The key to enjoying retirement: hobbies


Retired and thinking about how to spend your free time? Here’s some advice from the book “How to Love Your Retirement” (Hundreds of Heads Books,, $13.95), straight from people who’ve done it:

“Whatever it is you couldn’t do when you were working, do it now. The older you get, the more you realize that the old adage is true: Life is short. When you’re physically and mentally able to do what you want to do, do it. Don’t have regrets later.”

– Chalmers Gable, Marion, Texas, retired for 5 years

“I started running about 30 years ago. After I retired, I wanted to challenge myself. I ran my first marathon about eight months after I retired. Now I try to run five days a week. It’s my opinion that nobody maintains fitness for rational reasons. I say that because to do it, you have to make yourself uncomfortable. You have to be motivated by something else. In my case, it’s to be healthy and mentally fit. Running is what works for me.”

– James Evans, Republic, Mo., retired for 5 years

“One of my fields of expertise in criminal investigation was composite art drawing. Also, over the years of writing police reports I discovered a love of putting words together. So, from the first day of retirement I began to write short stories and do my own illustrations.”

– Bill Strain, Kerrville, Texas, retired for 6 years

“I was always handy and always wanted to try sculpting, but I never felt like I had the time or the opportunity. It’s been an amazing experience for me, and I’ve created some pieces that decorate our home. I’ve also continued to garden as a hobby. I’ve always had a garden, and I practically grew up on a farm, so this was important to me. My wife and I moved to an apartment complex, but the town has gardens that are leased for the summer. I grow vegetables, and I’m generally there a few times a week.”

– Charlie Hartsdale, New York, retired for 14 years

“I started volunteering with kids, visiting nursing homes, and assisting people with their grocery shopping and cleaning. I’ve never been happier. Helping others is absolutely my niche. Find yours and run with it.”

– Anonymous, Hershey, Pa., retired for 35 years

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