Reaching retirement age is an exciting time, yet the adjustment can also come with its challenges. Some retirees miss the structure their working life offered, and make it a priority to establish a new routine and keep their calendar full.
Luckily the range of hobbies and activities open to you in retirement is incredibly wide. Here we round up a few options we thought sounded especially enjoyable.
Take that holiday you couldn’t quite squeeze in
Retirement often means having far more free time to yourself – time that could be spent finally visiting those places that have been on your wish list for years. Even if you don’t have enough savings to bankroll a month-long international holiday, there may still have plenty of options for an affordable and relaxing break. For example, you could take a leaf from this retired architect’s book and hit the beach…
We got this batch of freshly hatched turtles off to the best start possible. pic.twitter.com/Pn2CvfTWwh
— Doug Sampson (@MSU_Architect) September 10, 2018
We’ve got plenty of holiday resources that might suit retirees, including guides for:
Just make sure that wherever you go, you consider taking a good-value travel insurance policy with you. You can compare policies with Canstar to help find the right policy for you and your travels.
The table below displays a snapshot of 5-Star travel insurance policies on Canstar with links to providers’ websites, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). Please note the products and Star Ratings displayed are based on a single travelling to the USA aged under 70. Check upfront with your provider and read the PDS to confirm the details of a particular product, and whether it meets your needs before deciding to commit to it.
Find yourself a furry friend
When you retire, your long-established daily routines can be brought to an end and you may end up interacting with others less, simply because you’re not heading to the workplace every day.
Getting a pet could be an option for regaining some of the daily interactions and the companionship you may be getting less of in retirement. The regular walking and feeding could also help you re-establish a sense of routine, as well as helping you stay active.
It’s also been reported that having a pet is good for your mental health by providing “routine, purpose and companionship”.
This tongue-in-cheek advert suggests that parents could replace their children with a dog after they’ve moved out of home.
Pursue a passion project
Was there a business idea or passion project you didn’t have time to pursue while you were working full-time? Whether it’s carpentry, embroidery, website design, business consulting, or volunteering in your community, retirement could be your opportunity to follow your heart.
Just remember that if you choose to take on paid work, you may need to be mindful of the number of hours you are working and how much you earn, as these factors could have an impact on your status as a retiree and potentially your ability to access your super. You can read more about this here.
Get those green fingers going
Retired people being avid gardeners sounds like a cliché, but growing and maintaining a garden can be rewarding in several ways. It’s certainly a fantastic way to increase the visual appeal of your yard, but it could also:
- Benefit your mental health;
- Help you cut grocery costs if you grow fruits and veggies;
- Get you out in the sun, meaning more vitamin D, which Health Direct says can be beneficial for calcium absorption and bone growth;
- Improve the air quality in your green spaces.
The options for what you can plant and grow are almost endless, and apart from some typically minor initial expenditure on seeds or plants and a few pieces of equipment, gardening can be a very low-cost pursuit.
Keep in mind that some home and contents insurance policies may not provide cover for outside plants or trees, so if you’re considering investing a large amount in plants for your garden, this could be something to consider. That being said, just because a policy doesn’t provide cover for pot plants, it doesn’t mean can’t provide good value. You can compare home and contents insurance policies with Canstar to find the right one for you.
Start a podcast or a blog
Everyone’s journey in retirement is different, but yours may have given you learnings and tips which could be useful to others who are setting out on this phase of their life. So why not think about sharing your story?
There’s perhaps no better or easier way to share information than digital mediums like blogs and podcasts. These days there’s someone blogging or podcasting on just about every topic, but there may still be opportunities to publish or broadcast on subjects related to your lifestyle, interests and passions.
It seems like a different niche podcast takes off every other week, and yours could be next.
Make like Mel C and get sporty
Whether you want to take a swing at golf, give the 10k runners a run for their money or tackle rugby, getting involved in a sport or physical activity of some sort can have benefits.
Not only could taking up a sport give your social life a boost, it can also do great things for your physical and mental health – and like gardening, it’ll get you out in the sun which, as mentioned above, can have its own set of benefits. If fitness is your main concern, you could also get yourself a gym membership – some health insurance policies come with free or discounted gym memberships.
On the subject of health insurance policies, while most of the sports we mentioned are relatively low-risk, the older you get, the more injury-prone you may become, which makes having a good health insurance policy worth considering for many people. You can compare health insurance policies with Canstar.
The table below displays a snapshot of 5-Star hospital policies on Canstar’s database, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). Please note the results are based on a single male born in 1960 in NSW. Check upfront with your provider and read the PDS to confirm the details of a particular product, and whether it meets your needs before deciding to commit to it.
Click here to compare more policies based on your circumstances.
Kill it in the kitchen
Everyone’s got a friend who always shows up to parties with jars and containers brimming with their kitchen creations. Retirement is a perfect opportunity for you to become that friend.
The extra time afforded to you by retired life could be just what you need to try certain techniques you previously didn’t have time for, like fermented foods, slow cooking, homemade ice cream, jams and preserves.
Also, if it can be put in a jar or a pretty container of some kind, you’ve got stocking stuffers for Christmas sorted.
Hit the books
Being part of a regular social gathering such as a book club may benefit you in several ways. It might help you meet you people and build your social circle, and research suggests reading may reduce your chances of developing dementia in old age.
In conclusion, retirement can give you more time to do the things you’re passionate about but maybe didn’t have time for while you were working. And it’s possible to keep yourself busy with fun and fulfilling activities without needing to spend big.
But if you are thinking about how you’ll fund your lifestyle in retirement, choosing the right super fund could be an important step. You can compare your current fund to some of the others on the market with Canstar.