Things to Do When Retired and Bored

Here are 12 ways to prepare now for retirement so that you’ll be happy, active, fulfilled and never, ever bored.

Happy women with long white hair blowing in the wind
(Image credit: Getty Images)

7,300 days.

175,200 hours.

10,512,000 minutes.

That is the amount of time you can expect to have in retirement, considering the average length of retirement is approximately 20 years.

How will you spend all of that newfound free time?

Without a sense of purpose, the risk of dissatisfaction increases, and what should be a meaningful time becomes an anxious or uninspiring one. The average retiree in Britain grew bored after just one year, according to a U.K. survey. Of course, many retirees go back to work because they feel that Social Security benefits are not keeping up with their expenses, for example. 

But economic forces are just one factor in the trend of "unretiring," or returning to work. A recent study on returning workers found that half of that group misses the intellectual stimulation they get from working, and just over a third feels a lack of purpose in retirement. They are, in other words, at loose ends. Bored.

The notion of retirement as a time of leisure is outdated. Most older adults want a similar level of engagement and meaning as in their working years. This is as it should be. From traveling the world to helping people in need, there are a variety of activities that can give you meaning and a happy retirement. The secret is to plan for leisure and purpose in balanced measure.

To get a leg up on a happy retirement, start in the years before leaving your job by exploring the interests you want to pursue later in life. 

If you are already retired, these tips can still help you find that balance of leisure and purpose. 

Need some inspiration? Here are 12 ideas.

Jacob Schroeder

Jacob Schroeder is a financial writer covering topics related to personal finance and retirement. Over the course of a decade in the financial services industry, he has written materials to educate people on saving, investing and life in retirement.

With the love of telling a good story, his work has appeared in publications including Yahoo Finance, Wealth Management magazine, The Detroit News and, as a short-story writer, various literary journals. He is also the creator of the finance newsletter The Root of All (, exploring how money shapes the world around us. Drawing from research and personal experiences, he relates lessons that readers can apply to make more informed financial decisions and live happier lives.