What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

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Ependytis
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What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Ependytis »

What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time? I’m trying to plan what activities I can do in retirement. I know left to my own devices I could be tempted to sit around and watch TV therefore I wanted to ask retirees what they’re doing today. I hope this post might extend multiple days or weeks so that will help even out what people do on weekdays versus weekends versus holidays. With this information, I want to get a snapshot of all the different meaningful activities that people do with their free time in a day rather than what they do in a typical day or what they aspire to do. Thanks in advance. I hope this will help others as well. Below is the list that I have started. Since I’m not retired, this list is aspirational.

Bogleheads, work out, cooking, teaching, reading, pickle ball, travel, living somewhere else for 3 to 6 months at a time, finances, joining an organization like Rotary, sail club, going for walks, meeting friends for breakfast every morning, defining, starting, and running a blog on financial wellness, taking class of interest online, walking dog, experiment, hiking, research, meditation, stretching, having company over for dinner, RHODE Scholar
Troutcommando
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Troutcommando »

Meditate in the morning, sip coffee while looking at the Cabinet Mountains and talking with wife, go for walk, cross county ski, snowshoe, play with the cat,
play guitar or ukulele, tie flies, go ice fish, reload hunting ammo, play with ham radio, plow and shovel snow, work on house project or repairs, winter travel to southwest and gulf of texas, prepare for spring and summer outings and trips!
Pandemic Bangs
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Pandemic Bangs »

From the family member I observe: political activism; recovering from surgery. I don't recommend the second, but I guess it beats not recovering....
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by jebmke »

Today and tomorrow I'll be starting to brush up on the new tax law so I can be certified to do 2020 taxes for TaxAide. We still don't know if we will open on time but eventually, our clients will need help. Many of them simply didn't file 2019 returns (we had to close early due to the pandemic) so I suspect there will be 2019 and 2020 returns to be done some day.

Tuesday I'm off on my first major birding trip of the new year. Hopefully some good sightings on the coast.
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22twain
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by 22twain »

Ependytis wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:18 pm What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?
The list you have already contains a wide variety of activities. What sort of activities would you not consider to be meaningful in this context?
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PoppyA
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by PoppyA »

Started by “nesting.” Went through the house, purged. Became re-connected with the city we live in.

Followed by cooking school. Taking classes, & assisting.

DH & I traveled to 48 states in our car. We visited friends, & family. We are still doing this today!

Art - mixed media & currently watercolor paint.

All the while working out, yoga, swimming, biking...still doing this.

But to be honest...I love work. I always have a “project” in mind.
formerlybroke
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by formerlybroke »

If it helps, I asked very similar (same?) question here quite recently

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=333642
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Horton
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Horton »

Troutcommando wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:11 pm Meditate in the morning, sip coffee while looking at the Cabinet Mountains and talking with wife, go for walk, cross county ski, snowshoe, play with the cat,
play guitar or ukulele, tie flies, go ice fish, reload hunting ammo, play with ham radio, plow and shovel snow, work on house project or repairs, winter travel to southwest and gulf of texas, prepare for spring and summer outings and trips!
Sounds like fun!
placeholder
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by placeholder »

I haven't felt any need to make retirement meaningful just entertaining for me.
retire57
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by retire57 »

Learning to watercolor and volunteering at our local animal shelter. Busy, busy! :D
surfinagin
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by surfinagin »

Grandchildren fortunately live nearby, and are the most meaningful use of my time.
Grateful for the time I'm able to spend with them/teach them/learn from them/watch them grow.
Helping young people grow into responsible, resourceful, caring and hard-working adults is very rewarding.
When my time comes, that potential legacy means far more to me than any hobbies or skills I may have mastered.
In the meantime, whatever the winning EV battery tech becomes, it won't match the way time spent with them charges my batteries!

Other meaningful use of my time: help relatives maintain/improve their properties.
heyyou
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by heyyou »

Not recently but soon after retiring, I volunteered with the local parks department for litter acquisition, which led to some hiking/biking trail maintenance, leading to trying an obscure group who maintain a trans-state hiking/backpacking trail.

Half an hour from my house is the trailhead into a federal wilderness area that was their most needy place due to rugged terrain (fascinating fault block geology to me), few and obscure water sources (plan accordingly by carrying empty extra water bladders to the campsites), and previous fires where remaining dead standing trees, eventually fall downhill across the trail in addition to normal tree fall in the areas that did not burn.

A cross cut saw is used to reduce the tree trunks into pieces light enough to be pried off of the trail, since no chain saws are allowed in the federal wilderness area. It is very satisfying to look at cleared trail after doing a day's work alone and far from traffic and noise and other people, with no production standards, no bosses, no being indoors, etc. As a retiree, sitting and sleeping in a hammock (if it suits you), has made camp as comfortable as the recliner and the bed at home. On the way out, your thoughts are "if I had just brought more food, I could stay longer," but that thinking is done while your pack is at its very lightest weight, which it most certainly wasn't 5 days earlier, on the way in.

I retired into the best years of my life. I hope that others find what suits them, when they escape from employment. Thank you to Jack Bogle for pioneering index funds and to all of the early BHs, first at that VG Diehards site, then here.
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GerryL
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by GerryL »

During the first years of retirement I worked at recovering my lost French language skills. Now most afternoons I am working on recovering my lost German language skills. It's fun. A lot easier to relearn a language than to try a new one.

I don't feel a need to be productive. If I am, good. If not, that's fine, too. But before retirement I worried I might run out of things to do. Ha! I started jotting down ideas, just in case I was ever at a loss. Big things, like taking classes and travel, to mundane things like cleaning out garage and visiting a local sight. I'm in year 7 of retirement and have never had to consult the list, although I occasionally pull it out just to see how reality is matching up with what I wrote down.
xxd091
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by xxd091 »

Reply to Boglehead blogs trying to help others
Especially as I am now 74- many years retired and have some experience that might be useful to younger investors
While still learning myself!
xxd091
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zarci
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by zarci »

This thread sure has some replies that make me feel warm and cozy inside. Shame my retirement is 40 years away!
Adfmacro
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Adfmacro »

xxd091 wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:16 am Reply to Boglehead blogs trying to help others
Especially as I am now 74- many years retired and have some experience that might be useful to younger investors
While still learning myself!
xxd091
I wondered how far into this thread before I would read that this forum is part of a retiree's activities. I am not retired yet. I do want to be sure that physical and mental activities are included as long as I am able. Since I am turning 65 this year, you could say that my early years of retirement is to choose not to retire.
makingmistakes
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by makingmistakes »

22twain wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:30 pm
Ependytis wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:18 pm What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?
The list you have already contains a wide variety of activities. What sort of activities would you not consider to be meaningful in this context?
I thought the OP was looking to get people to respond with what they actually did that particular day. Which I think could be interesting.

But looks like that isn’t the type of replies it’s generating.
Van
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Van »

I do one meaningful activity for myself. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, first thing after having coffee, I exercise for just under an hour.

Sometimes I struggle with myself thinking of little excuses for not getting started. However, it's very seldom that those inner demons win the battle. I'm always feeling good about myself when I have finished the exercise routine.
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cinghiale
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by cinghiale »

heyyou wrote:
I retired into the best years of my life.
I’m not much in the mood to itemize my activities, but I am in the mood to second and “Amen” the above quote. With that attitude/outlook/perspective, all else is detail.
"We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." Anais Nin | | "Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious." George Orwell
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JoeRetire
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by JoeRetire »

Ependytis wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:18 pm What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?
I do more of what I enjoyed doing pre-retirement, along with a few new things.

Reading, walking, hiking, volunteering, pickleball, getting together with friends and family, travel (although not in 2020), photography, photo editing, a bit of genealogy, time with the grandkids, guitar and ukulele, etc. When I retired, I promised myself that I wouldn't spend all my time watching television. Aside from watching NFL football and some politics, I limit tv time to evenings with my wife - she loves to watch movies.

Pickleball and photography are the big new things for me. They give me the athletic and creative outlets I wanted. I really enjoy them both.

A few things got in the way of doing more: I spent a lot of time helping them as my parents declined and passed away over the past few years, of course COVID, and my cancer diagnosis. Once things are more stable, we'll travel more.

But we live in a beach community. So we spend a lot of time at the beach and around town with friends and family. And their are some great group activities in town that hopefully will resume post-COVID: karaoke, trivia nights, open mic nights, etc. It's not as hard to stay busy as I thought it would be - sometimes I can't find enough time in the day to do what I want. And still, my wife and I find an occasional day to just do nothing. Overall, it's a great life.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

I work out about 3 times per week which maintains my health, gives me more energy and helps me sleep well. I'm a DIY'er so I spend a good amount of time maintaining and improving the things I own including my finances, home, yard, vehicle, etc. I also help others do the same if they ask me to. I like technology so I futz with that. My wife and I like to hike, bike, play Bocce and just hang out with friends and enjoy one another's company. In the summer we typically take a month-long road trip and visit family and friends along the way.

After doing those things I have very little 'free' time but what I do have I just fritter it away.
Last edited by FrugalInvestor on Sun Jan 03, 2021 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by DanLeeRot »

I spend a good chunk of time studying for the CFP exam.
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Small Law Survivor
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Small Law Survivor »

Learn to play jazz guitar (recovering rock/blues guitarist)
69 yrs, semi-retired lawyer, 50/40/10 s/b/c, 70/30 dom/int'l. Plan: 4% WR until age 70, 3% after social security kicks in. Boglehead since day 1 (and M* Diehard before that) under various other names
Ragman
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Ragman »

I try to be as physically active as possible - golf, hiking, platform tennis, pickleball, etc.

I recently started a 45 minute stretching (light weights 3 times a week) program, first thing in the morning. I am amazed at how much better I feel throughout the day. I’ll often take 10 to 15 minute breaks through the day to do stretching or work on some part of my body with the various tools I have accumulated by working with physical therapists.

Used to hate stretching and using resistant bands when I was younger. At age 62, I realize it is essential.
Scooter57
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Scooter57 »

I published novels. Writing fiction was a hobby I pursued all my life, but I only sold a couple of novels to a big publisher at age 62. They didn't catch on, , but I still enjoy writing fiction and have so far written two more.

I was also active on the singer/songwriter open mike circuit after four decades away from live performing, but COVID has made that impossible this year. I'm not interested in streaming stuff. It was the excitememt of live performance and the friendships with other musicians I enjoyed, especially after decades spent as a hermit hunched over a computer. I am hoping to resume come spring.

I would be enjoying my new grandchild, but my son lives far away, somewhere full of COVID [OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek] so I haven't felt safe visiting. Lots of Zooming has had to suffice.
budren
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by budren »

I suppose it depends what you define as meaningful.

Meaningful for me: walk 15,000 steps per day; surf the web; read Bogleheads :happy ; once COVID is over, travel again

Meaningful for others: 1 day a week deliver Meals on Wheels; 4-5 days a week volunteer at the local Foodbank

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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by IowaFarmBoy »

Spend more relaxed time chatting with my spouse. More time out on the bike and walking the dog. I'm working at relearning Koine Greek which I learned about 40 years ago and largely forgot. I'm slowly getting geared up to do some volunteer IT work for a ministry. Read more. No shortage of activities so far.....
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Stinky »

Bogleheads Forum. I spent my career working in a life insurance company home office, so I try to weigh in on life insurance and annuity topics.

Spending time with grandkids. All of our children chose to live close to us, so I get to see six wonderful grandchildren several times a week.

Volunteering at my church.

Spending more time with my spouse than I could when working.

Exercising. Every day without fail.
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JoeRetire
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by JoeRetire »

DanLeeRot wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 8:42 am I spend a good chunk of time studying for the CFP exam.
You are hoping to un-retire?
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kiwi123
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by kiwi123 »

In the last 4 years, my "aspirational" list that i havent got around to yet (i) hunting and fishing, (ii) part-time ski instructing in South America, (iii) doing more multi-day classic backpacking trips.

My list that i have done includes (i) annual 2+ month extended living in different areas of interest both in the US and overseas, (ii) permanent relocation (iii) an excessive amount of skiing and mtn biking, (iv) slowly dealing with some injuries and rehab, (v) overcoming issues/fears with financial planning, (vi) starting my own company.
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Ependytis
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Ependytis »

Placeholder, you don’t want to have a meaningful retirement? I look at life as a book and each of us is writing chapters in that book. It seems like it should only get better as you get older because you know yourself and the world better. But I like your thinking in terms of challenging an assumption that retirement has to be meaningful.
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Post by Dottie57 »

Ependytis wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:52 pm Placeholder, you don’t want to have a meaningful retirement? I look at life as a book and each of us is writing chapters in that book. It seems like it should only get better as you get older because you know yourself and the world better. But I like your thinking in terms of challenging an assumption that retirement has to be meaningful.
Each person needs to decide how to live their lives. I love to luxuriate in a nice long sleep of 8 hours plus. Then read the news while eating breakfast with a latte.

Something I have started doing my families genealogy. I wanted to figure out the details of a story my dad told me when I was a little girl. I used census information to straighten out the story. Then I’ve gone on to find ancestors farther back in time. Some go back to 1500s.
RetiredCSProf
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by RetiredCSProf »

"Meaningful" is a personal choice. It depends on your circumstances and priorities. When I first retired, 8 years ago, I spent more time with my Mom who was in her 90's. I have been taking saxophone lessons since I retired and performed in a couple concerts with a community band (before Covid). I helped a neighbor find his wife (with full-blown dementia) when she wandered off.

In the past few months, I have volunteered, several days a week, for political call-banking. On Tuesday this week, I spent three full hours calling voters in GA to help them find their polling location or get a free ride to the polls. I helped one voter, quarantined with Covid, figure out how she could get her ballot to the polls.
livelovelaugh00
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by livelovelaugh00 »

I have not retired yet. I'm thinking about it almost daily now. My goal in retirement is to not have a list of things to do. Maybe not realistic, but it's the goal.
james22
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by james22 »

Day drinking.
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Post by Register44 »

:arrow:
Last edited by Register44 on Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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22twain
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by 22twain »

Ependytis wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:52 pm Placeholder, you don’t want to have a meaningful retirement?
What does "meaningful" mean to you in this context?
Epitaph: Here lies the noble word "princiPAL", smothered by its like-sounding impostor "princiPLE". May it rest in piece!
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by birdog »

james22 wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:28 pm Day drinking.
:sharebeer
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birdog
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by birdog »

You might check out the book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think by Wes Moss. He breaks down hobbies, traits, etc. of happy retirees and unhappy retirees. Thinking of driving a BMW in retirement? Think again. It's the car that is most popular amongst unhappy retirees. Interesting read I thought.
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Ependytis
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Ependytis »

My definition of meaningful would be to do something bigger than yourself for example teaching, volunteering, and or leaving a legacy. This could also include just being a good example by taking care of yourself. Maybe this sounds naïve but I would like to think that I left the world a little better after my passing.
Last edited by Ependytis on Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Lowlim »

I find it helpful to have a specific goal and work toward that goal. One of the main goals I set was finally learning how to swim.

I never learned to swim when I was a kid. So even 6 months ago, in June 2020, I was scared of drowning when in the deep end of a swimming pool where my feet didn't reach the bottom. So I set a goal of swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco. I treated it like a job, getting a swim coach and practicing 5 to 7 days per week. In retirement, it's much easier to prioritize personal goals like this. My first attempt of swimming from Alcatraz to San Francisco was in August 2020, which I failed. My second attempt was in October 2020, which I was very happy to have completed.

Before deciding to learn how to swim, I set a goal of competing in a powerlifting meet. I'm a below average powerlifter, but I'm really only competing against myself. So I'm happy that was able to set some personal records at the meet.

My next goal is to compete in equestrian show jumping. I've never ridden a horse before about a month ago and actually didn't even have any interest in it. But I decided to give it a try and have really enjoyed learning the new skill. So now I'm jumping in like it's a job, getting coaching sessions multiple times per week in preparation for a Modern Pentathlon in February.

Next on my list is learning how to dive in open water so that I can go spear fishing in Hawaii. I've found some good beginner spot Oahu and the Big Island. At the same time, I'm training Jiu Jitsu as it's very social and tons of fun. When the pandemic is over and tournaments are allowed again, I plan to sign up for tournaments with my training buddies.

If I were to try to describe what I do now in retirement, I'd say that I'm the worse full time amateur athlete. I maily target sports in which I have little to no experience and have the opportunity to learn a new skill. The benefit of being a beginner at something is that I can have the enjoyment of improving quickly and learning new things.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by james22 »

Ependytis wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:37 pmMaybe this sounds naïve but I would like to think that I left the world a little better after my passing.
This too shall pass.
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Ependytis
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Ependytis »

Birddog, thanks for the reference to the book on happy and unhappy retirees.
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birdog
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by birdog »

Ependytis wrote: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:56 am Birddog, thanks for the reference to the book on happy and unhappy retirees.
You bet. I was able to find it through my local library and check it out digitally via the Overdrive app. Even better when it can be checked out from the library for free without even leaving the house!
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Naismith »

Ependytis wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:18 pm What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?
Sigh. The thing is, many of those activities you list are not possible now during the Covid pandemic.

I returned to paid work, when I found a position in my old field that allowed work from home. I was able to get Wednesday as my day off, so that we can go hiking etc. on a day when things are not so busy; we try to firmly stay home on Saturdays.

Ask again in 8 months and I will give a different answer.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by placeholder »

Ependytis wrote: Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:52 pm Placeholder, you don’t want to have a meaningful retirement?
Define "meaningful".
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by flyingaway »

Ependytis wrote: Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:37 pm My definition of meaningful would be to do something bigger than yourself for example teaching, volunteering, and or leaving a legacy. This could also include just being a good example by taking care of yourself. Maybe this sounds naïve but I would like to think that I left the world a little better after my passing.
Those are the things that I may do for some money. No, I don't want to do teaching (currently doing it as my job), volunteering (sometimes I do help friends), or leaving a legacy (leaving money for a scholarship?), in my retirement.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Old Guy »

Why do I have to do anything meaningful? I spent 40 years doing meaningful stuff. Don’t need to do it anymore.
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Re: What meaningful activities are you doing in retirement today with your free time?

Post by Deontic »

jebmke wrote: Sat Jan 02, 2021 6:21 pm Today and tomorrow I'll be starting to brush up on the new tax law so I can be certified to do 2020 taxes for TaxAide. We still don't know if we will open on time but eventually, our clients will need help. Many of them simply didn't file 2019 returns (we had to close early due to the pandemic) so I suspect there will be 2019 and 2020 returns to be done some day.

Tuesday I'm off on my first major birding trip of the new year. Hopefully some good sightings on the coast.
Second the plan to volunteer to help others with their income tax filing, especially important this year with stimulus-related complications.
Both the the IRS certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs and the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program provide much needed help to mostly low-income clients. Recent events have enabled safe virtual processes requiring just a phone and computer to submit returns. Rewarding beyond measure.
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