Bored in retirement? How can that be? In the last six months before I retired and moved out of the country, I can’t tell you the number of times I heard “I could never retire, I’d be bored,” or “you’re not going to work anymore? You’re so young, what are you going to do with all your time”. There were about fifty other comments that all said the same thing. If you don’t go to work every day, the only other thing to do is sit around and watch television. So I’m here to tell you that I’m retired, and I don’t sit around and watch TV all day. In fact, I watch less TV in retirement than I did when I was working.
I always found these comments strange. It implied that people didn’t have anything else they wanted to do but work. Don’t get me wrong. I liked my job. I enjoyed going to work every day. But there were a lot more fun things I’d rather have been doing. Many of the things I wanted to do I hadn’t done yet because I needed time. So retirement was the perfect opportunity to do all those things I’ve always wanted to try and do more of the things I was already doing. I knew I’d never be bored in retirement.
And not everything takes a lot of money to do. Sure it takes money to travel which is one of the biggest things most newly retired people do. But there are a lot of inexpensive and free things you can do to keep busy. You’d be surprised at how many people haven’t visited local tourist places right in their hometown with many of them being free. Since our retirement, we are busier than ever. Besides travel, we have a very busy social life. We meet new people all the time. Where we live, there is a lot of artistic and musical culture. So just about any given week, there’s a free art showing/opening event or some free musical event. Both are great places to socialize and meet amazing people. There are also opening of stores or restaurants. Another great place to meet people and stay active and healthy is at a gym. Join a gym that has classes of some sort. You just need to get out and not sit at home, and you will meet people. In fact, I’m writing this article in a coffee shop and just spent about 20 minutes talking to someone new who asked if I was a writer. It’s amazing what a smile can do as a conversation starter.
So few people nowadays have hobbies. Hobbies are great things to do even more of in retirement. Or if you don’t have a hobby, try something new. I’m taking art lessons now. I never drew or painted in my entire life. Being a very analytical guy, who would have thought I had a creative bone in my body. But after just four months of lessons, I was producing some pretty good work. I started with drawing and then moved into acrylic and watercolor painting. People have even offered to buy my paintings. So my point is that you never know what you are capable of until you try. You can see my drawing and paintings by clicking HERE.
Something else my wife and I did when we arrived in Cuenca was learned to play bridge. Bridge is a very difficult card game but now we love it. Studies show that it improves your memory and helps stave off dementia. So it’s a winner in many ways. There are also groups here that play poker and canasta. Something else I planned on doing was fly fish. I bought new gear but I haven’t used it yet. I’ve been just too busy. But someday I’m going to get out there with the local fishing club and do something I’ve only done twice in my life but really enjoyed. That’s what retirement is all about.
Start planning now. Make a list of things you always wanted to do or a place you’ve wanted to visit. Your list will grow quickly and hopefully; you will lose that feeling of thinking you’ll be bored in retirement. Remember, life can be short so make the most of it.
I'm an early retiree that now lives in Cuenca, Ecuador. I was an executive in Health Care Information Technology most of my career. My wife and I love to travel and have ventured all over the world. Now that we are retired, more adventures are on the horizon.