‘It makes us equals’: Over-60s share favourite hobbies to take up in retirement

Sep 06, 2019
Here are a few hobbies to consider for staying busy and active during retirement. Source: Getty

While many people eagerly await the day they can retire and give up work for good, many more find the transition to retired life challenging, especially if they’ve been working full-time their whole life.

For many retirees, having ample amounts of free time can be a major adjustment at first, as it may seem like there’s nothing to do – but in reality there are countless fun and unique hobbies to try. If you’re looking for a new hobby, we recently asked the Starts at 60 community to share their favourite retirement pastimes – and there are some brilliant ideas:

Writing and journaling

If you’ve always enjoyed dreaming up stories in your head or just want an outlet to sort out your thoughts, writing could be the perfect retirement hobby for you. There are all sorts of ways to express yourself through writing, but journaling and blogging can be a great way to start. Starts at 60 runs an incredibly active blogging group filled with over-60s who write about everything from their opinion on politics and current affairs, to their memories of growing up in the 1960s, their ideas for the future and much more.

Reader and avid blogger Robyn McCoy recently told Starts at 60 her favourite pastime is putting pen to paper. “Once I found this site, I found blogging to be a brilliant new hobby,” she said. “It’s a level playing field – blogging makes us equals because we all have the commonality of a past, a future and our own unique story to tell.”

Create a family tree

Creating a family tree has long been a popular hobby and Starts at 60 reader Rosemary Miles said she’s being working on hers for some years now. “I’m only part retired but have been working on the family tree for some years,” she revealed. “It’s a never ending pastime with more and more information being digitised daily. When I retire completely I’ll continue with it and perhaps arrange to help others start their trees.”

Get crafty

Joining an art class can be a great social activity, it’s relaxing and keeps your mind, eyes and hands active and focused. Art classes can include anything from drawing, painting and even sculpting. And if you have time, why not share your skills with the grandkids? Children get excited about learning new skills or hobbies taught to them by their grandparents, plus it’s great for bonding.


Whether it’s contributing to a cause you care about or helping others, volunteering can be a fun and rewarding hobby. It’s a great way to meet new friends, develop new skills, feel involved, explore new areas of interest and make a difference in the community. If you’re not sure where to start, contact your local volunteering centre. There’s a variety of organisations out there that help children, the elderly and homeless people.

Learn a new language

Whether you’re heading off overseas or you really want to immerse yourself in a new culture, learning a new language can be exciting – however, it does require a lot of motivation and patience. In fact, researchers believe people who can speak more than one language have improved memory and problem solving skills. Learning a new language also boosts your confidence as it means putting yourself out there!


Do you love to boogie? Dancing can be a great hobby for you and your partner to enjoy together, or if you’re single it’s also a fantastic way to meet new people. Not only is dancing a fun way to socialise, it also has a variety of health benefits for your muscles, balance, cardiovascular system, brain function and stress levels. In fact, researchers believe dancing makes daily life easier for older people by improving their sense of balance and thinking skills. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance. Join a dancing club or take dance classes to learn new dances and show off your moves at the next family wedding or party.

Learn how to play an instrument

It’s never to late to pick up a musical instrument. Learning how to play an instrument is a great hobby as it provides your brain with a fresh challenge. For newbies who are interested, there are lots of ways to get started. Individual or group classes can be found through music schools and stores, community centres and private instructors. If you’re not sure which instrument you’d like to learn, try out a few to see what fits best with your taste and your burgeoning skills.

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