Hobbies – the path to an enriching retirement

I’ve written numerous times on the benefits of having hobbies both during your FI journey and after your retirement

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This last weekend, I took 3 days to travel to central Virginia, just south of Shenandoah National Park, to backpack about 17 miles on the Appalachian Trail. As I’ve written before, I enjoy the trips and the comradery of hiking with a group of friends. In this case, we had a rough time – not so much with the terrain but with the weather. It was supposed to be highs in the mid-40s and a low around freezing. It turned into a high of 40 and a low of 21, and we has 20 mph wind gusts the last night. We all struggled, but in the end we all (seven of us) got our safely and had some good stories (and a good campfire the last night)

As I hiked, I often thought about how long I could continue this hobby in retirement. While I have met 80 year olds on the trail, I know that this is rare. I think the best I can hope for (with my numerous minor leg issues) is to go to 70.

It has long been said that someone should retire “to” something, instead of “from” something, if you want to have an enjoyable retirement. So what are you looking to retire to? Most folks talk about travel once they retire, but that will only occupy so much time, for a certain number of years. Then what?

For me, I’ve been working on the following hobbies:

  • Backpacking
  • Woodworking (including building a side business)
  • Handyman/Home Remodel/Habitat for Humanity (an interest I’ve had for 30+ years)
  • Travel (primarily in the US, but some European sites)
  • Military History

I’d also like to start working on some things that will keep my mind nimble

  • Crosswords
  • Learning another language
  • Learning a musical instrument

I can see myself being very busy in the years after I retire, and I work through these. Hopefully I won’t be bored. I know in reading a lot of FIRE blogs that people have ended up busier in retirement than when they were working. That’s my goal.

So what are you planning to do once you retire? What are you doing now in preparation for it?

Mr. 39 Months

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