Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. - Helen Keller
Question #59823 posted on 10/03/2010 5:34 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What kinds of things do people do to fill their time after retirement? I ask because...

1) My dad is going to retire soon, but he doesn't really have any hobbies. Whenever I ask him what his plans are, he just sort of shrugs it off. I see boredom in his future.

2) My husband (who is a financial planner) was telling me about one of his clients the other day. He was asking the person about his plans for retirement, and the person basically said, "Retirement sounds boring. I plan to work until I die."

Do people really just sit around and get bored? What do they do with their time? I can't ask my grandparents because they've all passed away, but what do your grandparents do all day? Are they bored?

-Hopes to be an active, interesting geezer


Dear hopes,

Don't worry about your dad; I'm sure he will find something to do to occupy his time. Anyway, most retired people don't just "sit around and get bored." I'm going to overgeneralize and say that there are two groups of retired people: those who stick to their old hobbies, and those who pick up new hobbies. My grandfather has gotten greatly involved in his "old" hobbies, or what he has been doing in his old life, except now with the freedom to do as he wishes. He was a professor, so he still attends conferences all around the world. He loves to travel (although he is starting to slow that down as of late), read, attend lectures at BYU and all around Utah, participate in the Utah Sons of the Pioneers group, participate in the local group of people celebrating Scottish heritage, study topics of interest, do genealogy, and visit family. Among other things, I imagine. 

Many retired people like to volunteer their time to causes they support, or at least continue to participate in activities they enjoy. For example, I know a man who may be retiring soon and he wants to teach Russian to Americans, you know, just for fun. In the Church a lot of people get deeply involved in their callings, or begin to serve more than they had before. 

Other retired folks like to pick up new hobbies. Maybe they didn't have time while working and raising a family, or maybe they recently realized they enjoy some activity. Popular hobbies to pick up include learning a language, developing a skill such as gardening, and living out one's dream as an artist (photography, painting, and writing are a few arts that come to mind). 

Now, there are definitely retired people who are less active. I only know one of my grandparents really well, but of the ones I knew less well they were unable to do a lot after retirement because of health issues. They were, however, able to fill a lot of time with family, friends, and good memories. Unsurprisingly retirement is a good time for people to rest. I would be content reading many, many books when I retire, going to symphonies, and playing Scrabble with my friends. Point is, retirement can be a lot of fun, and in fact most retired people still do interesting things. I'm sure you'll be one of those interesting geezers.



Dear geezer in training,

As President Monson mentioned in his Saturday morning general conference talk, there is always a huge need for senior missionary couples.

- The Detective