What Will I Do With My Time in Retirement? The Importance of Finding a Hobby

David Packer |

You’ve worked your whole life to finally retire and live out your golden years stress-free. But now that you’ve reached your goal, how are you going to spend your time? With increased life expectancies and medical advancements, it’s possible you will have 30-plus years after retirement to do all the things you couldn’t do during your working years. While this may sound like a dream come true for many, it can quickly turn into boredom, loneliness, and even depression if you don’t find ways to feel useful and connected. 

As a Fit-To-Retire coach and financial advisor with over 20 years of experience, I’ve helped many clients find a fulfilling path to retirement. If you’re approaching retirement, or have already retired, here are three reasons why finding a meaningful hobby can help you make the most of your golden years.

1. A Hobby Can Bring You Purpose

One of the most commonly suggested things to do in retirement is to find purpose in your new phase of life. As you transition out of the workforce, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning. Studies have shown that you can prevent this feeling by living a purpose-driven life and that individuals who feel fulfilled are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. (1) Not only that, they also live longer! (2)

Pursuing a newfound hobby can be a great way to find purpose in retirement. Whether you choose to volunteer for a local nonprofit, take a class, learn a new skill, or work on a DIY project, taking up a new hobby can help you make the most of your time as opposed to just filling it.

2. A Hobby Can Help You Stay Healthy

Declining health and the stress of having to pay for the associated medical expenses is a significant concern for many retirees. In fact, 70% of Americans cite healthcare costs as a serious issue on their minds when planning for retirement. (3) Now that you’re in retirement, what better way to spend your time than prioritizing your mental and physical health?

Sure, genetics will play a role in how healthy you will be as you age, but there are also things you can do to mitigate your risk. Exercise and diet are key to maintaining health and they can also be fulfilling ways to spend your time. 

Try turning your physical health into a hobby by participating in group workouts like kickboxing, yoga, or pilates, or joining a gym if you prefer to exercise alone. I personally love hiking and paddleboarding, but any form of exercise is better than nothing as it can help decrease your risk of premature death by up to 30%. (4) Learning how to cook a new style of food can also be a fun way to pass the time while also improving your diet.

3. A Hobby Can Create Meaningful Friendships

Researchers at Harvard have found that retirees who are able to consistently spend time with friends report increased levels of happiness as opposed to those who spend their time alone. (5) A shared hobby can be a fulfilling way to forge new friendships or spend quality time with people you have known for years. 

Be sure to connect with friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement regardless of whether a hobby is involved. Meaningful relationships can help prevent loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing that you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall level of happiness, and it can be a great way to fill your time, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.

How We Can Help

Are you nearing retirement and wondering how to spend your newfound free time? At Bridgerland Financial, we can help you navigate the next chapter of your life with confidence and find a fulfilling path to retirement. 

As a fit-to-retire coach, I have extensive experience helping clients determine their retirement readiness and find meaningful hobbies to fill their time. The four-step process provides insight into key areas of retirement success including social, health, nutrition, financial security, personal relationships, and self-identity. To learn more about how we can help, schedule an appointment online or reach out to us at david.packer@bridgetoretire.com or (435) 535-1630.

About David

David Packer is founder and financial advisor at Bridgerland Financial, an independently managed financial firm in Utah. With 20 years of industry experience, David serves his clients by helping them bridge the gap between their working years and their retirement. He provides tailored, comprehensive financial plans to his business owner and individual clients so they can retire with confidence. David has a bachelor’s degree in finance and holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, CRPC® credential. Outside of the office, David loves to spend time with his wife and five kids and stay involved in his community. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Melonie, spent years as foster parents and eventually adopted their foster children. David loves playing and watching all kinds of sports, including officiating high school sports, and won’t turn down a good board or card game. Learn more about David by connecting with him on LinkedIn.


(1) https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/a-27-year-study-says-1-thing-is-key-to-happiness-longevity-in-work-life.html

(2) https://hrs.isr.umich.edu/publications/biblio/11635

(3) https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/americans-major-fears-about-retirement-overcome-2021-7

(4) https://www.healthline.com/health-news/staying-physically-active-may-lower-your-risk-of-death-by-30-percent

(5) https://www.health.harvard.edu/mental-health/can-relationships-boost-longevity-and-well-being