Planning for Fun in Retirement

By Megan Giles, Retirement Designer for Women

Retirement life is good – you no longer have the pressure of work and your kids have likely moved out of home. You have time to finally get those jobs done like clear out under the house, and you’ve ticked off your immediate to do list. But something’s missing – that fun factor. You have the desire to do something just a little bit ‘out there’ (for you anyway), to have a good laugh and really feel alive.  

Perhaps you’ve got that one item on your bucket list that you would absolutely love to make happen but you’re worried because it’s not the ‘proper’ thing to do, that women your age shouldn’t be doing such things. Well! The good news is that the face of retirement is changing, that women retiring now tend to be active, healthy and dynamic. Couple that with no longer having the burden of work and imagine the energy there! We need to do something fun and creative with that!

Image: Having fun in retirement, e.g. trying paragliding.

Take a look at your kids and grandchildren – what are they doing? I bet that if you’re on Facebook you’re seeing posts about sky-diving, traveling, checking out the latest restaurants in town and stand-up paddling boarding down rivers. My question to you is why leave all the fun to the younger generations? Why not get out there and be a part of it.

What’s stopping you?


What is that one thing that you would love to do but perhaps think that it’s too silly or ‘out there’? Is it learning to surf, to paint, to dance, to travel through the Amazon Basin, or to join a singing group. Is it really that silly or rather is it something that is a little out of your comfort zone?

My wish for you is to ensure there is time for fun in your retirement. If you are struggling to get past what you feel you should be doing in retirement (and that item on your dream list doesn’t fit with that assumption) I want to provide a couple of suggestions to get you on your way.

  • Consider ‘what’s the worst that can happen? If there’s a risk that you might cause physical injury to yourself or others, that might be a reason to hold back. But if the worst is a little damaged pride (e.g. you’re not able to stand up when learning to surf) is that really irreversible? Conversely, what is the best that can happen? What if you really love it – imagine where that can take you!?
  • Join a class and choose the class that is right for you. Common worries when trying something nwe include ‘how will I know what to do’, and ‘what if I can’t keep up? To counter this, ask for recommendations from people you know and trust and sign-up for a beginner’s class (don’t make the mistake of going straight into an advanced class – I’ve done that and been asked to move to the back of the class – awkward!)
  • Rope in a friend. Activities are often all the more fun with someone else. If your fun is traveling, a friend means that you have someone else to share the memories with. If it’s joining a French language class, it means you have someone to laugh with when you have no idea what is going on!

Not sure where to start in terms of injecting the fun factor into your retirement?

The ol’ internet is a great source of inspiration including websites like Over Sixty (, Starts at 60 ( and you’re local Council website. Spend some time Googling to find out what activities are available – be they close to home or further afar. Alternatively, pay attention to your junk mail and local newspaper for class, activities and events.

Stepping out of your comfort zone to something new or different can be a little uncomfortable initially. But don’t forget, this is

In planning for a holiday we always think “we need to go there” and “we should see that” but when Day One of our holiday arrives, we draw a blank…What were all of those things we were going to enjoy? In the busyness of life they’ve slipped our mind.

Don’t let this happen to your retirement. Download the My Retirement Planner and start capturing those ideas and inspiration so that you’re ready to step into retirement with gusto!