25 Things to Do as a Senior: Your Life Doesn’t End at 65
You’ve reached the age of 65. If you are in decent health and still have an adventuresome spirit, there are some things that you might want to consider doing, some activities or adventures that you might want to pursue. We’ve created a “master list” of things people can consider doing once in their Golden Years.
Understanding that people come from different walks of life with varying interests, different budgets, and so forth, this list has been broadly created to include a significant variety of options and opportunities. Some may be for you, some not so much.
In addition, this list is hardly complete. There are so many different things that older individuals can do in this day and age. If nothing else, items mentioned in this list might spark thoughts in your mind about activities and adventures you might think of after reading this article. You might have a bucket list that you created long ago … and this article might inspire you to pull it out and work on it!
1. Travel: Your Golden Years can be the perfect time to visit those places you’ve always wanted to see and did not have the time to enjoy. By doing a bit of homework, you can find travel adventures that fit your budget and pique your interest. These very well may include trips inside the United States and perhaps some international destinations. Keep in mind that there are always different types of group trips designed for seniors being organized.
2. Travel virtually: If physically traveling is a problem, online tools like Google Earth and 360 Cities let you see the world from the comfort of home. You literally can go anywhere in the world virtually
3. Start a business: Consider using your career experience to start a consulting firm. Or turn a passion for cooking into a catering business. Or walk dogs for people who are at work all day. Or make and sell crafts on Etsy. There is a myriad of possibilities in this regard. If having your own small business has always been a lifelong dream, you really might enjoy taking the opportunity at this juncture in your life to give it a go.
4. Get a part-time job: If you miss the workplace, find a fun part-time job with a company you love. It’ll bring in some extra income and give you a place to socialize and meet new people. And do not be afraid to consider some part-time job that is far and away from what you did previously in the workaday world.
5. Be a mentor: Many young people couldn’t care less about your age and care more about learning from someone with similar interests. There are programs where you can mentor youth at a school or community center and online. There are also organizations like the Boys and Girls Club that are always seeking assistance from mentors.
6. Join a book club: Book clubs can encourage you to read books you otherwise wouldn’t, and they can open new doors to friendships and enlightening discussions.
7. Volunteer: From helping at libraries and food pantries to coaching youth sports and acting as a docent at museums, there are endless ways to make a difference in your community. If you are wondering where you might consider volunteering, check out Volunteer Match for ideas.
8. Learn a foreign language: Learning a second language will keep your mind sharp and may help prevent dementia. And it’s never been easier with online courses such as Rosetta Stone, apps like Babbel, and classes at your community center. Pursuing a second language is also apt to lower the risk of cognitive decline or stave off memory issues for a more extended period.
9. Explore your family history: It’s interesting to learn where you’re perched on your family tree and who’s connected to whom. As you research your lineage, you might discover new family connections and hear stories from relatives that you can pass on to new generations.
10. Play a musical instrument: If you’ve always wanted to play the piano or guitar, now’s the time to learn how. It’s a great way to express yourself creatively. Plus, it will reduce stress, engage your mind and lift your spirits. Learning an instrument is also a way to lower the risk of cognitive decline or delay its onset.
11. Start a garden: Exercise, fresh air, not to mention fresh flowers and produce. If you don’t have space in your yard, check out community gardens in your area. Even assisted living communities like Mom’s Garden incorporate gardening into their offerings for residents.
12. Run a marathon: Train for it and do it. Or walk 26.2 miles. Or set a timetable to walk the marathon distance. In the alternative, train for and run or walk in a 5K event. These types of events tend to occur at different times of the year in many different communities across the United States. Before embarking on such endeavors, check with your doctor if you are medically qualified to do this.
13. Practice yoga: Strength and balance are essential for an active lifestyle, and yoga can improve both. There are videos online and classes at most fitness centers designed for seniors. If you’re really into it, consider a yoga retreat.
14. Join a walking group: Walking is one of the easiest ways to get moving. So why not recruit a few friends or neighbors and get started? Community centers, parks & recreation departments, or your local YMCA may also have walking programs you can join.
15. Sew, knit, crochet, or quilt: These crafts will keep your hands busy and your mind calm. There’s something about the repetitive motion of crafts that regulates stress. Crafts like quilting have also been shown to improve cognitive, creative, and emotional well-being. Do it with others, and it can turn into a social activity too. You can also make a difference in your community by donating your completed projects to a nonprofit.
16. Swim the Channel: It’s 21 miles from Dover, England, to Calais, France. Why not set a timetable to accumulate 21 miles of swimming at your local pool? Say, swim 21 miles in a month, two weeks, or a week? You certainly can do this at whatever pace makes the most sense for you.
17. Overcome your fear of public speaking: Don’t let your fear of public speaking prevent you from doing it. Like most things, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Your local Toastmasters Club is a great place to start. They offer opportunities to practice public speaking so you can get comfortable in front of an audience.
18. Learn to tango: It’s good to keep moving as you age and enjoyable if you can do it with a partner on the dance floor. Learning new dance steps like the tango is good for your mind, balance, and social life. And it can be marvelous exercise.
19. Start a woodworking project: Few things are as satisfying as crafting beautiful objects with your own hands. If you don’t have access to a woodworking shop, there are simple projects you can make, such as a birdhouse or a picture frame. Plans are readily available online.
20. Ride a bike: Cycling is a great, low-impact way to stay fit. If you don’t own a bike, you may be able to rent one if there’s a bike share program in your area. Ask your local bike shop for suggestions. Find out if there are bike education classes that offer easy group rides to get you started. Ensure you obtain proper safety gear before taking off on biking adventures.
21. Learn to brew beer: Homebrewing is a popular hobby among seniors. It is easy and fun to learn. Home brewing only takes up a little space. You can share the results with other beer lovers, with other family members, and with your friends. Local homebrew clubs and books available at your library are good places to start.
22. Take a cooking class: A cooking class can add spice to your life, sharpen your culinary skills and improve the quality of your meals. Ask your community center about in-person classes near you. You can also explore online classes available through venues like Udemy and Rouxbe.
23. Go camping: You don’t have to splurge on an RV to camp in comfort. Folding chairs, cots, and a tent will help you feel at home at any county, state, or national park. Seniors also get a discount at many parks.
24. Drive a race car: If putting the pedal to the metal gets your motor running, there are racing schools that’ll teach you how to master the track safely at high speed. Cars vary from Corvettes to formula racing cars.
25. Go skydiving: It’s not for everybody. Make sure you get your doctor’s approval upfront. This might even be something you put on your bucket list some years ago. For a surprising number of seniors, skydiving proves to be the ultimate thrill for some seniors. Remember that President George H.W. Bush gave parachuting a go to celebrate his 90th birthday.
Again, not all items on this list are for everyone. You likely will find at least a few things here that are of interest to you. As mentioned previously, this list may also spark your imagination or entice you to revisit a bucket list prepared some time ago.