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Depending on the careers, family dynamic and financial circumstances our family may have… many of our personal aspirations and goals may not have always been attainable. There is a saying that goes, “do what we have to do so that we can do what we want to do.” We spend most of our lives working to pay the mortgage, support a family, and balance a career – all of which takes significant time and effort.
Chances are, in the back of your mind, there were always these things that you wanted to do or accomplish… but never seemed to find the time to do those things until you retired. Of course, retirement is something most of us dream of. In fact, we dream of it so much that we even work to retire early if possible.
To many of us, it means we will have the time to do the things that we have always wanted to do with our lives. What would you do, and where would you go if you had the free time to do whatever you wanted to do?
What is a Bucket List?
A bucket list is a list of achievements or experiences someone hopes to have or accomplish in their lifetime. Moreover, they are goals a person wishes to check off their list before they ‘kick the bucket.’
Having a bucket list enables a person to focus on values, experiences, and milestones that are important to them. Usually, a person will desire to accomplish those things in a certain amount of time or before a particular season in their life.
Furthermore, having a bucket list is a sign of hope that you expect to have a bright and exciting future. It’s also motivation to keep going throughout the ever-changing landscape of life.
Lastly, as circumstances of life change, so can your bucket list. Your values throughout life change and you will add some things to your list. Other things you won’t see the use in pursuing any father as your values adjust as you grow older and wiser.
Why Retirement is the Perfect Time to Create a Bucket List?
In theory, when we retire, we will have more time on our hands to accomplish the things we so desire. When we were working every day, we didn’t have time to travel and enjoy life as we may have wanted.
Vacations for those still on the job are limited, and you are back at work. However, in retirement, you have the time to spend weeks, even months, in destination spots without the concerns of returning to work.
As a pre-retired person, I have personally been on vacation and still found myself on the phone with employees from work. I found myself walking them through processes and advising them on how to troubleshoot problems. It cheapens the value of ‘getting away’ and gives you the feeling of ‘what’s the use in taking off work.’ But, of course, that is no longer an issue when we retire.
Furthermore, creating a bucket list after retirement gives you a sense of accomplishment. Many return to work after retiring because they grow bored and have not set any goals or objectives for their future beyond retirement. Retirement is a great time to try new things, and having a bucket list helps you do just that while staying active.
Lastly, creating a retirement bucket list gives retirees a sense of direction, a sense of purpose, and creates an excitement for each day. When you worked, you dreaded getting up and going to work some days. However, you get to look forward to each day in retirement as you simply get to ‘do the things you have always wanted to do.’
57 Retirement Bucket List Ideas & Examples
Travel and Sightseeing
- Take a helicopter tour.
- Go on a cruise to the Caribbean and enjoy fun in the sun.
- Take a trip to Hawaii and enjoy some of the island festivities.
- Travel to Africa and go on a safari.
- Journey to Egypt and visit the pyramids.
- Visit the Holy Land or enjoy the Holy Land Experience.
- Visit the Grand Canyon.
- Visit the Eiffel Tower and enjoy some French cuisines.
- Take a trip to China and visit the Great Wall.
- Enjoy an insect cuisine. They can be a great source of protein.
- Take baking lessons and learn to cook some of the world’s most decadent desserts.
- Take an Italian food tour, either in Italy or your hometown, whichever your budget allows.
- Go wine tasting and become a connoisseur of fine wines.
- Travel to diners and dive restaurants to find some of the best food around.
- Try the food from a Michelin star restaurant.
- Spend Mardi Gras along the gulf coast, trying creole cuisines.
- Take scuba diving lessons or go snorkeling.
- Learn to go horseback riding.
- Plant a vegetable garden and learn to can the goods that you grow.
- Watch sunrises and sunsets. Take your camera with you to capture the breathtaking sights that you see.
- Go canoeing and enjoy the view of some of the most breathtaking waters around.
- Go camping and fishing. Take your grandchildren with you to make it a great family experience.
- Ride on a camel.
- Take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the amazing landscapes from a thousand or more feet in the air.
Learn New Hobbies
- Take art lessons. Learn to paint or work with pottery.
- Take a self-defense class.
- Join a community theater and learn acting skills and perform in plays.
- Take flying lessons, and learn how to fly a helicopter or airplane.
- Learn to play a musical instrument.
- Take skiing lessons.
- Take swimming lessons.
- Take cooking lessons. Learn how to cook classic dishes or meals based on specific cultures.
- Begin freelance writing and blogging.
Fun and Family
- Take the grandchildren to Disney World.
- Have a spa day with your daughter, granddaughters, or other friends and family.
- Go to a drag race with family.
- Enjoy monster truck races with the kids.
- Go snorkeling with the grandkids.
- Teach your younger family members to do a skill.
- Work out and get fit together as a family.
- Embrace new technology. Have your children or grandchildren help you figure out that new phone, TV, computer, tablet, or iPad.
- Host get-togethers, BBQs in the spring, pool parties in the summer, and bonfires late into the fall.
- Go to a vintage car show with family.
- Take your grandchildren to see Santa Claus.
Volunteer Work (Giving Back) / Pass on knowledge
- Volunteer at an animal shelter. Walk dogs, play with them, feed, and clean up after them.
- Volunteer at community events.
- Serve on the board of community organizations that are dear to your heart.
- Raise money for charity.
- Speak at local schools and colleges, passing on your knowledge to the next generation.
- Take on restoration projects and involve others, teaching them this skill.
- Teach English as a second language.
- Give blood.
Make Romantic Memories
- Renew your marriage vows.
- Visit or Revisit honeymoon destinations.
- Revisit old locations to reminisce the early years of your relationship.
- Take dancing lessons as a couple.
- Book a romantic dinner cruise for two.
Final Thoughts on 57 Retirement Bucket List Ideas & Examples
No matter your budget, there are always things you can add to your bucket list. Do the things you will find to be the most memorable, as well as enjoyable and fun, for you and your family. Simply determine who and what you value most in life, think of what activities you have always wanted to do, and imagine who you would most enjoy each activity with. And there you have the bucket list of your dreams.
Retirement should be a time to really enjoy the things you have always wanted to do. So enjoy your time, reinvent yourself, experience a bit of nostalgia, create lasting memories, cherish relationships, and live your best life.