Things to do when retired and bored – 12 Retirement Boredom Busters

Things to do when retired and bored – 12 Retirement Boredom Busters

Retirement is a transition like many other changes in life. Are you worried you’ll wind up retired and bored to death? Retirement is the time to stick your hand in the air and say “Pick me! I can help!” Be a joiner! Here’s a list of things to do when retired and bored, as well as 12 retirement boredom busters!

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#1 Get involved in a corporate board

Being out of the working world doesn’t have to be a literal type of thing.

There’s a tremendous need for your expertise and wisdom. Not being on a payroll anymore doesn’t preclude you from having a fun and rewarding professional role! So get on LinkedIn and do some online networking. Contacting former colleagues will be one of the most rejuvenating things to do when retired and bored, and you never know how much impact you can have.

Here’s a tip: Now you are in the driver’s seat. You’re not desperate for a job, and you’re not looking for a paycheck. Be willing and happy to say the word “no.”

#2 Take up part-time work

We know of one retiree who retired at 67 after 30 years as a preschool teacher. She was extremely bored after 6 months and being recently widowed she was careful about not letting herself get depressed by not having enough things to do when retired and bored. So she found work as a part-time teacher. She’s been very strict about not working more than 15 hours a week, and it’s worked out great!

Echoing our sentiment from #1, there’s a multitude of ways that you can still be involved with the working world. Consider a part-time gig that allows you the flexibility to do what you want while still being involved.

Ask yourself:

  • Can you be a consultant?
  • Can you work at a non-profit?
  • Can you use your advanced skillset to help a small/emerging company for a smaller paycheck?

If consulting, make sure you’re holding back enough for taxes. The last thing you want is to get a shock next April.

Talk with your network to see what kind of part-time or consulting work is out there. There will be something out there if you look hard enough!

#3 Get involved with a charity

Sign up to be on a board, attend events, fundraise. Use some of your professional abilities to help an organization be more successful.

It’s not just about carrying out the work of volunteering – it’s about being a part of something. Don’t forget your alma mater or other communities you may enjoy being a part of!

We have a client who moved to a college town and got involved with the school’s athletic program. He is a big donor, but has had a lot of fun getting to know the coaches, team, and other donors.

#4 Get involved in your house of worship

If you’ve been a regular churchgoer, retirement could be a time to get more involved. It could be worth looking into what your house of worship has to offer in terms of program/services, and see if you can be of help.

#5 Do the “thing” you’ve always wanted

You know what we mean…we all have something we’ve always wanted to do but life would never allow us to. Put that on the agenda!

We have a client who started a photography hobby and her skills are amazing! She has won local awards. Join a country club, get a pet, take that dream vacation, try a new sport or hobby. Create a list of “wish list” items that will offer you a full suite of things to do when retired and bored.

#6 Compose a budget and stack up some cash

Speaking of trying new things in #5, all of this may just come with a higher price tag.

Without having an idea of how drastically life will change once you are retired, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of spending you’ll be doing. Take a minute to try to conceptualize your cash flow needs. This will help to fund your activities and all the things to do when retired and bored.

Think about:

  • What expenses do you no longer need to pay for (example: train or subway fare now that you are not commuting to work)
  • What are some new expenses you anticipate having on a regular basis (example: higher electricity bill since you are in the house more)
  • What are the incidental expenses that you see yourself incurring (example: taking family to Disney World).

If you haven’t done any comprehensive financial planning, now may be the time to do so.

Also, one of the big financial changes that you will experience is that you’ll no longer have a stockpile of cash deposited into your bank account on a weekly/bi-weekly basis. It’ll easy for the well to run dry. Don’t get caught in a pinch and run out of ways to pay for things to do when retired and bored!

We recommend that retirees maintain 6-12 months of cash a bank account that they can access in a hurry.

#7 Take on good new habits

It can be refreshing to do things in a new and better way. So crack open those self-improvement books and get started! Have you ever wanted to:

  • Cook at home more
  • Join a gym and tone up!
  • More books, less TV
  • Go on a walk every day
  • Do yoga
  • Meditate
  • Garden

Taking on new (hopefully, good) habits is a great thing to do if you are retired and bored.

#8 Make new friends

It’s never too late to make new friends. Being more social is a retirement boredom buster. Get social with the people in your neighborhood. You may even want to join a senior group in your local area. Not sure where to start? Consult the wise Google.

Also, don’t rule out the input of younger family and friends. They may be in the know about local goings on, or if they aren’t, they may know how to find out!

#9 Be that babysitting safety net for your family

Those days are long past, but do you remember how stressful it was when you were raising your kids?

Be the beacon of light for stressed-out family members!

It’s amazing to be able to “swoop in” and help family when necessary (example: daughter in law has a huge meeting the same day the baby comes down with a cold.) Maybe you can commit to even babysitting on a regular basis (just don’t do it overly so to where you feel imposed upon.)

#10 Get fun things on the schedule

Have you thought about what your typical week in retirement will look like? While you were working, if someone said to you, “open up your calendar and tell me what you have on schedule next week”, any person who is working could certainly tell you all about meetings and appointments they have coming up.

But if you’re retired, your time is really your own.

And while that sounds super exciting to busy people who are working like crazy, after a while it starts to get a little bit boring. You need a full arsenal of things to do when retired and bored, not just one or two.

We challenge you to plan out what a sample week in retirement may look like. Yes, you are going to do activities like babysit your grandkids, run errands, go to the gym, check your investments, etc. And that is fantastic. But you do need some structure to it.

We encourage you to plan it out. Our sample week in retirement planner can help: Download your planner here. It will help you visualize how you are going to spend your time every day of the week. Hint: when you see a lot of blank squares, it’ll motivate you to brainstorm about how you’re going to fill in those boxes.

#11 Get your finances in order

Okay, okay, so if you haven’t gathered by now, finance is our thing. We know it’s probably not your favorite retirement boredom buster, but if you are looking for things to do when retired and bored you may as well put these on the docket!

Know your health insurance options

Imagine this scenario.

You peruse your checking account statement one day and see a gigantic, enormously outsized in comparison to other expenses, bigger-than-you-thought debit transaction.

It’s this month’s health insurance premium payment!


Especially if you were a long-tenured employee at a company that paid your health insurance, it can be jolting to bear the burden of paying your own way.  The good news is that depending upon your circumstances you may be eligible for Medicaid and/or Medicare.

You may want to tackle this on your own but keep in mind that this can be very nuanced. You should know what all your options are, and the best way to do that is by contacting a professional whose job it is to do so. We suggest that you contact a financial advisor or financial planner, preferably one in your area.

File for your SS benefits

And by the way, this brings us to the next item – social security benefits. The same reasoning applies here. You may think you have it all covered, but why not check with a qualified professional before officially filing?

See about estate planning

Nobody likes thinking about passing away, so we’ll make this explanation short and sweet (as much as possible given the subject).

If you haven’t set up a will or trust to ensure proper transfer of your assets, now is the time to do so. It’s not something to take lightly as in some cases this is the final statement you may be making to your loved ones. Wouldn’t you want this statement to one of loving and caring rather than confusion and strife?

If you already have a will or trust set up, check in with your attorney about any updates or changes that may need to be made. A good rule of thumb is to do this every five years or if there is a major change in your life position.

Deal with your retirement accounts

Dust off the cobwebs. You have reached the time of life where you are entitled to cash in on all the retirement saving you’ve been doing. All the sacrifice and planning have been leading up to this moment.

It’s IRA time!

Or maybe 401k time…

Whichever accounts you have, they need to be organized. Aside from making sure you have the right investments in the right accounts (taxable vs. non-taxable, etc.), you’ll need to check out your beneficiaries, analyze the big picture to eliminate concentrated positions and make sure your overall portfolio still meets your risk tolerance.

It may just be time for your annual portfolio check up!

Throw a party

It’s not just to celebrate yourself – gathering your friends and loved ones is a great way to remind yourself (and them) of the value of your relationship. This is a new beginning in life and a time of joy.

An important part of how to prepare for retirement emotionally is making sure you have enough social interaction and enough people-oriented things to do when retired and bored, and that all of this is emotionally fulfilling. So don’t feel guilty about uncorking a bottle of champagne or two – you’re fulfilling an item on your retirement preparation checklist!

Things to (not) do when retired and bored

As we’ve seen many people embark on retirement, we’ve witnessed both the good and the not so good. The following things may put a strain on you emotionally (and financially) and should be avoided.

  • Shopping and spending money in frivolous ways
  • Worrying about your health, your family, etc. to an extreme
  • Excessive eating or drinking
  • Going out to eat every day
  • Becoming a third parent to your grandchildren
  • Excessive travel – this can be expensive – don’t break the bank
  • Calling your kids every day
  • Partake in activities that you’re not interested in, or aren’t in line with your “genuine self”
  • Letting someone else dictate what you should or should not be doing with your time

Summary of things to do when retired and bored

We hope that you’ll take us up on our offer to provide you with a weekly retirement planner. If you’ve already done the exercise and are just looking for some solid advice about finances or a few people to bounce ideas off of, that works, too! Just send us a note here.