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25 Ways to Make Retirement More Fulfilling

Retirement can be an opportunity for a new phase of life. In retirement, you’ll most likely have more freedom than you’ve ever experienced. You get to live life on your terms with no boss and no limit to vacation time. In addition, as you transition into retirement, you’ll literally get to redefine what retirement means to you. This can be both overwhelming and incredibly fun. Below you’ll find 25 ways to thrive during your retirement years (by no means is this list exhaustive).

  1. Don’t procrastinate – Today is the day. The past is history and the future is mystery. I like to categorize retirement into 3 parts: family, fulfillment, and finances. Obviously you don’t have to start with all 3. Just pick something, take action, and experiment with the new you.
  2. Reach out to old friends – Over the years, we’ve all been touched by good people who have made a meaningful difference in our lives. Reach out and say thanks and connect. You might just be the answer to someone’s prayer.
  3. Try a new hobby – What have you wanted to do that you’ve never got around to doing? What have you wanted to try but never found the time? Now’s the time to try painting, golfing, pottery, the guitar, pickleball, yoga or even hula dancing. You might even like it enough that it becomes a regular part of your life.
  4. Focus on your family – What does family mean to you? Who do you consider family? What’s the next step in making these relationships even more powerful? Do you need to do something as a group or something one-on-one? You got this! You’ll be glad you did.
  5. Protect your hard-earned resources – You’ve worked hard and saved hard. Now is not the time to be taking on new risk with all your investment assets. Make sure a portion of your assets are protected from downturns in the market and economy. You’ll sleep better at night when your financial plan works in both up and down markets. If your plan only works in up markets, I’d suggest making adjustments.
  6. Visit a friend or family member who is sick – Research indicates that the more connected you feel to others, the less anxiety and depression you’ll experience. This may help them and you.
  7. Take on a project – Projects are bigger than to do lists and will almost always take longer than a day. You could build something, paint some rooms of your house, do a food drive for the food bank, or collect coats for those less fortunate.
  8. Take a child or grandchild to lunch – Do you have several children or grandchildren? What would happen if you took various family members out monthly or even weekly. There is nothing like sharing a meal to have those close to you open up and share.
  9. Be proactive about your taxes – Most of us like the good kind of surprises but rarely do we like a tax surprise around April. Often people hire tax professionals to look back at the previous year to file taxes. Instead, work with your tax professional and financial planner to create a plan that looks forward. Donate to causes you care about instead of Uncle Sam.
  10. Volunteer – How can you get involved in your community? Many organizations are more than happy to have volunteers who are willing to roll up their shirt sleeves. Find a cause that you want to support and make a difference. You’ll be glad you did.
  11. Take an unplanned getaway – Where could you go to explore, get a change of scenery, or even visit someone you care about? It doesn’t have to be a long trip but a weekend away can keep the cobwebs away.
  12. Take a class – Is there a skill, hobby, or language you’ve always wanted to learn more about? Find local community classes offered through the high school, community college, or community center. A class can sharpen your mind and awaken your creativity, no matter your age.
  13. Make amends – Is there a relationship that needs healing in your life? Is there someone you know you need to talk to but have avoided. While it can be extremely uncomfortable to take on awkward conversations, forgiveness can bring balm to the soul.
  14. Put an income plan in place – Making the jump from working to retirement can be made much more difficult if you don’t have a clear income plan that answers questions such as when you’ll take Social Security and how to maximize the benefit, how to turn you retirement investments such as a 401(k) into income, and how to not run out of money.
  15. Have a grandpa’s or grandma’s camp – As a grandparent, you have the unique opportunity to influence your grandchildren in profound ways. Have you ever thought of holding a weekend get together with a purpose. You can have fun, play games, tell stories, and share your values. It can be incredibly powerful and meaningful.
  16. Start a new business – If you have an idea for business, why not start now? It doesn’t have to be something that requires an intense amount of time or money but can be something you’re passionate about and know would make other people happy.
  17. Phase into retirement or work part-time – Retirement isn’t about all or nothing. I have several clients who are retiring in phases. This is how it works. Instead of going from working full-time to retirement full-time, you continue to work part-time. Not all careers allow you to do this but many do, often in a consulting capacity. You could even work part-time doing something that keeps you busy or that you’re passionate about.
  18. Get outdoors – Can you go to the mountains or the beach? Getting outdoors regularly can be energizing and get you exercise. Even though you’re getting older, you don’t have to feel your age.
  19. Share life lessons – Start to write down experiences from your life. Where did you go to school? What was your family life like growing up? What were your favorite vacations? Who was your first love? What advice would you give to your 20 year-old self? How can you share these experiences with those you love?
  20. Have a plan to pay for health care – Many families will have assisted living or other major expenses. How will you pay for these? Knowing how you will pay for health care expenses can take major stress off of your shoulders and make retirement much more enjoyable.
  21. Try gardening – Whether you grow your own herbs, flowers, or vegetable garden, getting your hands in the dirt can be grounding and enjoyable.
  22. Visit a national park you haven’t visited – Getting away and experiencing nature can be awe inspiring and create powerful memories. Where would you like to go? Go have some fun.
  23. Learn a new language – Is there a language you really want to learn? Start today by downloading popular apps to your phone such as Duolingo, Memrise, or Babbel.
  24. Tell your family how much you love them (often) – Some families don’t often use the love word but it can have a powerful and uniting effect. Who needs to hear that you love them. Maybe it’s implied but saying it and hearing it can make a meaningful difference. Start today!
  25. Learn a musical instrument – Have you wanted to play the guitar, piano, or even the harmonica? With access to online classes, apps, and teachers, learning an instrument has never been easier.


  • Choose one thing from the list above and get started.
  • If you would like to sit down and discuss your Social Security benefits, your assets, and create a plan on when to retire, call us at 801-810-8434 or go to and click on get started to learn more. 
  • Thrive Retirement Planning is a holistic fiduciary firm and we can meet with you either in person or virtually.