What Hobbies Are On Your Retirement Bucket List?

Remember going to a craft and hobby show, or looking through a magazine, and seeing in your mind’s eye all those great projects you could make? Or watching the sports channel and dreaming about aces, holes-in-one, or the salmon you could catch?

When most of us imagine retirement, our minds wander to what we’ll get to do at that time that we don’t have time for now. It’s a chance to do things you’ve put off all those years while working and caring for family. After all, that’s what makes the decades of saving worthwhile.

Related: What’s all this retirement planning for, anyway?

Planning for leisure time in the future can be challenging. If you’re a few years away from retirement it may be hard to know precisely what you’ll want to do with yourself. Your loosened time frame will open up a lot of freedom.

What Hobbies Are On Your Retirement Bucket List?

What hobbies have you always wanted to try?

Many retirees think this is a time to rekindle an interest in an old hobby or start a new one. A good hobby is entertaining, fulfilling and will enhance your life – but they can also be very expensive.

Before you know it, you’ve bought all that expensive equipment and enough gadgets and accessories to fill a small room.

Related: 10 useless kitchen gadgets

It’s easy for us who share the impulsive gene to make snap decisions, and before we know it we’ve brought home the huge stack of scrapbooking supplies that never make it out of the bag. This is what happened to a friend of mine who bought hundreds of dollars worth of paper, stencils, scissors and trimmings, etc. She stuffed everything into a closet, and as far as I know, it’s still there.

Hobbies need time to master and a lot of practice before you become an expert, or even just skillful. What if your initial attempts are disappointing and you find out you’re just not into it?

So, instead of waiting until retirement to jump in with both feet, sign up for a class to check out a new hobby while you’re still working.  A few sessions will tell you how committed you are to the craft. Then if you decide it’s a go, look for equipment and supplies on eBay or similar sites. You’ll be amazed at what you can find for sale by others who got a bit too ambitious and bought the whole caboodle. It might be a good idea to make that financial commitment while you are still earning a salary.

When you consider that enough yarn to knit a sweater can cost $75 or more, a digital camera with removable lenses can cost over $1000 and scuba diving equipment up to $2000 (and how long will local lakes be enough before you want to travel to some exotic location?), looking before you take the leap will keep hundreds, if not thousands in your wallet.

Final thoughts

Hobbies can be relaxing, contribute to your lifestyle, and be a great way to get together with like-minded friends. By all means, enjoy them. Have fun. If your budget can handle it and the hobby brings you pleasure, it can be money well spent. Some people even turn their hobbies into a lucrative side business.

But many times the dream is a lot better than the reality.

Don’t waste your money on something that may seem like a good idea without further investigation. Other people might thoroughly enjoy an activity, but maybe it’s just not for you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. John on October 11, 2017 at 5:43 am

    I agree, a hobby is ideally something you always liked to and already doing but can’t spend enough time on because of work commitments. Now when you finally retire you can spend all the time you ever wanted on your projects. Before you know it you have another “job”. Maybe something to teach or sell.

    • boomer on October 11, 2017 at 9:32 am

      I agree John. But, if you are thinking of downsizing your home, be mindful of space requirements. Our hobbies took up quite a bit of room that we no longer have in our small apartment and our supplies are now in the storage area. We’re thinking about what else we’d like to try.

  2. Mrs. Picky Pincher on October 11, 2017 at 7:57 am

    I’ve been trying to live like I’m retired while doing my mandatory 9-to-5 job. I can’t think of any additional hobbies I’d like to try, but I know that during early retirement I would certainly have more time to focus on my hobbies! I love writing, but I’d also do crafting, scrapbooking, and gardening.

    • boomer on October 11, 2017 at 9:34 am

      That’s a great idea. Looks like you’re going to be busier than ever when you finally hand in that name tag.

  3. Dennis on October 11, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Pick up that instrument you ditched years ago? But looking at the benefits of playing an instrument, you may want to start now. http://www.effectivemusicteaching.com/articles/directors/18-benefits-of-playing-a-musical-instrument/

    • boomer on October 11, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Good idea Dennis. My sister-in-law just retired and she always wanted to learn how to play the piano. She’s loving her lessons and wishes she had started earlier.

  4. Cheryl on October 11, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I can’t think of any new hobbies at this time. I’m not interested in camping, crafts, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, home projects or gardening. I like to spend more time on photography and maybe take up bird watching. Spend more time with my horses and dogs. I could drag out my old coin and stamp collections and get them going again. I think mostly it’ll be more time doing things I already enjoy.

  5. Dennis on October 12, 2017 at 4:56 am

    Many retirees take the opportunity of “free” time to volunteer. Opportunities are endless … I have met volunteers in hospitals, the zoo, historical sites etc. Depending on your former career, or interests, you could be secretary, treasurer, or general dogsbody for some organization. The only “danger” is that you would be “taking” paid jobs or entry level jobs usually staffed by younger citizens.

  6. Denis on October 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

    I took up tennis, badminton which I now love,

    travel ( 5 times last 13 months) and

    investing my money (which 1. takes as much time as a job and 2. is quite lucrative as I have much more money than when I retired and 3. puts my accounting degree to good use that I really had not used before).

Leave a Comment

Join More Than 10,000 Subscribers!

Sign up now and get our free e-Book- Financial Management by the Decade - plus new financial tips and money stories delivered to your inbox every week.