The Retirement Bucket List: Things to Do Before You Retire

The Retirement Bucket List: Things to Do Before You Retire

Planning for retirement involves many things. You’ll want to think about budgeting on a fixed income, where you want to live during your golden years, and what you plan to do with all the leisure time you’ll suddenly have.

However, one of the most important things to do well before you retire is put together your bucket list. A bucket list is a rundown of all the experiences you want to have and things you want to do before you retire.

There’s no science to a bucket list – it will probably be incredibly personal, with certain things that only you can do. But there are a few experiences that everyone should try at least once before they retire. To help get you started with your bucket list, here are 34 of the most exciting and fascinating things that you just must do before you retire. 

Live Abroad

Before retiring, you should try life in another culture and live abroad. You might find you develop a taste for the expat life, and you’ll be checking if you qualify for the Panama retirement visa before you know it!

Learn a New Language

Learning a new language is a wonderful skill, and is one of the most useful things you can do for future life, particularly if you love to travel!

Write Your Memoirs

Writing your memoirs is a wonderful way to share your life experiences with your family. A memoir is a fantastic legacy to leave to your kids and can be a treasured memory for years. 

Take Up Painting or Drawing

Developing a creative hobby by discovering your inner artist gives you a wonderful outlet for self-expression as well as an excellent way to take advantage of spare time once you retire.

Go on a Cross-Country Road Trip

There is nothing quite like a road trip from one side of the country to the other, and it is a great way to get a full taste of the magnificence of your home nation.

Volunteer for a Cause

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community and will give you an incredible feeling of achievement and self-worth.

Take Up a New Instrument

Like learning how to paint, learning to play an instrument is a wonderful experience and retirement is the perfect time to start a new hobby.

Try Your Hand at Gardening

Gardening offers a moment of peace, calm, and tranquility, with an amazing pay-off. There is nothing quite like harvesting and eating your own produce!

Explore Your Genealogy

Retirement is a great time to reflect on who you are, and there’s no better way to do that than to find out about your family! Uncovering your ancestral heritage is a fascinating journey through time and will give you a deep sense of satisfaction and connection to your family. 

Go Skydiving

Push your limits and test your comfort zone with the thrilling rush of throwing yourself out of a plane. You’ll never see risk in the same way again. 

Learn About Astronomy

Stargazing is an incredibly meditative, beautiful experience, and learning about astronomy can turn watching the night sky into a lifelong hobby. 

Visit All Seven Continents

Tick off every single continent (including Antartica!) for the ultimate ‘yes, I did that’ feeling.

Cruise the Pacific Northwest

Sail from Seattle on a dream cruise to discover the dramatic coastline and remarkable landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, from Washington to Alaska.

Complete a Triathlon

Take on an amazing fitness challenge and test your endurance by completing a triathlon. Whether Sprint, Olympic, or Iron Man distance, this is an incredible achievement. 

Witness the Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis is one of nature’s most magical phenomena, and something everyone should experience once in their lives. 

Hike a Famous Trail

Take on the great outdoors and hike one of the world’s most iconic trails, like the Appalachian Trail or the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Attend a TED Conference

Engage your brain and immerse yourself in some of the best ideas from the smartest folk around at a TED conference.

Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Another brilliant checklist to complete, the UNESCO World Heritage sites are some of the most interesting, beautiful, and culturally significant places on the planet. 

Attend a Major Film Festival

Getting to see the newest, most brilliant pieces of cinema before they come out in theaters is an exciting experience. Every film buff should experience the glitz and glamor of Cannes or Sundance at least once in their life. 

Take an Epic Train Journey

There are a few truly brilliant cross-country rail journeys in the world, and it is worth embracing the vintage elegance and sophistication of the Golden Age of Rail on the Trans-Siberian Railway or the Orient Express at least once. 

Try Paragliding

Another option for the daredevils, although with slightly less terror than skydiving. Soar throygh the skies and enjoy breathtaking views as you come as close to independent flight as it is possible to get. 

Study Philosophy

An open mind is a great gift, and retirement offers a unique opportunity to consider and explore life’s deepest and most profound questions. 

Trek to Everest Base Camp

The world’s tallest mountain presents a unique challenge, and while climbing Everest might be beyond most of us, a trek to Base Camp is a challenge worth undertaking. 

Learn to Fly a Plane

Becoming a pilot lets you slip the surly bonds of earth and soar through the skies, free of cares and worries. It’s a unique experience, and one that everyone should try. 

Visit Every State in Your Country

If visiting all seven continents feels a bit much, then why not confine yourself to visiting every region of your country? You’ll get a deep, rewarding understanding of the cultures and communities that make up the place that you live. 

Try Hot Air Ballooning

The most peaceful way to take to the skies, hot air ballooning is a joyful experience, and one that doesn’t require quite as much daredevilry as other forms of flight.

Travel the Silk Road

The Silk Road is the historical trade route that links Europe to China. Exploring this extraordinary route lets you walk in the footsteps of history, as well as seeing an amazing collection of countries linked together by ancient ties of commerce. 

As you approach retirement, your bucket list can act as a source of inspiration and guidance. It is a great way to add depth and richness to your life’s journey, as well as ensuring that your golden years are full of adventure and satisfaction. 

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