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101 Things To Do When You Retire: Fun And Cheap Things To Do


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Retirement is a long-awaited period for many people.

You have no more daily commutes, noisy alarms, or rushed deadlines. With so much time, you can explore dozens of fun things to do when you retire. One hundred and one activities, to be precise.

Use this list as a guide for the most exciting and cheap things to do in retirement. As a bonus, you’ll also learn how to earn extra money as a retiree.

Table of Contents Show

What is the First Thing You Should Do When You Retire?

1. Visit Family And Friends

Now’s a good time to reunite with your loved ones. You don’t have a job that limits how many days you can spend on vacation. Feel free to spend the week or month with your friends or family.

2. Keep Up With Technology

Technology is fast evolving, and you’ll miss out if you don’t keep up with the latest trends. Keep in touch with the younger generations, or watch videos online to be familiar with gadgets that can make your life easier.

3. Appreciate The “Boring” Days

You don’t have to plan out activities for every single day. Appreciate the moments when you’re not doing anything special as well. You deserve them after hustling for decades.

4. Meet Other Retirees

Whether you’re retiring at 55 or 65, it’s best to join social groups composed of other retirees. You’ll enjoy this new phase of your life more by participating in social activities.

Related: Benefits for Seniors Aged 55 and Older

5. Write Your Yearly Goals

Writing your yearly goals can help you stay motivated and focused on accomplishing your plans and dreams. You may also use this opportunity to try out new interests you’ve put on hold when you were busy working.

6. Cook More Often

One of the best cheap things you can do after retirement is to cook more often at home. Not only will you eat healthier, but you’ll also enjoy your palate with new flavours and recipes.

7. Declutter

You’ll spend most of your days inside your house. Take time to clean and declutter your home for a more pleasant living environment. You can also sell or donate unwanted items in the process.

8. Explore Your City

Even if you’ve lived in the same city for decades, chances are, you’ve been too busy to know the latest trends around you. Take this time to appreciate your hometown and discover what’s new since you’ve last paid attention.

9. Join Adult Programs

Speaking of cities, research whether your city has dedicated centres and programs for seniors like you. For example, the Toronto Public Library offers free Digital Life Skills seminars to teach retirees basic Internet skills.

 Cheap Things To Do in Retirement

10. Learn A Language

Learning a new language has never been easier (and cheaper) than before. You can find dozens of affordable classes both online and offline. With all the free language learning materials on the internet, you may even do this without spending a penny.

11. Go Cross Country Skiing

Canada has some of the most stunning snow-covered landscapes. Enjoy them while cross-country skiing, and get a good workout in the process. You’re never too old to enjoy the snow.

12. Explore By Rail

Hop onto a VIA Rail train and enjoy up to six breathtaking rail journeys throughout Canada. You get a 10% discount when you’re over 60, so it won’t be too hard on your pockets.

13. Read Books

Reading is another cheap and easy way to enjoy yourself in your retirement period. If possible, don’t limit yourself to nonfiction pieces. Explore other creative genres to get the most out of this activity.

You can improve your investing knowledge by reading these investing books.

14. Go Camping

If you want the end of your busy career to settle in your mind, camping is one of the first things to do when you retire. You can do this peaceful activity alone or with your friends and family. It’s a budget-friendly celebration to mark the end of your hustling period.

15. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Most people stick to a comfortable routine several months after retirement. However, stepping out of your comfort zone helps you discover new skills, passion, and new sides to yourself. So, now and then, do what makes you uncomfortable.

16. Frequent Coffee Shops

Enjoy afternoons by sipping delicious blends from popular coffee shops near you. This cheap activity is perfect for socializing or enjoying the city’s calmness.

17. Adopt A Pet

More than half of Canadian households own at least one furry friend. So, if you don’t have one, why not spend your hard-earned free time with a newly adopted pet? It’s easier on the wallet than you think. For example, in Toronto, you can adopt a bird for as little as $5 and a dog for less than $215.

18. Visit Museums

Canada is abundant with captivating museums. Visit them to learn more about art, nature, and culture. The best part is you get admission or membership discounts if you’re over 65.

19. Start Scrapbooking

It’s the best time to relive memories and create new ones. So why not start a scrapbook to combine old and new experiences into a tangible reminder of your life’s journey?

20. Start Gardening

Research shows that gardening for four or more hours weekly improves your physical health and serves as a meaningful engagement in life’s activities. Both are essential aspects of successful aging.

21. Explore Nature

Exploring nature is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy yourself as a retiree. Try walking around parks, hiking mountains, or kayaking in the Great Lakes. Enjoy nature throughout the different seasons for the best experience.

22. Try Meditating

Meditating is another helpful activity to reduce stress and improve your mental health. You don’t need a fancy instrument to meditate, so try it at least once.

23. Watch Movies In Cinemas

Spend time watching movies in cinemas instead of at your home. It’s a great way to socialize and enjoy popcorn.

24. Create A Retirement Vision Board

This activity is similar to writing your yearly goals but more creative. Cut out magazines or print images to visualize how you want your retirement period to look. Achieving your goals is easier when you can visualize them.

25. Learn How To Save A Life

You never know what will happen at home or when you visit public places. Learn life-saving skills like CPR or first aid to respond quickly to emergencies. Many organizations, like Red Cross, offer courses that’ll help you save lives for less than $200.

Fun Things To Do When Retired and Bored

26. Switch Up Your Daily Routines

You no longer need a consistent daily routine from Monday to Friday. Feel free to switch up your patterns depending on your mood or goals.

27. Get to Know Your Neighbours

You may have been too busy to interact with your neighbours before, but befriending them now is an easy way to maintain social interactions. So engage in small talk or invite your neighbours to a summer barbeque session.

28. Try New Restaurants

Canada’s multicultural environment creates a diverse food scene. Try new restaurants whenever you’re free as an exciting way to explore cultures while socializing.

29. Travel To Places You’ve Always Wanted To Visit

Explore the places you’ve always dreamt of visiting. Whether that’s a country or just a nearby city, it’s never too late to be a curious traveller.

You can use these apps to book cheap flights or get discounts on Hopper.

30. Attend Live Performances

Attending performances like concerts or plays is another fun way to spend your extra time. Most venues offer discounts for seniors, making live performances a non-expensive way to connect with the arts and your community.

31. Write A Journal

Finish or start your days by writing a journal. Noting down extremely positive experiences has been proven to improve your overall mood.

32. Propagate Plants

Step up your gardening skills by propagating your plants. To try this activity indoors, collect succulents or other low-maintenance household plants.

33. Volunteer

Retirement is the perfect time to give back to your community. Check out your local volunteer groups to give a hand to nearby organizations. Or, if you want to take it to the next level, visit international volunteer websites to help other people abroad.

34. Improve Your Home

Instead of counting down hours in the workplace, you’ll spend most of your days at home. Take time to improve your house and focus on those home renovations you’ve been putting OFF.

35. Attend Reunions

You most likely have several reunions awaiting your attendance. Don’t skip them to keep in touch with your old friends, colleagues, and family.

36. Start A TV series

Start a TV series if you’re finding it hard to fight off hours of boredom daily. Netflix has dozens of titles that are over three seasons long. Starting one will keep you occupied for several days or even weeks.

37. Create A Budget Planner

Creating a budget planner is not only a practical activity but can also be fun. After all, sticking to your budget requires you to get creative with your meals, shopping, and trips.

38. Try New Teas Or Coffee Blends

Most of us start the day with warm tea or coffee. Allow more room for excitement in your mornings by experimenting with new flavours or blends of your favourite drink.

39. Start DIY Projects

Get in touch with your creative side by taking on new DIY projects. You might find new interests while saving money from buying new items.

40. Play Video Games

You might have been too busy with your career to try video games, but now you have all the time to relive your youth with this always-evolving form of entertainment.

41. Be Sporty

Playing sports is another inexpensive and fun task for retirees. There’s always a sport waiting for you, regardless of your current fitness level.

42. Go To Road Trips

Canada is famous for its scenic routes, perfect for road trips. So hit the road whenever you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Try the Cowboy Trail in Alberta or Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.

43. Enjoy Festivals

Joining festivals is one of the most fun things you can do when you retire. It’s a cultivating ground for music, food, and socialization. Age is just a number when having fun at festivals.

44. Upcycle Old Furniture

Get creative and turn old furniture into new personalized household items. It’s a time-consuming activity perfect for fending off boredom with a fulfilling reward awaiting.

What To Do After Retirement To Make Money

45. Offer Freelance Services

Use the skills you’ve developed over your career to offer freelance services. Your decades-long experience will make you in demand in the market.

46. Become A Tour Guide

If you love weekend getaways, chances are you’re knowledgeable about the popular destinations near you. Give being a tour guide a shot as an engaging and healthy way to earn extra income.

47. Be A Content Creator Online

Creating content online on platforms like TikTok or Youtube is another creative way to earn money. Once you have enough followers, you can monetize your videos to earn from advertisements. You might even get deals from established brands. 

48. Offer Dog-walking Services

If you love animals, walking dogs is a great stress-relieving part-time job. You get to meet furry friends daily, and when you get a solid customer base, you can increase your rates.

49. Be A Pet Sitter

Another thing you can do to earn money after retirement is to become a pet sitter. You’ll get paid to feed, cuddle, and watch pets do tricks or sleep all day. How cool is that?

50. Sell Handmade Crafts

Create crafts like home decor items and personalized accessories, then sell them online. Sales won’t come rushing in immediately, but if you establish your brand, you can become a full-time handmade crafts seller. 

51. Bake And Sell Desserts

Selling baked delicacies is one of the fastest and most exciting ways to earn money as a retiree. Market your creations to your friends, families, or neighbours and get extra income while having unlimited desserts in your pantry.

52. Look After Children

Babysitting is another excellent method to earn extra after retirement. With well-behaved kids, the work is relatively undemanding. You can guarantee to make at least minimum wage with minimal effort.

53. Start A Blog

Start a blog about your interests and earn money through advertising, product sales or affiliate links. You can learn how to start a blog that makes money.

54. Offer Coaching Services

Someone is out there yearning to learn from the first-hand experiences of long-term experts like you. Offer coaching services to teach what you’ve learned over your career. The best part is you can set your rates and working hours.

55. Become A Photographer

Turn your hobby into a career by becoming a photographer. You can either market your service or sell images.

56. Setup A Garage Sale

Declutter your home while earning cash by setting up a garage sale. There’s no need for fancy preparations. Just lay your used items on your front lawn. If you live in a building, the next activity is an alternative.

57. Sell Items Online

Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace are the garage sales of the internet. List your used goods on platforms like these and earn cash with minimal effort.

58. Find A Part-time Job

Retirement doesn’t necessarily mean you must stop working. Get a part-time job to socialize with colleagues without a 9-5 commitment.

59. Earn With Your Passion

You may have set aside your passion before to support yourself financially. However, now that you’re retired, you no longer have the same financial pressures. It’s time to try earning doing what you love.

60. Downsize Your Home

Sell your current home and buy a cheaper one. You can keep the difference in cash to supplement your savings.

61. Rent Out Spare Rooms

If you have spare rooms that your children used to occupy, consider renting them out to earn extra income. You’ll make money while having more company.

62. Become A Tutor

Try tutoring students in the subjects you used to excel in. With this fulfilling task, you can get extra income while helping others succeed.

63. Start Investing

Various investment options exist to grow your wealth. Some examples are stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Ensure to diversify your portfolio and consult professionals when investing to avoid the opposite outcome.

64. Drive For Uber Or Lyft

Consider earning money as an Uber Eats or Lyft driver. Some advantages are setting your schedule and enjoying small talk with various people.

65. Be A Translator

Earn money translating for live events or meetings if you know another language besides English.

66. Be A Film Extra

Why settle for watching movies when you can be part of one? Apply as an extra in talent agencies or casting websites. Earn money while seeing how films are made behind the scenes. 

67. Start Flipping Used Goods

Purchase cheap used items and markup their prices when you resell online. Flipping is a fun way to challenge your bargaining skills and train your eye for hidden treasures in garage sales.

Cheap and Fun Things To Do In Retirement To Stay Fit

68. Cook Healthy Meals

Creating healthy meals is a great place to start minding your health more as a retiree. Have fun with this activity by testing various cuisines and making your own recipes.

69. Take Daily Walks

Stay active and energized by taking daily strolls. Walk at your own pace or try brisk walking for more cardiovascular benefits.

70. Join A Fitness Class

Your health matters now more than ever. Join a fitness class near you. Or, if you prefer exercising in the comfort of your home, find classes online.

71. Take Up Yoga

Yoga is a very low-impact exercise, making it perfect for seniors. Invest in a yoga mat that costs as little as $10. Then, watch Youtube tutorials or join formal classes about this exercise.

72. Enrol In A Gym

Getting a gym membership is an easy way to hold yourself accountable for your health. Gyms are safe places to explore new exercises and build your confidence as a senior.

73. Join Fitness Challenges Online

You’ll often find fitness challenges in social media, like the 75-hard challenge by Andy Friseela. Try one to stay fit, and if you find a challenge too hard for your fitness level, feel free to add modifications.

74. Set Up A Fitness Routine

Contact a fitness instructor or find guides online to set up your fitness routine. Creating a workout plan that fits your lifestyle allows you to stay fit without compromising your time for other activities.

75. Try Different Dance Styles

Dancing isn’t just one of the most fun things to do in retirement. It’s also an activity that helps you stay active and healthy. Try out the different dance genres and move your body to stay fit.

76. Cycling

Many cities in Canada are incredibly bike-friendly. Take Vancouver, with its 400 km of bike lanes, for example. Cycle in and out of the town to sweat a little while enjoying your surroundings.

77. Go Hiking

Hiking is one of the best activities to enjoy different sceneries while remaining healthy. You don’t have to hike challenging climbs immediately. Start with scenic walks with gradual slopes and increase the difficulty over time.

78. Stretch

Flexibility helps you avoid injuries as you grow old. So join stretching classes or follow simple videos online to stretch your muscles.

79. Swimming

Swimming is another low-impact workout perfect for seniors with sensitive joints. Try paid or free community classes for this sport and invite other retirees to make this activity more fun.

80. Try Winter Activities

Apart from skiing, introduce yourself to winter activities like ice skating and snowshoeing. You’ll get a good workout without boring yourself out.

Hobbies To Do After Retirement

81. Painting

If your work wasn’t related to arts, chances are, it’s been years since you last held a paintbrush. Reunite with your brain’s creative side and learn to paint in your free time. 

82. Fishing

You can do this activity on the shore, kayak or ice. Just prepare fishing gear, bait, and a bucket of patience to catch your first fish.

83. Collecting

Collecting is a low-budget hobby any senior can enjoy. Decide on the items you like and start collecting them to know more about your interests and the world.

84. Playing An Instrument

Take this time to test an instrument you’ve always wanted to try. Or, if you already know how to play one, practice it more often to improve your musical skills further.

85. Pottery

If you like seeing the results of your effort, put pottery at the top of your to-do list after retirement. After hours of moulding, you’ll always have a bowl, mug, or decorative pieces as a reward.

86. Knitting

Knitting is a great skill to develop to give your friends and family creative gifts. There’s always something special about handmade knitted hats, scarves, or mittens.

87. Solving Puzzles

A study showed that puzzles enhance cognitive function linked to positive aging. So, if you’re looking for simple tasks to accomplish daily, check out both physical and online puzzles.

88. Writing

Writing is one of the best ways to express your thoughts and emotions. Try various forms of writing, including poetry, fiction, or memoirs.

89. Drawing

Drawing is another creative hobby to stay inspired and relax. Remember that perfection isn’t the goal of any art form. Try drawing, even if you’ve never been the best at this craft.

90. Graphic Designing

If you want to challenge your artistic skills, venture into graphic designing. You can draw using a graphic tablet or edit existing images into a new-looking output.

91. Singing

Sing in a choir, karaoke, or inside the shower. This activity is a fun way to entertain others and yourself. You don’t even need a microphone to get started.

92. Birdwatching

Canada has some of the best spots to watch the annual spring migration of birds. Join thousands of retirees in their birdwatching hobbies. It’s a great way to socialize while enjoying nature.

Related: Hobbies That Make Money.

What To Do When You’ve Retired Early 

Many adults wonder, “What should I do when I retire at 55?” but the answer isn’t that complicated. The rest of this list gives you an idea of the best activities you can try when retiring early.

93. Relocate Somewhere New

Take this well-deserved time of freedom as an opportunity to live in a new environment. If you’ve lived in the city until now, try staying in the suburbs or vice versa. You’ll be surprised with the version of yourself you’ll unlock in a new place or country.

94. Experiment With Your Fashion

There are no more office norms or dress codes holding you back. So experiment with your fashion style and incorporate patterns and colours you’ve always wanted to wear.

95. Go Back To Studying

Consider taking classes about subjects you’re passionate about. Studying is a great activity to keep yourself busy, and if you want to get back into the workforce, it’s not too late to start a new career after your studies.

96. Start Dating

If you’re interested in finding a partner, your retirement is the perfect time to start dating. You have all the time in the world to get to know new people and leisurely enjoy.

97. Be More Political

Retirement allows you to make a difference. So dedicate time to some political causes or activities you’re passionate about.

98. Learn More About Your Culture

Whether or not you’re part of a generation of immigrants, you likely still don’t know some things about your cultural heritage. Take time to learn more about your roots or visit your ancestral homeland.

99. Grow Your Food

Consider growing your crops as an early retiree. You have plenty of energy and time now that you’re out of the workforce. Reward yourself by eating fresh and healthy vegetables you grew yourself.

100. Cruise The World

Do you want to travel without stressful planning and itineraries? Cruise the world in your early retirement phase. Choose one with a theme that interests you for the best experience.

101. Ask Your Loved Ones For Suggestions

You don’t have to plan every retirement activity alone. Ask your friends and family what fun things they’d like to do with you. Doing this keeps your loved ones involved in your life, and it’s also a healthy way to force you out of your comfort zone.


What should you not do in retirement?

You shouldn’t make unwise investments in retirement. Although investing can potentially increase your wealth, it could cause the opposite if you do it without careful consideration.

What is the best age to retire?

There’s no retirement age that’s best for everyone. You should plan your retirement based on your financial standing, health, and plans for the future, not just your age.

What are the signs that you should retire?

Reaching your retirement saving goals, being eligible for retirement benefits, and wanting a lifestyle change are all signs that you should retire. Declining health is also a deciding factor for some people.

What are the golden years of retirement?

The golden years of retirement refer to ages 65 until 80. This phase is called “golden” as it allows you to pursue your interests and dreams without financial burdens.

Related: 75 Cheap Date Ideas in Canada.


Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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