The word retirement comes from the French word meaning to ‘withdraw’—but withdrawing from your job doesn’t have to mean a retreat into idleness. In fact, retirement could be the best time for you to explore some interesting new lifestyles.


Think about it: you now have the freedom to do whatever you want, whenever you want. All those things you meant to try, but didn’t have the time.


Still need a little inspiration? Here are some possibilities from US News & World Report:


  • Living at the beach. Sure, it’s a bit of a cliché, but few activities can outshine watching the sunrise or sunset with your feet in the sand.


  • Playing 18 holes. Puttering around in the fresh air on luxuriant green grass—what better way to keep fit and meet new people?


  • Furthering your education. Many colleges offer courses for free (or at a discount) to seniors. Living near a university also provides you with access to various events and resources.


  • Enjoying your home. Wake up when you feel like it and do what you like in your own neighborhood. It’s your time!


  • Volunteering. Get out and put your skills to good use. You’ll likely benefit as much as the people you’re helping. Try your local museum or use your skills for tutoring.


  • Trying out a new career. Working for just an extra couple of years can have a big impact on your long-term finances. Not up for another full-time career? Try seasonal or part-time work.


  • Becoming an entrepreneur. Statistics show that more than five million people aged 55 and older run their own businesses. Consider being the boss of you.


  • Bargain hunting. Not only will you have more time to comparison shop and negotiate deals, but you may also be able to do things for yourself, rather than paying someone else.


  • Unleashing your creativity. You now have the time to put your talent for writing, music, or art to good use.


  • Gardening. This classic retirement pastime is a double positive: It’s a form of exercise that allows you to grow beautiful plants or healthy, inexpensive fruits and vegetables.


Source: “10 Retirement Lifestyles to Explore”, US News & World Report, July 2014


Which of these retirement lifestyles appeals to you? Why?