If you’ve ever been having your tea break at work and sat pondering what you’ll do when you retire? Maybe not, but it is something that you might want to consider. Having an idea of what you’ll do in retirement will allow you to plan your finances to achieve it.

So, to get you started, here are nine great ideas of things to do in retirement. Number 8 might give you some food for thought!

  1. Travel

If you are a regular reader of the Financial Times, you may have noticed some data they published regarding travelling in your 50s, 60s, and 70s. They reveal that there has been a sharp increase in numbers of these age groups travelling to far-off destinations. So, if you are considering doing some travel when you retire, you’ll not be alone.

Moreover, an ABTA report from 2018 showed that the most likely age group to travel solo was over seventy-five. They also noted an increase in 55-64-year-olds travelling alone in 2018 from 6% to 17%. Around 40% of these solo adventurers stated they hoped to forge new friendships during their travels.

Travel operators are using this new information and providing group and solo travel aimed at people of retirement age. In addition, there are many operators offering packages to far-flung destinations, and you can find them at events such as Destinations.

  1. Have More Family Time

Your retirement years will allow you more time to spend with your family, and you will have plenty of opportunities to create new memories with those you love. A great way to do this is for the whole family to go on holiday together. These multi-generation (3G) holidays will allow everyone to have quality family time together without the pressures of everyday life getting in the way. If travelling doesn’t suit everyone, possibly a family reunion might be more suitable, and you should have the opportunity to organise this now you’ve stopped working.

Spending time with your family might also suit you financially. For example, if you are under 65 and look after children below 12, you could boost your State Pension. To qualify for the full pension, you need to have made National Insurance contributions for thirty-five years. Any gaps you have in this period can be filled by looking after your grandchildren and claiming childcare credits to top up your pension. You can get more details on this from the gov.uk website.

  1. Do Some Part-time Work

Continuing to work during your retirement may not have been your idea of a ‘dream’ retirement. However, it makes perfect sense in many cases and seems to fit with today’s working patterns. Nowadays, around one in three people aged 60-64 are still in full-time employment. This figure compares to only one in five in 1998. The rise has been most drastic in the female population, with almost double the amount of women working part-time in the sixties compared to men.

With pension freedoms, you now have the option of easing yourself out of full-time employment and into retirement by reducing your hours or working part-time. Accessing your pension funds early means that this option suits many people. Not only would it enable you to stay employed and earning, but it also opens up opportunities for trying out something new.

  1. Take Regular Walks

Walking is an excellent form of exercise, and there are plenty of local walking groups available through sites such as Ramblers. However, if you are looking for walks with a little more interest attached, you might consider the National Trust. They have thousands of miles of tracks through beautiful grounds all over the country, and they offer discounted memberships to the over-60s.

If you’re a dog lover but don’t have a dog yourself, you can still enjoy a bit of dog walking. Borrow My Dog teams up dog owners with people who are willing to walk their dogs. This service is a great way to combine your love of canines without having to own one.

  1. Exercise Your Mind

Walking will exercise your body, and it is essential to keep your mind active during retirement. Online learning portals, such as OpenLearn, enable you to exercise your mind, learn new skills, and study at the pace you want.

You might decide that more formal study is something you want to do in your retirement. However, if you choose to go to university or college, there are grants available for mature students, and you may not need the formal entry qualifications that younger students need.

There are also plenty of opportunities to get creative and learn new creative skills. These can be traditional crafts such as sketching, jewellery-making, carpentry, and so on. You can also get digitally creative and take courses in Adobe Creative Suite or similar design programmes.

  1. Volunteer

A great way to do something worthwhile during retirement while also meeting new people, and helping others, is through volunteering. There are countless opportunities to help out in your community, and you can find these easily through sites such as Do-it.

For instance, you could help carers, organise events, do some marketing for charities, and so on. In addition, there may be specific causes or projects in your area that you feel strongly about and that you could support.

  1. Emigrate Overseas

Spending your retirement years in the sun may be an appealing thought, and if so, you are not alone. Many British retirees chose to live overseas when they retire, with Bulgaria, Portugal, and Spain being popular destinations.

However, the idea might not sit well with your family. So, to get around any objections, you might want to point out that your family will have easy access to a place in the sun.

Before you emigrate, ensure that you check out what welfare rights you have overseas. You should also consider healthcare costs in other countries and the effect that exchange rate fluctuations could have on your spending power.  

  1. Start Blogging or Vlogging

This activity is unlikely to be one that you considered until now. Maybe you feel YouTube and blogging sites to be your grandchildren’s territory. However, often the most challenging aspect of blogging or vlogging is finding the time to do it.

When you retire, you’ll have the luxury of having some spare time. So if you have a skill, hobby, or passion for something that you feel is worth sharing, you can be sure there will be an audience for it.

Your blogs or vlogs may be satisfying, but they can go beyond mere satisfaction. For example, if you generate a sufficient audience, you could find your efforts rewarded with advertising revenue. Now, that would be an excellent supplement to your retirement income.

  1. Get Comfortable For Retirement

YouGov research has shown that around 28% of Brits believe they are unlikely to have sufficient funds to sustain their retirement lifestyle. Moreover, 15% are sure they won’t have the money they need. Therefore, it is crucial for you to plan so you will be comfortable in your retirement financially.

You can do plenty of simple things to prepare yourself, such as regularly checking your pension to keep it on track. However, if you are paying high charges or your pension is underperforming, they could erode your retirement funds. You might want to use a regulated financial advisor to help you with this aspect of your preparations. Before considering your pension, speak to an FCA Regulated adviser such as Portafina or, view the info at The Money Advice Service.