Retirement Bucket List: Top 7 Things to Do in Retirement

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Summary: Entering your retirement years means having a lot of time on your hands to do the things you never had time for while working. Figuring out how to spend your newfound free time can be overwhelming. Making a retirement bucket list can help you figure out how you want to spend your golden years. Estimated Read Time: 8 mins

Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Bucket List?
  2. Why Should I Make a Retirement Bucket List?
  3. Travel the World
  4. Learn Something New
  5. Find a Hobby
  6. Go Green
  7. Catch Up on Reading
  8. Help Your Community
  9. Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Retirement is a time that many people look forward to throughout their working years. It’s a reward for decades of hard work. However, some retirees aren’t sure what to do with their time now that they aren’t spending 40 hours or more per week working.

If you’re one of those retirees, then making a bucket list could help you figure out how to spend your newfound freedom. Here, we’ve compiled a few bucket list ideas for retirement so you can have fun in your golden years.

What is a Bucket List?

A bucket list is a list of things that you want to do or accomplish in your lifetime. The term comes from the phrase “kicking the bucket,” and it originates from the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

When you create a bucket list, no activity or goal is too big or small. Your list is simply meant to serve as a motivational tool for what you want to achieve while you’re retired. For many, a bucket list serves as a constant reminder of the things you wish to accomplish during your time on this earth. Retirement is the perfect time to begin checking off the items that mean the most to you.

Why Should I Make a Retirement Bucket List?

A retirement bucket list can push you to do things you’ve always wanted to do. You finally have enough free time to do some more fun personal activities that you may have been putting off for years. A bucket list can also encourage you to try new things you might have only considered recently.

For retirees who may be feeling depressed or lost without the daily routine that comes with working, a bucket list can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment when you check something off.

Either way, making a bucket list of things you actually want to do can bring more enjoyment into your life. Here are just a few suggestions to get your retirement bucket list started.

Travel the World

According to a 2022 survey, almost 60% of workers most looked forward to traveling once they reached retirement. If this is you, then you could probably make a separate bucket list just for places you’ve always wanted to go.

Some of the top international travel destinations for seniors include:

  • France
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • The Bahamas
  • Germany

If you want to stay within the United States, there are plenty of places to see right here at home. A few of the top states for retirees to visit include:

  • Florida
  • New York
  • Texas
  • California
  • Nevada

However, it’s important to note that traveling can be expensive. Whether you travel internationally or domestically, the costs can add up. You have to consider airfare or gas, hotels, food, and a number of other expenses that are sure to pop up when you add travel as an item on your bucket list. It’s important to have a retirement plan and budget accordingly so that you don’t have to worry about finances when you just want to enjoy your vacation.

You can also usually find senior discounts in popular travel areas. Look online for discounts on airfare, car rentals, hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

Additionally, it’s vital to be sure that you have health coverage for emergencies abroad. Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) typically doesn’t offer coverage for any services outside of the U.S., but a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan could cover up to 80 percent of foreign travel emergency care.

Learn Something New

Learning is a lifelong endeavor, so it’s never too late to pick up a new skill. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, such as a new language or playing an instrument, there are plenty of resources for seniors. These learning resources are available in person and online.

You can take a free class or watch a tutorial to learn just about anything on the internet. However, if you want a more hands-on approach, you can take a class in person at your local library or community center.

If you want to pursue higher education during retirement, there are colleges that offer free education for seniors. These colleges cover the costs of tuition for older adults aged 60 and up.

Find a Hobby

Getting a retirement hobby can help give you a sense of fulfillment and purpose you may be looking for since leaving the workforce. Hobbies can also help you to enhance your social life, as loneliness is a growing concern amongst the elderly. Furthermore, having a hobby in your golden years can help keep your mind and body active.

There are endless hobbies to choose from that suit any personality, lifestyle, and budget. Try different ones until you find one or more that you can have fun with on a regular basis.

Go Green

We all live on planet Earth, so it’s a good idea to take care of it as best we can. Living a more green, sustainable lifestyle not only helps to protect the planet but also allows you to save money and learn new skills.

Food at the grocery store is getting more and more expensive, and a lot of it is filled with unhealthy preservatives. Growing your own food can be a healthier, more budget-friendly alternative. Plus, gardening can be a fun and fulfilling experience to fill your retirement days.

You can also save in energy bills by making some green adjustments to your home. Installing solar panels and energy-saving windows, appliances, and light bulbs may sound costly, but you can save hundreds of dollars in monthly bills. Some states even offer financial incentives in the form of tax breaks to make your home or rental more environmentally friendly.

Another green suggestion is to bike instead of driving shorter distances. You can save on gas, and biking is a great, low-intensity exercise. It’s also relaxing to take a bike ride on a nice day.

Catch Up on Reading

Do you have a pile of books sitting on your shelf that you’ve been meaning to get to? Well, now’s the time to finally start reading. Many adults don’t have the time or energy to read anything non-work related that’s longer than a Facebook post. However, you’ll have plenty of free time to read for fun or personal education during retirement.

If you don’t have one, now is the perfect time to get a library card and enjoy thousands of books, magazines, and newspapers for free. You could even join a book club and make some new friends over a shared love of literature.

Reading is fundamental at any age, so spend a day with an exciting book.

Help Your Community

Volunteering in your community is a great way for you to give back to your community. If you have a cause you’re passionate about; chances are there’s a non-profit organization that would love your help. Adding this to your bucket list will not only allow you to seek new experiences but also contribute to the common good of your community as well.

Research shows that around six out of ten adults over the age of 55 are involved in volunteer work. Popular organizations for seniors to volunteer with are animal shelters, food banks, churches, and tutoring centers.

Volunteering can help to lessen depression in older adults by giving them a sense of fulfillment from helping others and by providing a way to meet other seniors. Find an organization you love and help to make a difference.

Live a Healthier Lifestyle

It’s never too late to start putting your health first. As you get older, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy, but it can also be more challenging.

A good start is eating a more balanced diet. Eating healthier food can not only help you lose weight, but it can have various other benefits too.

Studies show that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish (especially salmon) may help improve cognition and decrease your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Research also suggests that dark leafy greens are full of nutritious vitamins such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin K. These vitamins are helpful in preventing osteoporosis and high blood pressure.  Furthermore, they’re high in carotenoids, which can help to maintain your eyesight. They’re also rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Another way to live healthier is to be more active. You don’t have to take part in high-intensity fitness training; just some light exercise, like walking for 30 minutes a day, is enough to keep your body in shape.

However, while more exercise and an improved diet are key parts of being healthy, it’s also crucial to be more proactive in seeing a doctor. You should see your primary care physician at least once a year for your annual wellness visit to keep track of any new or ongoing health conditions you may have. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of the other preventive services Medicare covers so that you can catch any serious health issues early enough to treat them.

Get the Right Medicare Coverage For You

Part of looking after your health is making sure you have the right health insurance coverage for your needs. Many retirees tend to enroll in Medicare coverage immediately upon leaving the workforce. It’s essential to compare your Medicare plan options and understand which services you need coverage for and if the plan best suited for you fits your budget.

Our licensed agents are more than happy to help you find a Medicare plan that is right for you and answer any questions you may have. Just call us at the number above or complete our online form to see plans in your area.

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