Long list of things to do when you retire

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Ways to answer the question of, "But what will I do all day?" with something else than "Whatever I feel like"

Unless you look close to being the traditional retirement, a good way to avoid awkward conversations is to model them on the following conversation:

A: "What do you do for a living?"

B: "I < insert activity from below >"

A: "Can you really make a living from that?"

B: "Hard to say, but I saved a lot of money while I was a <insert the job you retired from>"

At this point, people will either ask for details in which case you can start talking about how investing for financial independence works or they'll start talking about something else.

Early Retirement Extreme 21-Day Makeover Day 5: Find a free hobby

In no particular order (but let's try to make this list as long as possible). Also, if possible, it would be helpful to write a short introduction page on how to get started for each of these activities.

Sports/Physical Activities

  • Go fishing
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Hike the Appalachian trail
  • Hike every nature trail within a 2 hour radius
  • Run ultramarathons
  • Become a martial arts black belt
  • Win an amateur bodybuilding championship
  • Coach soccer
  • Swim across a large body of water
  • Go canoeing
  • Go kayaking
  • Go surfing
  • Go stand-up paddle boarding
  • Get in shape
  • Go geocaching (requires a GPS)
  • Learn how to rollerskate
  • Learn scuba-diving or freediving
  • Fly kites
  • Go kitesurfing
  • Juggling

Creative activities

  • Draw pictures
  • Learn ceramics or throwing on a pottery wheel
  • Learn to sculpture
  • Learn photography
  • Take a photo per day
  • Edit photographs digitally (Photoshop)
  • Publish artwork online (e.g. DeviantArt.com)
  • Learn a musical instrument
  • Join a band and jam
  • Improve your singing and learn new songs
  • Write your own songs
  • Paint your own wall art
  • Study interior design
  • Write a book, blog, or play
  • Create a comic book
  • Knit
  • Crochet
  • Needlepoint
  • Design and make clothes
  • Make a quilt
  • Write a memoir
  • Record some memories and anecdotes from elders in the community
  • Host a podcast
  • Cultivate bonsai trees
  • Create/improve your garden
  • Try new recipes
  • Write, produce and direct a film
  • Produce short movies, or vlog
  • Start a Youtube channel based on your interests
  • Woodworking/carpentry
  • Wood carving

Social Activities

  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Meet my working friends at their jobs on weekdays with a picnic lunch
  • Throw more parties
  • Write more letters
  • Join a book club
  • Volunteer to do social activities with other people
  • Find a partner
  • Join a club (for example a chess club)
  • Host couchsurfers

Spiritual Activities

  • Meditate
  • Attain enlightenment
  • Make a pilgrimage
  • Help other people (volunteer)

Intellectual Activities

  • Read the classics
  • Sit in on college lectures and audit classes
  • Learn a new language; travel to where it's spoken
  • Get a PhD
  • Offer free help to a scholar working on an interesting subject
  • Play chess
  • Play Go
  • Work crossword and other puzzles; create puzzles

Second Careers/Volunteering/Semi-Retirement

  • Volunteer at the library
  • Go into politics
  • Become a mentor for start-up entrepreneurs
  • Develop open source software
  • Become a visiting professor
  • Open a bar
  • Open a coffeeshop
  • Become a tour guide for your favorite place
  • Drive the SAG wagon for amateur cyclists
  • Become an activist for a cause you care about
  • Become a movie star or an extra
  • Join the road crew of your favorite band
  • Tutor students
  • Teach English (or other language) abroad
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter:
    • Walking dogs
    • Socializing cats
    • Cleaning cages
  • Sell your crafts on Etsy
  • Become a quant trader/researcher


  • Make a bucket list and start doing all the things on it
  • Make bird houses
  • Become a master gardener
  • Become an expert Starcraft player
  • Sail, backpack, walk[1] or cycle around the world[2]
  • Enter ham radio competitions (contact every state, etc.)
  • Read trashy novels
  • Have a lot of sex while your body is still in full working order
  • Fix up cars or motorcycles
  • Build a boat
  • Build a log cabin
  • Research your family tree
  • Watch birds
  • Amateur astronomy
  • Finally get adequate sleep
  • Become as healthy as possible
  • Build the Gingery series, a metal working workshop from scratch[3]
  • Keep the house cleaner (ambiguous phrasing :-D )
  • Save the world
  • Rebuild civilization from scratch
  • Live very well without money for a year
  • Go to the top of a high building and throw away $100.000
  • Burn $100.000 on a public place
  • Spend the last day in the job speaking all the truth to clients