Retirement Activities, Hobbies and Interests

A grandmother planting a pot with her granddaughter

Things to do in retirement and how a reverse mortgage could support you

Nearing your golden years and looking forward to being free from work? Making big plans to pursue hobbies and other activities that you have always been passionate about? Already retired and unable to decide what to do now? While some Canadian retirees cannot wait to make the most of the spare time after they stop working, others may struggle to decide how to fill the hours. If you are among the latter, you may want to look at taking up an activity that acts as a good replacement for the satisfaction that you may have derived from your job or career. In fact, pursuing a hobby may not only be a great source of enjoyment, but may also give your retired life a new purpose.

There is no telling what may catch your fancy. It could be simple activities, such as reading, knitting, or volunteering for a worthy cause with a local community group. Or it could be more complex activities, such as learning to fly an airplane, or buying a sailboat and voyaging to distant shores. Whether your preferred activity is affordable or expensive, artistic, athletic or intellectual, a little financial cushion in the form of a reverse mortgage could always be useful.

A special type of home equity loan designed exclusively for use by Canadians 55 years of age or older, reverse mortgages have been changing the lives of many since 1986. Essentially, you can draw direct benefits from your home equity and enjoy tax-free cash in hand, without the burden of monthly instalments or repayments. The loan becomes repayable only when you move, sell your home, or pass on. While a reverse mortgage can give you the financial impetus you need to pursue retirement hobbies, do you know what you wish to do to make your golden years even more beautiful? Read on for some ideas and inspiration.

The things we love to do not only keeps us active but also lifts our morale in retirement. However, it may not as easy to take up hobbies post your retirement if you are not fully prepared. Many people have to work post retirement to support their finances. But you can still live your dream retirement and do things you love without any financial burden.

Retirement hobbies for Canadians

According to Statistics Canada, about 75% of retired Canadians engage in active pursuits, such as walking, exercising, socializing, volunteering, participating in organized sports, attending cultural events, using technology, and such. They spend an average 3.5 hours per day, in doing so 90% of the retirees also engaged in passive leisure activities, such as reading, listening to music, or watching television.

Canadians have so many fun things to do in retirement that it would be difficult to list them all.

  1. If you are looking for inexpensive ones that typically need just the investment of time, you can consider reading, cooking, walking, meditating, gardening, sewing, blogging, playing a musical instrument, playing cards, etc.
  2. If you are more ambitious and prefer to be out and about, here are some things to do in retirement:
  • Fishing, boating, hunting, motor biking: These activities may need an investment in the relevant vehicle, gear, and equipment, as well as the ongoing expenses for fuel, or upkeep of the gear. Moreover, if you are truly embracing that hobby, you may even start collecting more than one bike, or more than one fishing rod, etc., which means, these activities will require substantial funds.
  • Hiking, biking, birdwatching, or photography: Somewhat interrelated, these hobbies may require purchase of gear, such as hiking boots, tents, sleek cameras, mountain bikes, binoculars and more. You may also have to account for the fees for joining a hiking or birdwatching club if you intend to meet like-minded people to pursue these activities in a group.
  • Traveling: You could invest in a vehicle or motorhome and head out on road trips or travel to exotic tropical destinations and stay at all-inclusive resorts. If you are looking to save costs, you could simply stay in motels, or explore budget-friendly backpacking trips.
  • Attending the theatre: If you are a die-hard theatre buff who loves to attend specific shows in different locations, you may need funds to travel and stay, depending on the venue.
  • Dancing: You may have to pay fees for taking lessons, as well as for purchasing appropriate shoes and clothing.
  • Horseback riding: This may either involve purchase and boarding of a horse, or you could go to an equestrian center or horse stable and pay to ride.
  • Bowling: You may need to buy membership in a club or make payments for the use of a bowling alley.
Supporting your hobbies in retirement may not be as easy as it sounds, but there are ways you can fund them.


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Need an influx of cash to live your dream retirement? A reverse mortgage may be able to get you there!


  1. For those who are looking for something off the beaten track, you could consider going back to school to retrain yourself. Increase your knowledge or learn something that allows you to start a new business. Many Canadian universities offer low cost or free courses, including online classes that you can pursue from the comfort of your own home.

It’s hard to define the ‘best retirement hobbies’, or separate hobbies for retired men and women. The possibilities of activities that you can pursue in your golden years are endless. It is up to you to explore what interests you or brings you maximum happiness and satisfaction.

Retirement hobbies have more benefits than you can imagine

Certain retirement activities, hobbies and interests offer highly positive side effects, in addition to the sheer pleasure of the hobby. For example:

  • Knitting is affordable, portable, easy to learn, and you can either knit alone, or in a group. In addition to producing handy items, such as scarves, sweaters or gloves, it helps you in maintaining dexterity and flexibility in the hands and fingers. Moreover, you can also give knitted items as gifts, or sell them to create an income-producing venture.
  • Athletic endeavors, such as walking, cycling, swimming, yoga, or golf double up as low-impact exercises with several health benefits.

Pursuing hobbies during retirement will help you:

  • Stay healthy: It does not have to be a strenuous physical activity. As long as you do something beyond staying in bed or watching television all day, you are actively working out your muscles and burning calories. This could even be through simple activities, such as daily walks or gardening.
  • Maintain mental agility: Pursuing a hobby may involve learning new things, gaining knowledge, and being informed on current trends. No matter what hobby or activity you engage in, your mind is suitably occupied, enabling you to maintain mental agility.
  • Prevent loss of dignity: If your sense of worth came entirely from your job and career, you may experience a sudden loss of self-esteem once you retire. However, pursuing a hobby will keep you busy and give you a sense of purpose.
  • Avoid depression, anxiety and stress: Isolation and loneliness are some of the key reasons for depression. During retirement, the more occupied you are, the less likely you are to feel stressed, lonely, or bored. Socializing and staying active, will help you stay physically and mentally fit, stop boredom in its tracks, and protect yourself from going down the dark path of depression, anxiety, or stress-induced illnesses.
  • Create a new social circle: Pursuing a group hobby, socializing, or volunteering in the local community are all opportunities to interact with people. Surrounding yourself with people is an excellent way to avoid loneliness and fill the social vacuum. This is especially relevant when you lose the daily interaction with colleagues or workplace friends. Over time, you may even forge strong bonds and make new close friends.
  • Maximize your free time: Retirement is the only time in your adult life that you have the opportunity to do what you want, when you want. Maximize that time by engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you joy, while also keeping yourself occupied and healthy.

Support your hobbies: Make the time

Whether the hobby you choose is simple and affordable, or complex and expensive, it is imperative to make the time to immerse yourself in that activity. If your financial situation compels you to continue working after the average retirement age, you may never get the time to fulfill your cherished hobbies. However, as a Canadian homeowner, you are actually sitting on available cash in the form of your home’s equity. Tapping into this financial resource may be the one single step that could positively alter your living situation. Why not make the most of your golden years? A reverse mortgage can help you indulge in your favorite hobbies and provide you with the funds to support them.

Consider a reverse mortgage for fulfilling your retirement hobbies

If you are a Canadian homeowner, 55 years of age or older, you may qualify for a reverse mortgage. Unlike other mortgage-based home equity loan products currently on the market, the CHIP Reverse Mortgage® requires no monthly payments from you (the borrower), for either principal or interest amounts. This no-payment scenario continues for as long as you or your spouse live in the home. The only events that can trigger the requirement for loan repayment are:

  • You sell the residence
  • You and your spouse move from the home
  • You and your spouse pass on

Furthermore, HomeEquity Bank guarantees1 that as long as you meet your mortgage obligations, at the time of loan maturity, the loan amount due will not exceed your home’s fair market value. Any excess equity still remaining after the home sale and repayment of the mortgage can be kept by you or your heirs, as the case may be.

If you have given a thought to the things to do in retirement and need financial security to make them happen, consider the CHIP Reverse Mortgage. Call us at 1-866-522-2447 or use our online calculator to see how much tax-free cash you could qualify for. You can enjoy your retirement hobbies to the fullest, but it’s important to start planning for that today.

[1]The guarantee excludes administrative expenses and interest that has accumulated after the due date.

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