TOP-TEN ACTIVITIES TO
WHEN YOU ARE RETIRED
Top-Ten Retirement Activities
People love chopping wood, In this
activity one immediately sees results.
— Albert Einstein
Before enlightenment, chop wood,
carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.
— Zen proverb
Retirement can be the best time of our lives. Unfortunately, the
first part of many people's lives is wasted on boring work activities and the last part is wasted on a boring
retirement with unfulfilled retirement pursuits. The good news, however, is that many more people enjoy
retirement than those who don't.
Fact is, you can feel whole and alive again at any age provided
you indulge in active retirement activities and have an overriding purpose other than to just exist
busy [when you retire]. If you are going to sit on the couch and watch TV, you are going
— Bill Chavanne
In other words, you want to have an active retirement with many
fun things to do when you
In my opinion, these are the major principles for
creating a fulfilling retirement.
Have a major life purpose.
Be open to learning new
Accept that money will buy style and comfort,
but it won't buy you happiness.
Learn how to enjoy solitude.
Find a retirement job that you can work at
temporarily as a fun job.
Maintain old friendships and create new
Indulge in regular strenuous exercise so that
you will be physically fit and able to enjoy your retirement activities.
Travel a lot.
The key is to find many ways to connect
with the world if you would like an active retirement. Problem is, however, that the top-ten activities for
retirees that will help them retire happy are not necessarily what
they think they are.
Top-10 Retirement Activities That Soon-to-Be-Retired Baby Boomers Plan to
Here are the top-10 retirement activities baby boomers are planning to pursue when they
retire according to a August 2010 study conducted by Allstate Financial.
Also listed are the annual costs for each as estimated by the baby boomers surveyed and
also by industry experts:
Activity Boomers' Est. Ind
Est (Est Yearly Cost)
5 Going fishing
10 Home renovations
This study, called the Retirement Reality Check Cost of Leisure Index, found that baby
boomer retirees expect to spend about $10,900 per year on their top-10 retirement
activities. More than half of people surveyed (55 percent) included travel in their top-10
retirement activities. On average, the soon-to-be-retired baby boomers said they would take four
trips per year, and spend about $7,700 a year on travel. The baby boomer's estimates were compared
to estimates from various associations and trade groups representing these top-rated retirement activities.
What good is freedom if you've not got the
money for it?
— Lillian Hellman
One ought, every day at least, to hear a
little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few
— von Goethe
No doubt there is a problem with the top-10 retirement activities that the baby boomers want to
pursue. Knowing how much the retirement activities will cost does not mean that retiring baby boomers
will have the money to pursue these activities.
Most people will never be able to retire and
maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living.
— Timothy Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
The baby boomers surveyed estimated that they would need $40,900 per year in
retirement to cover the cost of their top-10 retirement activities and basic living expenses. To achieve this,
the average baby boomer will need to have more than $1.2 million in retirement savings at the start
of a twenty-year retirement. (Social Security benefits were not included in the baby boomers' expected retirement
income. The Social Security benefits would lessen the required retirement savings needed for
these retirement pursuits, but not as much as the average baby boomer would expect.)
Unfortunately, the average surveyed baby boomer has less than $120,000 in assets. This is
not even a tenth of the more than $1.2 million in retirement savings they say they will need to pursue
their top-10 retirement activities when they eventually retire in the next 10 to 20 years.
Top-Ten Retirement Activities That Are Never Too Late to Pursue Unless You Are
These retirement activities come from either one of my two best-selling retirement books
The Joy of Not
Working or How to Retire Happy, Wild, and
Obtain a University Degree. Doris Eaton Travis
was 88 when she graduated with a degree in history from the University of Oklahoma.
Learn How to Read Better: Franklin Tennessee
resident David Eugene Ray was ninety-nine when he started to learn how to read.
Run a Marathon. Ed Benham was 84 when he ran a
marathon in 4 hours, 17 minutes, and 51 seconds.
Go to Jail for a Good Cause: Doctor Benjamin
Spock was 83 when he was arrested at Cape Canaveral, Florida for demonstrating for world peace.
Operate a Ski Club: Lloyd Lambert, at 87, was an
active skier and operating a seventy-plus Ski Club that had 3,286 members including a
Climb the Highest Mountain That You Can
Find: Hulda Crooks was 91 when she climbed Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain
in the continental United States.
Continue Working in
Retirement as an Architect:
Frank Lloyd Wright, a pioneer in
the modern style and considered one of the greatest figures in twentieth-century architecture,
was 89 when he designed his last building.
Start a Symphony Orchestra: Leopold Stokowski
founded the American Symphony Orchestra at 80 and recorded twenty albums in his nineties. At the
age of 96, Stokowski — an eternal optimist no doubt — signed a six-year recording
Write a Book: At the prime age of ninety-eight,
Jessie Lee Brown Foveaux sold her first book for a small fortune. The great-great-grandmother, an
unschooled and unskilled writer, turned a memoir she wrote in a writing class for senior citizens
into a book.
Here are a few more quotes relating to retirement activities to get you more motivated to have a
happy and fulfilling retirement:
When the majority of people get my
age, once they retire and get Social Security they lay on the couch and do nothing. The
next thing you know, they're not with us any more.
— 77-year-old Retiree August Gonsoulin
I still find
each day too short [in retirement] for all the thoughts I want to think, all the
walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to
— John Burrough
An E-mail from a Reader in
Is Looking Forward to Early
Over the years I have received well over 1,000 letters and e-mails from readers of
my international best-selling retirement books How to Retire
Happy, Wild, and Free and The
Joy of Not Working.
It comes as a surprise to many people, but not to me, that a lot of the readers of my
books write a letter of
liberation either to announce that they have quit their jobs to pursue a more enjoyable job or take early retirement so that they can experience the
joy of being retired instead of the misery of the workplace.
The following e-mail is from a gentleman in Kuwait who is looking forward to early retirement and
likely will have no problem finding inspirational activities to make his retirement happy, wild, and
----- Original Message -----
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2007 7:29 AM
Hi Mr Zelinski
I am from Kuwait.
Your book reflects the real life in Kuwait and I think everywhere.
I have enjoyed reading the retirement activities in The
Joy of NOT Working.
It's a great retirement book.
I am considering retirement within 3 or 5 years .
By the way, I am 31, married, and have a daughter.
Learn How to Have an Active
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