cheerful elderly man listening to music in headphones
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

10,000 Americans retire every day. Yeah, you read that right. That’s 10,000 per day, not per week or per month. That’s north of three and a half million people per year.

And they can’t all spend their time playing chess in the park or telling war stories – incidentally, for veterans looking for extra assistance, see what does it mean to be 100% disabled by the VA?.

If your retirement party is planned and booked and the balloons are all ready to go, you may be thinking about productive ways to spend your time once the speeches are over and the venue staff are sweeping the confetti off the dance floor.

After all, with potentially decades to fill, it simply wouldn’t be right to do little more than sit around being a nuisance for well-wishing gift-buyers (really, what do you buy someone for their 70th birthday? They have everything!).

Let’s look at some ideas.

Take a cruise

At some point, you’re going to get fed up with waking up early and driving around 10 miles an hour slower than the speed limit just to annoy everyone in a rush to get to work.

Because that’s, apparently, day one of the handbook that comes with being retired. But what else is there to do? Cruises. That’s what.

Close to 30 million people per year set sail on a cruise each year, taking their spot on one of the world’s 300+ cruise ships.

The average time spent cruising is 7.2 days, but shorter cruises are available for those wishing to try the experience for the first time (and much longer cruises are available for those who fall in love with the idea of the open seas and a new port each day).

Why cruise? Simple. There’s so much to do, see, and explore. And that means you’re infinitely more likely to find a new hobby or interest, or meet a new group of friends than you are just sitting at home.


Volunteering is the fastest way to help others by spreading your life-long knowledge of a certain topic. For example, if you’re into cycling, volunteering at a charity that fixes bikes is a great way to give back.

Likewise, if you’re a fan of sports of any kind, volunteers are always needed to help events to run smoothly.

Write it down

A long time ago, I was handed an autobiography written by one of my old high school teachers. The book wasn’t very thick, but within those pages were interesting anecdotes about travel and previous careers that I never would have guessed.

This could be your chance to write down your story, such as you see it – a wonderful gift for all the family, if not for the wider literary world.