While most people look forward to being retired, others may wonder what they are going to do when they are suddenly faced with a lot of free time. Money can be tight in retirement, but there are still things you can do to keep yourself busy that don't cost a lot of money. Not only will these things benefit you, but they can also benefit those you love.
Start a Hobby
Jump into that activity or hobby you've always wanted to try but never had the time. Take up golfing or take an after-school knitting class with your granddaughter. Many craft stores offer inexpensive craft lessons, and most golf courses offer discounts to senior citizens. You can even head to your local library and check out a book in your area of interest, such as photography or gardening, and teach yourself some new skills for free.
See the world, or at least your corner of it. Most people think that travelling is very expensive, but this doesn't have to be the case. Visit family members in other cities or states. Not only will they be happy to see you, but they are sure to offer you lodging and will probably take you around to see the local sites as well. Instead of flying, save money by checking out train or bus fare. Many buses are large, air-conditioned and quite comfortable. If you are looking for adventure closer to home, check with your city's tourism office. Even small cities often offer free guided outings to nearby attractions such as easy nature hikes or tours of historic buildings.
Give back to your community by volunteering. Sign up to be a Big Brother or Big Sister, or rock newborn babies at a local hospital. If you are a great cook, try offering to whip up a meal or two at a local soup kitchen. Share your wisdom and experience by volunteering in a classroom at a nearby school. Most teachers are overwhelmed with responsibilities and would probably love a helping hand or two.
Exercise Your Brain
Learn something new, or relearn something old. Just because you're retired doesn't mean your brain has stopped functioning. Exercise your brain by taking classes at a local community college or university. Perhaps you've always been interested in business, but became a teacher instead. Check with a nearby college and see if you can audit a class in business. Most colleges will gladly allow retirees to sit in as long as they have the space in the classrooms.