Why wait for retirement to live your dreams? The awesome idea you’ll want to try 5



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Gap years aren’t just for young people – thousands of over 60s are taking a break from their busy lives every year. And a gap year doesn’t have to involved backpacking! We all want a break from time to time, whether it’s from our jobs or even just every day life.

Many over 60s have had their children leave the nest, but aren’t necessarily ready to retire – this is where the grown up gap year comes in. You may not have had the chance to have a year off from life back when you were younger – you had kids to raise, meals to cook and work to do. Nowadays you might be itching to be free even if it’s for a short period… so what are you waiting for?

The hardest part of deciding to go on a gap year is figuring out where to go and what to do – there are so many options! It can be tempting after just one year to want to be on a gap year forever.

Remember: this year off from your life can be whatever you want it to be.

Here’s how to get started:


Before you go on your gap year, you may have several questions and loose ends you need to tie up. Some of the things to consider are:

How can I take a break from my career?

If you are still working into your 60s and you don’t want to retire, but need a break, the gap year is a great idea to reinvigorate you and give you new ideas. Simply take some time and ask for your annual leave to be taken. You may need to resign.

Will my family be OK?

Of course! Your family will miss you but they will always be there. There’s no better time than now to have a year off.

How can I keep my home safe? 

These are some tips for keeping your home safe. You may also like to have people house sit for free or rent your home for the time you’re away.

Can I afford it?

Going overseas or even have a year off from everything can be costly, there’s no two ways around it. Even if you don’t do anything, it can really add up! So that you will know what you’re in for, make sure you plan, plan, plan.

Here’s how to do it on a budget.

What to do on your gap year

Now that you’ve got everything planned, here’s the fun part: what to do!
Ask experts, read blogs
If you need ideas for where to go or what to see, there are thousands of blogs out there to browse! We have travel and nomad blogs on our site that can help you get started.

Teach abroad

Teaching abroad is a popular gap year option for the younger generations, but schools don’t want to hire those people. They want someone who is older, more mature, and reliable.

Even if you’re not a professional teacher, just being a baby boomer means you have valuable skills and experience that many people around the world would want to learn about.


As an grown up gapper, you can bring lots of professional experience and expertise to a volunteer position and could have such a wonderful impact on a community or group of people.

There are many places to start as a volunteer abroad, and here’s a website to get you started.

Take up a new hobby or an old one

Did life just get in the way and stop you from pursuing your wildest dreams and ambitions? It’s definitely not too late. You can take up a new or old hobby of yours, and you’ll have plenty of time to master it.

Here’s how to find a hobby that improves your mind, body and soul on a tight budget!

Solo travel

Want to set off on a solo adventure but aren’t sure where to start? A trip on your own can seem daunting – there’s so much planning to do and things to work out.

Even if you’re just inquisitive or want to explore all that solo travelling can offer, you might have a few questions such as “will I be safe” or “will I be lonely”.

There is no reason you shouldn’t organise a trip and feel empowered with your decision to just go for it, whether you’re single, divorced or widowed. You might even just want to check an item off your bucket list and that may mean leaving your partner behind for a short time. Whatever the reason, women should be able to travel alone.

After all, travelling by yourself has so many benefits, you just need to be open minded and do your research – which is why we’ve created this guide for you.

Start a business

Put some of that extra time to good use and start your own business in retirement! Here’s how

Learn something new

We all know that the quality of our lives is vital if we want to stay happy and fulfilled and really enjoy being older as much as we enjoyed our lives when we were younger. Part of that satisfaction and fulfilment can come from education, something that we have time to enjoy and appreciate while we follow a passion and stay curious about the world around us.

It’s not just universities and colleges that offer their services. Here are a few suggestions that may get you started.
Tell us, if you could take a year off, what would you do?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I wouldn’t want to go back to work. I enjoyed my career but was ready to move on when I retired. I am now doing something completely different, I suppose a hobby that became my income. I love my life now and enjoy the freedom I have which I didn’t have before. However I couldn’t imagine doing nothing.

  2. There is nothing said about family responsibilities here. Most over 60’s have elderly parents and or grandchildren as well as other family members that they care for.

  3. My gap year 2015′ February into hospital for 2 weeks for dissection, April back into hospital, July GP finds leaky heart valve, hospital again this time for 6 weeks open heart surgery, November hospital again amputation of right big toe Ostia myalitise. Sometimes gap years don’t need planning. I can’t wait fo 2016

  4. I took a gap of 2 months backpacking in Asia. Took minimal stuff and stayed in hostels. I am a 62 yr female. Husband , house and family still there when I returned. Best thing I have ever done. Will do it again in a heartbeat.

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