The Glorious Golden Years: 7 Suggestions for What to Do in Retirement - Common Sense Living Newsletter
Common Sense Living India

The Glorious Golden Years: 7 Suggestions for What to Do in Retirement

Apr 21, 2015

The Glorious Golden Years: 7 Suggestions for What to Do in Retirement 

I'm approaching my birthday this weekend, and I can't help wondering what I'll do 30 or 40 years down the line. I know it sounds like extreme long-term planning, but nowadays it's not just the old that are retiring, the young too are opting for careers that allow for more flexible and easy-going lifestyles.

There are days when I think I'll check into a peaceful ashram in my last few years, and then there are times when I think I could continue to stay in a city and work till the end of my life - like so many artistes, politicians, social workers... age doesn't deter them from making a mark in their golden years.

And then I saw the movies, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and its sequel The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and they gave me a more positive and balanced perspective about retirement. For those of you who haven't seen these movies, they are about retirees who come to spend their last few years in a hotel cum retirement home in Jaipur, India. This hotel is especially created for the elderly who wish to start a new life away from home, in a different country, with people of their own age group.

The characters in the movie eventually come into their own... some find a new calling, some a new love and still others, poignantly discover a larger life truth. Both the parts are a beautiful representation of continued learning, living together and making a difference during retirement.

It made me realise that retirement has endless possibilities. If you keep a positive approach and refuse to let the God of Death, Yamaraj hang over your head, you can achieve a lot ... giving your life much more enjoyment, fulfilment and meaning.

Thus, inspired by the movies, by the many silvers around me, by Mark Ford's Retire Next Year series in Wealth Builders Club India, by pure research and by my own wish fulfilment, I developed seven ideas that can enrich your life in retirement. Here's the list...

  1. Take up a hobby you never had time for

    I have vivid memories of my late grandmother doing crochet till almost the last week of her life. And that memory is actually a great one because she seemed so content and absorbed in what she was doing. Till today, I see her handiwork around the house and there's a knot in my throat and a prayer in my heart for her.

    Retirement is really the best time to use your free hours in pursuing a hobby of your choice. It could be gardening, Sudoku, knitting, painting, pottery, singing, writing or anything you have a flair for. Your hobby will not just keep you occupied, you may even be able to make some pocket money selling what you create... and your creations will ultimately make you immortal.

  2. Work part-time and continue to make some money

    You've just finished a long innings working and building a career and this advice may seem ironic, but the beauty of a part-time job is that you can choose the number of hours you wish to work in the day. It's a great option for seniors who are highly strung and still have more to give professionally. It allows them a less structured way to contribute to the workforce.

    You can explore the options of being a consultant, taking tuitions at home, blogging or copyrighting which are lucrative and can be done from your desk, lecturing at nearby colleges or reinventing your skills for another industry. You can also consider starting a small business of your own, this will help you use all the knowledge gained in your career as well as add some entrepreneurial skills to your bouquet.

  3. Travel to places you've always wanted to go to

    Were you often sitting at your desk surfing pictures of far and exotic places... blue seas, high mountains, clear skies, never-ending deserts, gush waterfalls... Well, now you have the time and the money to check them out in person.

    Almost everyone's bucket list has some must-see places on it, so take yours out, open your atlas or Google your favourite destination, find the best deal online and get ready to pack your bags for the place of your dreams. Of course, be practical and do what your health permits, but don't hesitate too much as life is really too short to ponder over the negatives.

  4. Join groups that have similar interests like you

    Being alone really doesn't add much to your life. Especially in the older days, it can lead to heightened feelings of loneliness and depression. To avoid leading a solitary existence, join different clubs and groups. The other day I addressed a Rotary Club meeting in the city and it was great to see so many senior citizens eagerly listen to my views on social media.

    Many such opportunities are available nowadays, there is a group for almost every area of interest. If you're a wine or cigar aficionado, find out which groups in your city help you pursue that; if you're an avid reader, join a reading club and if you like bridge, join a bridge group.

  5. Volunteer your time and expertise

    Volunteering is particularly popular among seniors. They have time, don't need to work for the money anymore but would like to impart their skills to the lesser privileged. With age and wisdom behind you, NGOs generally look at silvers as pillars to further their cause.

    So look up options near your home, find an NGO whose cause you can relate to and see how much time you would like to give it. You can even start your own cause and impact a few people in your own small way. But make it a regular habit and you will see huge benefits... your life will get enriched manifold by all the lives you've touched through it.

  6. Stay connected with people of all ages

    An aunt of mine in her 80s picks up the phone and talks to almost everyone in our family. It's amazing but she can talk to just about anyone of any age and listen to them patiently. What's more she is genuinely concerned about everyone's well-being. Her qualities not only keep the family together, but her qualities also keep her mind younger and more alert.

    When you're older, it becomes even more important to know what people younger than you are thinking. If you listen to them without judging them, you may just guide them to take paths that are more suited for their growth. So interact, inquire, be curious about new trends and stay connected with people of all age groups.

  7. Don't hesitate to fall in love again

    This is one idea which comes out very strongly from the Marigold Hotel movies and I actually feel it's a great one, because there's no reason that you need to be alone in your golden years. In fact, there's a host of dating and even matrimonial sites for senior citizens.

    After all, everyone has a right to love, no matter what age. At times it's difficult to start over, especially if you carry the memories of a late spouse or partner. But the truth is, as long as we live we love... and sharing all the love you have with someone special is just the next step.

    So smell the roses once again, wake up with a smile and rejoice in the rays of a new morning. Life has only just begun in retirement... it's up to you how you wish to live it up!

Editor's Note: Common Sense Living India is developing a host of programs in the coming year to cater to retirees who wish to have lucrative part-time learning and earning opportunities. They will provide you with easy money-making avenues that you can start right from your home and that will ultimately help you lead a richer and fuller life in retirement. Stay clued in for more.

What does retirement mean to you? What are you already doing that you would like to share with our readers? Leave a comment telling us about your own retirement dreams...

Image Source: bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock


We request your view! Post a comment on "The Glorious Golden Years: 7 Suggestions for What to Do in Retirement". Click here!

25 Responses to "The Glorious Golden Years: 7 Suggestions for What to Do in Retirement"

Gopalakrishnan Naduvathery

30 Dec, 2015

Excellent article. I am 65. I will never retire. I have gone back to my passion for writing, write blogs on WordPress, speakingtree, and Facebook. Need some income so trying for content writing, part time jobs. I will never retire. I am in my golden age.

Vasantha Subramanian

14 Sep, 2015

I am a widow aged 75 years I retired from LIC and thereafter worked as a faculty member in imparting prerecruitment training for Insc.agents under IRDA. for 4 years.Ibecame a member of Dignity Foundation an NGO with a focus on Sr.citizens.I also enrolled as a volunteer in companionship and helpline projects.I appreciate your views and ideas very much.These days I used to feel that I should give way for people who are younger than I am and I should take a back seat.After reading your article I feel encouraged and got rid of the feeling that I should take a back seat.Of course i should give way for others .

Like (1)

Om Arora P.Eng.

08 Sep, 2015

I am eighty years old and i have no interest in retiring until the last day. My wife an I enjoy the company of our good friends. I pick up some of my retired friends in the morning in my car and go for a 33 KM walk. I still have our own family office and keep busy along with my wife and son. I am an Engineer and a builder and build many projects worth close to a billion dollars, but stopped our construction and development business in 1995. i still get up at 5 AM in the morning and after tea and newspaper I go to Pooja Room for some spiritual study and meditation. I really do not find enough time for the retirement.

Like (3)


17 Aug, 2015



03 May, 2015

I am in teaching line for last 43 years. want to complete 50 years in same line. I spent my free time in singing. classical and light music. I go to bhajan class once a week. visit centre for special children once in a week. recently I have started teaching traditional cooking ,which is my hobby. Reading , yoga, travelling are my other pass time activities. your article suggests that I am on right path.

Like (2)

Maj Gen S.Duta VSM (retd)

03 May, 2015

After serving in the Army for 40 years (4 years as cadet and 36 as officer) I retired at the age of 56 in 1991. I then joined IPCL, a Navaratna Public sector Company then,as a Executive Director. Had to retire at 58. Joined RIL Under Dhirubhai as a vice president. After 7 years at 65 I was told I am too old to serve in RIL. One of my Friend who was running a furniture company asked me to join his company as Chef Executive Marketing. After 3 years at 68 I thought I have worked enough and retire. Another of my friend, a leading Structural engineer told me join him to do Project management for him. He was 2 years older than me . That gave me inspiration and I joined. 3 years later at 71 I got a strange call from Reliance (ADA Group) if I can join back.I thought it is a crazy world, at 65 I was too old, at 71 an offer to rejoin. It was a challenging task of converting a 17 story structure in to a Super specialist Hospital. It was a challenging task and I love challenging tasks, so I joined.The Hospital was inaugurated after 3 years. By then I had started my own business along with my son and Daughter in law. So after retiring 6 times in my life I am still working at 5 months short of 80. I agree with Ritika's Suggestion No 2. Keep working part time or full time it doesn't matter. Get ready to die in harness. Only advise I can give is to keep yourself mentally and physically fit. I go for walk and do yoga every morning. Read the daily 5 Minutes Warpup while having my peg of Scotch every evening. Yes why give up. Why retire. Take a final retirement when your time comes having lived a full and happy time. May be I will be able to say Cheers to Yamraj very happily when he comes.Maj Gen S.Dutta VSM (retd)

Like (7)


03 May, 2015


Suresh Goyal

03 May, 2015

Congratulations and Thanks Mr. Rahul Goel for your wonderful inspiring and positive 7 ideas to live a happy life after retirement. I would also like to thank you, Ms Ritika and Ms Virji for your Common sense living series which is also very useful and inspiring. Love and Regards, Suresh Goyal


03 May, 2015

And why to wait till retirement for all this????????? Present moment is The Moment!

Jitendra Babulal Patel

29 Apr, 2015

Why retirement at all? I am holding Economics Times (as my permanent reference) the day when cremation of Shri Dhirubhai Ambani was scheduled. The head line is " I will retire at cremation" really inspiring. This was the statement from Late Shri Dhirbhai Ambani to the one of the shareholder, when he questioned Shri Dhirubhai,sir, when you will retire!!! I totally agree with the views of Dhirubhai, meaning there is no age for retirement. My views on retirement are as under: The contractual engagement with employer may come to end on superannuating may be 58-60 years in most of the cases. Does life end on retirement? NO. I am in employment since my age of 19 years and today I am 55 Years. As I believe there are many reasons to survive, be alive in true sense and enjoy GOD gifted life, so I never involve myself in any group discussions like this or any other forum specifically on retirement issues. Why I believe so? I have no retirement activity planned? Dear Readers, there are many activities you can do post retirement. First thing is spare premium time with your family and friends. Help them in their routine activities and do not do bossing as no one likes it. Take family for a picnic or small trips whenever times permits ,may be the week ends would be best time. If you have aptitude, attitude and knowledge to share it with your youngsters, the hard way what you learned in your life, do it once and in reciprocation ask them how you should use your retirement time. Believe me or not, youngsters are very creative and sure their creativity should be used. Given a chance, I would say all readers irrespective of their age always be at receiving end let it be a good or bad things. Regular savings in a life from early age is must to have a tension free and independent spending life post retirement. Teach needy students free of charge from their educational syllabus, support education, as otherwise they are deprived of due to poor financial condition. Visit to any nearby hospital and help needy in your personal capacity may be a local help like guidance to their relatives on medical facilities and other public places for stay and basic amenities. Dear reader,List is long, but spent your time helping every one the way you can!!! If you like my thoughts, I will be happy to know it. Warm regards and best wishes to all of you. Have a very nice time ahead. Jitendra Patel

Like (1)

y jayantrao

26 Apr, 2015

Madam Ritikaji, Nice to go thr' your suggestions for retirees. I am 71 and 72 by next August,2015. I worked for 49 years in govt offices. Yet, I am not satisfied. I want to complete 50 years service. I am trying. In my vast experience what I realized is that there is nothing like working till one dies. It is not money, it is engaging with time. You forget your age. You grow with out your knowledge. You are healthy and wealthy too. You continue to be agile and active. Thank You. y jayantrao


24 Apr, 2015

Dear mandam, These are not merely suggestions, but are wonders of Golden Years, I would also like to add Listening Kirtan or Bhajans (Religious songs) , visiting nereby temples and maintaining them (cleaning/managing/organising) etc are adding much to the life of elders. Nice to read and experience. With sincere thanks!

y.narayana Myurthy

24 Apr, 2015

Very good suggestions for retired people. In fact. we have seen the first movie.


23 Apr, 2015

Ritikaji a wonderful and well thought out article. The ideas in the article set a direction for the seniors rammurty

DP Gupta

23 Apr, 2015

very good information for retired people

janak jariwala

23 Apr, 2015

A very good article and give inspiration to others to do some useful to the society. I always keep myself ready to do the work for the society to make others happy and try to give help to the needy people. I feel good if i can give one smile to other's face by any means. I post my views and good thoughts on my face book and send messages to connected people to make them happy.


23 Apr, 2015

Common sense is becoming a rare commodity these days...these articles and website may make at least some awareness and hope....The seven tips are wonderful for the well to do...I suggest for the illiterate and poor people who are old some other tips that are practical to suit their lifestyle have to be created and imparted as millions of them do not have access to modern technology or where withal....

Like (1)


22 Apr, 2015

A very well written and relevant article. I haven't seen the movie mentioned, but shall make it a point to do so. It is human nature to feel wanted and to maintain that it is so very important to stay active - stay "alive" ! And at this stage, you can be active by just about doing anything - just bring a smile yo someone is good enough --that is the beauty of this stage.

Lakshmikant Atchutuni

22 Apr, 2015

It is a very good article. In fact I am also a retired engineer having served in highly reputed organisations like Reliance Industries Ltd in India and also some MNCs abroad, and I am looking for opportunities to do human service. Service to humanity is service to God. As you rightly said, retirees have lot of time and also good experience in various fields so that they can really do some valuable service to society. I request Common sense living to guide/help senior citizens to do good service through NGOs.

Like (1)

Gurbinder Singh Bedi

22 Apr, 2015

I retired from Bharat Petroleum in March 2011. Since then I have travelled to USA, New Zealand and Australia and different parts of India. I tried to take up visiting faculty job based on my rich experience and training. But was not getting any calls. I found that since I am not an MBA my request was not entertained. My wife and I am are Reiki Master Teachers. We do classes and healing. this keeps us busy and also supplements our income. I also do some free interactive lectures on Stress management and meditation. I play Golf twice a week. I also write blogs on Speaking Tree.

Like (1)

Inderjit Singh

21 Apr, 2015

Ritikaji,i would like to join the work of my choice which i missed till my service in hand.But my work after retirement must do some good to the person in particular and society in general.Rest i must adhere to my new hobbies like reading, writing and seeing movies and places, With best wishes-Inderjit Singh


21 Apr, 2015

Ritika, I read your article of seven points to the retirees and about to retire in the offing. I agree with all your proposals. I am 67 by June '15. I am enjoying with my newly set up products trading, belonging to my own Veterinary Profession. I gained rich experience in Veterinary Products Marketing across the nation. I had a career spanning three decades in the Veterinary Divisions of Hindustan Ciba-Geigy, Hoechst, Merind, Pfizer and Wockhard, all in Mumbai. I am really thrilled to book the orders and deliver the goods to my long cherished customers. For me, retirement is an act of changing the baton, handing over one and taking over the other. Our involvement in any desired activity, with no age concerns, to the terminal stages of this beautiful life is better known as Karma. Our goal is the contribution to the other human and living beings. Balakrishna

Like (3)

Col g s gujral

21 Apr, 2015

Thanks foe the suggestions. I concur with your views,. It's never toooo old. To fall in love or romance!!!!!

Like (1)


21 Apr, 2015

The second innings can and shall be fulfilling.The experience and exposure received to be made useful to society. I think coaching, teaching and mentoring shall be a good occupation for the silver. As informed by you, looking for avenues

MG Kapoor

21 Apr, 2015

Excellent is just the word for this article. I liked it.


Sign up for a wealth of Common Sense Living ideas delivered to your Inbox for free every week.