll be able to improve the taste and quality of the foods you consume. And as you develop true expertise, you’ll be able to experiment with new styles and ingredients – and challenge yourself indefinitely. Everything starts with a simple cooking class.

Golfing

Golfing in retirement is a bit of a cliché, but it’s popular among older folks for good reason. It’s an opportunity to be outside and get some light exercise, yet it’s not too physically demanding. It costs money, but it’s not prohibitively expensive. And best of all, it’s the perfect opportunity to chat with your friends and make some new ones.

Yoga

One of the best ways to stay in shape as you get older is yoga, which also doubles as a socially engaging hobby if you’re willing to attend classes. Yoga is challenging and physically demanding, but not so much so that the average retiree can’t handle it. Plus, there are many different levels of exercise to tackle, so you can stick with the fundamentals if you find the more advanced positions too challenging. In any case, it’s an opportunity to learn, develop, and stay in shape simultaneously while also making new friends.

Creative Art

Almost any hobby that relates to art or creativity can be valuable for retirees as well. Most creative arts can be practiced with a small selection of inexpensive equipment, they can be practiced at home or in public, and they offer infinite potential for ongoing learning and improvement. They’re also an opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings in an abstract, creative way and a gateway to interacting with other people.

Photography: If you like capturing individual moments, or if you like to be outside enjoying nature, consider taking up photography.

Music: If you still have ample dexterity, you can take up a musical instrument and learn the basics of composition as well.

Painting: There are countless painting styles and mediums to experiment with, and the basics are ridiculously accessible.

Sculpture: If you have a good sense of spatial analysis, you could also try your hand at sculpting.

Art appreciation: Even if none of these creative arts sounds good to you, you could learn about art in itself and become a competent art critic – or just practice more art appreciation generally.

Almost any hobby you take up as a retiree has the potential to improve your life in substantial ways, as long as you’re enjoying that hobby without too many financial or physical downsides. Keep experimenting and dipping your toes in new territory as you get older, as the novel stimulation is good for you – and you never know what hobby you might fall in love with next.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev; Pexels; Thank you.

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