From the beginning, Baby Boomers have been “game-changers”. We talked a lot about changing the world. And we did! Just the presence of so many millions of us changed virtually every aspect of life. We have always been unique. So why shouldn’t our top retirement activities be just as unique?
Ten years ago, I would have been happy to think about playing bridge and golf almost every day, as many of my friends have done. But to be honest, those things would bore me now. First, I haven’t played golf in decades. And to get back to some reasonable level of competence would take several years of frustration. Second, some new activities have been developed with Seniors in mind – like pickleball.
In Panama, many of my friends are playing pickleball several times a week. In retirement communities like Hot Springs Village, there are now courts designed specifically for Pickleball. Prior to that, players had to fight for space and modifications on tennis courts to work. Pickleball is perfect for retirees because we don’t have to pretend that we like running all over the tennis court. And we can play for an hour or two and then go do something else.
Our Top Retirement Activities Don’t Have to Be Traditional
My wife and I are Boomers, in fact right in the middle of the pack. We retired at the end of 2015, and we have been on an adventure ever since. And like many fellow Boomers, our desires have gravitated towards making these last years count. In our travels, we have met many new friends who moved to new locations and found fulfillment in giving of their time to make others’ lives more enjoyable.
For example, we have retired friends in several Latin American countries working as part-time missionaries. They live in comfortable homes in nice communities with many American friends. And several times a week they visit less fortunate people bringing food, fresh water, and playing with children. They also distribute clothes, Bibles, other books, and generally make life a little easier for their fellow man. If they are physically able, these retirees from North America and other “Western” countries often help build homes and even churches and schools in their new communities.
The “New” Top Retirement Activities
But I have also been researching this topic to see what others are saying. And it is amazing how certain activities seem to appear on many, if not most lists. So after reading about 30 articles talking about what to do and not do in retirement, I put together my “Top 7 List”. The 7 top retirement activities of the Boomer Generation. Some of them will definitely surprise you just like they surprised us.
The 7 Top Retirement Activities for Boomers
I doubt this surprises anyone who knows anything about our generation. Americans, and especially our generation, have always loved seeing and experiencing new places. But there are two special things that make this even more enjoyable in retirement:
- First, there is no hurry to get back to work. You can take your time. Spend a month or longer and really get the feel of a place. If you’re going outside the USA, most countries will let you stay for 3 months with just your passport.
- Second, you would be amazed by how inexpensive it is to travel to and live for several months in many countries around the world. Perhaps not Western European countries, but Southeast Asia and Latin America are two areas where the cost of living can be as little as 1/5th the cost in the US. And in many of them, there is no need for a car. Public transportation is excellent, cheap and safe. And often times you can just walk to restaurants, stores, and even shopping malls.
Work or Start a Business
Yes, I said work. Some of the articles say “get a job”. But many more say “start a business”. Many retirees were not able to save the recommended $1 million USD so that interest and dividend income would supplement their Social Security. They have no choice but to find some means to cover the rest of their living expenses. But that doesn’t mean commuting back and forth to a job. Today there are tens of millions of people all over the world working online or “telecommuting”. There are real opportunities available to make substantial additional income from the comfort of your home. Later in this article, I will share with you what I think is the best way to accomplish this goal.
Teach or Mentor
Another of the top retirement activities for Boomers is to teach or mentor. Why let all this experience and training go to waste? There are plenty of people in North America and other parts of the world who still value what we have to contribute, and would be grateful for our assistance. And it feels good to give younger people a leg up on their journey through life.
Learn Something New
Right alongside teaching is to learn something new. Especially if learning something new keeps our minds healthy and active. In my case, I am learning Spanish. And it is about time because my wife and I have lived in Latin America for over 3 years. Other examples include anything related to the internet, new hobbies like photography, and gardening, or a new sport like Pickleball. [I just got invited to join a ping pong group. I haven’t played that in years, but at one point I was pretty good.]
And in the internet vein, have you seen all those YouTube Videos? You could definitely learn how to create and share videos. And you might even make a few bucks in the process.
I mentioned this earlier, but volunteering is very popular. This could also include any form of public service. We have lots of time on our hands. There is only so much TV you can watch. Giving some of that time to help others less fortunate than we are is a great way to spend your retirement.
Fitness is high on the list of top retirement activities for many seniors. All these new apps and wearables that count steps, stairs, calories, and everything else you do are addicting for many of my friends. We used to wear the wrist bands, now we just look at the “heart” app on our phone. Every little thing our generation can do to stay fit will ultimately improve and maybe even extend our lives.
Spending Time with Friends and Family
The last of the top retirement activities is spending time with friends and family. For so many years, it seems like our whole lives were about work. Often there was not much left to do anything else. Now we savor the time we have to really get to know our old friends as well as the new friends we make in all these new activities. And even though many of our family members are still consumed by work and taking care of children, we can make their lives and ours a little better by helping.
Our smartphones help a great deal with this. Through Facebook, we have reached out, found and renewed friendships with many of our friends from college days. We have long-running conversations and find out all sorts of things about their lives in the last 40+ years. And no matter where we are, we have instant communication with our family and friends through WhatsApp, messenger, and various Facebook groups and pages.
Top Retirement Activities – Part 2
The 2nd activity mentioned was “Work or Start a Business”. Why? Many need the money. Statistics say that over 50% of Boomers don’t have nearly enough savings to cover the difference between Social Security and their monthly living expenses. So one way or another, they have to make up the difference.
Others can’t figure out how to deal with all that time they now have. After a while, they get bored and need something to do. Others have been waiting their whole life for a chance to be their own boss, make their own way, and see how they do. And finally, there are those who want to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren.
Regardless of the reason, there will be a lot of Boomers out there Making Money Retired. I said I wanted to share my opinion about the best way to achieve that. So if you would permit me, I will take a few more minutes to share. Of course, I’m talking about starting an online business that you can do from home. Millions of people have done it. I have done it. The other day I had a conversation with an 85-year-old retired Car dealer in Australia who is doing it. So why not you?
There is a lot of free information available on the web about blogging. But let me ask you – How long do you have to try and figure it out on your own for free? Do you have 3 or more years to find a bunch of ways that don’t work? No, you don’t. And neither did I. The big question is “Who can you trust? I have that answer.
Before we go any further, here is your BIG WARNING. If anyone tells you they have the answer to make quick money on the web, Run Away! There are many scam artists out there interested in parting you from your money.
There is a great deal to learn to create an online business. But the good news is you don’t have to spend much at all to get started. You probably already have a laptop, smartphone, and a fast dependable internet connection. What you need is an already clear, comprehensive system that has everything you could possibly need to start from where you are and take you to a profit-making, professional-looking website full of interesting and compelling content that draws many visitors to your site. And you also need popular products, services or information which you can promote on your site.
Wealthy Affiliate is that company.
Kyle, Carson, and the entire Wealthy Affiliate Community of online entrepreneurs offer a turnkey program that will get you where you need and want to go. Along the way, you will create a solid small business working from home, wherever in the world that is. Here are the key ingredients you get with your Premium Membership:
- World-Class Training. And lots of it! This also includes the very popular weekly Live Training with Q&A
- Best Tools to Build Professional-Looking Websites
- Free Website Hosting
- Easy Access to Thousands of Fellow Entrepreneurs for Assistance and Encouragement
- Access to the company cofounders, Kyle and Carson
- The Best Keyword Research Tool on the Planet
Start for Free!
There is also a “Starter Membership”. This allows you to start for free – No credit card information required. And there is no time limit. Take as long as you like before upgrading to premium. The Starter Membership will help you build two completely free websites. You could even make money on those sites.
If and when you do upgrade to Premium Membership, the cost is very reasonable, as low as $49 per month, or take the annual membership for only $359. That is the way I pay for mine.
You Are Retired, So Take Some of That Time and Think!
Remember your thoughts about retirement, about what it would be like, about what you would do, and how you thought you would feel. Make sure you don’t forget those thoughts and dreams. Make a list. Write down those thoughts. There are probably several that you haven’t thought about for many years.
Retirement should be about looking forward. Based on those thoughts and dreams, you have a life to plan. Might I suggest you start by “planting a tree”? You are planning to be here a long time – long enough to see that tree grow tall and wide.
And try joining Wealthy Affiliate and start a blog. You will be surprised how enjoyable it is, how much you learn, and how many new friends you make. And you might just make some money along the way. Click one of the links on this page, then start your free membership and go for it!
Kyle and Carson, the entire Wealthy Affiliate Community, and I will be with you every step of the way.