1. People & Relationships

What to Do When You're Retired...and Bored

By January 6, 2009

When you work for decades and the work stops, it can be hard to get accustomed to a different daily routine, and to find ways to fill your days. A reader named Leo wrote for advice on how to cope with being retired and bored, so I gave him a few ideas. One great way to fill extra time is to meet new people who share your interests. New friends make life more interesting and, according to researchers, friends actually increase longevity.
Photo: Keith Brofsky/Getty Images
January 6, 2009 at 11:01 am
(1) Daniel Laccitelli, LCSW says:

Hi, well that is a good idea. Now where are the rest of them? I was expecting a few paragraphs at the least with perhaps a dozen ideas. Thank you. Dan

January 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm
(2) Sharon O'Brien says:

Hi Dan-

I’m not sure if you are referring to the advice or the blog. The blog includes a link to my advice to Leo: http://seniorliving.about.com/od/lifetransitionsaging/a/missingwork.htm.

Rather than suggesting things to do, I suggested that Leo look at the bigger picture and figure out what makes him happy. That would help him in his search for ways to recapture the feelings of accomplishment and worth he had with his job.


January 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm
(3) Robert says:

Sharon; Tell him to try Blogging!! BTW..all original material…No “borrowing”

Forgive me for leaving a message for you at other locations on your website however I did not see clear instructions on how to reach this location until it was too late.

Congratulations on an excellent job!!

January 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm
(4) Depressionlass says:

Yes, I certainly agree that most advice to seniors is simplistic and fails to address the great variety of situations they find themselves in.

As for me, I would love to downsize, simplfy, travel, work on a variety of interests and projects… Why don’t I??? Well, I’m married to a person who does not share these goals, and who maintains a great deal of control over our financial life. Such is often the case with older women of a certain age. His health is also not great and he’s having mobility problems, which may limit our travel in years to come.

I’m also isolated from all but his friends, unless I make a definite effort to cultivate others on my own. In retirement, if the couple do not share common goals, chores, and preferences, one partner may dictate the journey, and too often, if one partner has health problems, that in itself will limit options. It’s a complicated time of life and restricted finances tend to limit options also.

January 7, 2009 at 8:49 pm
(5) Sharon says:

I had to go on disability, due to muscle problems some years back. At age 50+, I decided to return to college, to complete that BA degree that I’ve always wanted. It’s been tough, but at present and after many years, I am about eight classes away from my degree. I’ve made some wonderful friends and have discovered that many 55+ people are taking classes. It’s a great way to keep the mind active.

January 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm
(6) Paul says:

There are many people living in retirement communities throughout the United States that would love to spend time with a guest. It will not only be very much appreciated by your hosts, but will most assuredly be very rewarding to the guest as well. ;-)

Appreciate this life and the wondrous options you have available to you at any age.


January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm
(7) Sarah says:


Could you perhaps find a part-time job doing something you love, which could provide you with additional money to spend on things you also enjoy?

January 20, 2009 at 11:17 am
(8) Carol Ingle says:

I am 78 and have been fortunate to have worked part time since age 62, now I have retired but really have joined a computer club and a book club. Very disappointing as my computer is old and the book club only reads very boring books. Looking for a new computer within $500., due to only S.S. as income.Retirement is not what I expected all these years! No job will hire a 78 yr. old part time,overqualified for AARP

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.