6 great ideas for your retirement bucket list

Here’s how to make a ‘to-do list’ you’ll really enjoy! 

Once you’ve retired from working full-time, you’ll find you have a lot more time to do all those things you were going to do “one day”! 

That’s why retirement is the ideal opportunity to get serious about completing your own personal ‘bucket list’ of once-in-a-lifetime activities, that you just never seemed to have time for when you were still working full time.

So if you’ve not yet put together your retirement ‘bucket list’, now is a great time to get started. You’ll find having a list written down can both help you to look forward to some “out-of-the-box” things to do, and help you to plan for achieving them.  

To help you get started we’ve suggested these six ideas – but feel free to add your own. After all, it’s your bucket and your list!


1) Do something you’ve never dared to

Retirement could be the perfect time to challenge yourself a little, get out of your comfort zone and shed your inhibitions.

After all, you’ve reached an age where you probably don’t (and shouldn’t!) care what other people think of you! Have some fun with these ideas – and add your own:

  • Try a new cuisine you’ve never eaten before
  • Spend a day watching movies and eating takeaway in your pyjamas
  • Go for a tandem ride on a Harley
  • Have a glamour or boudoir photo shoot
  • Wear a bikini to the pool or beach (just the ladies!)
  • Sing your favourite song at a karaoke bar
  • Shave your head for charity – or just for you
  • Go skinny dipping! 

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2) Try something you’ve never tried before

When you’re thinking about your bucket list, remember that not every experience needs to give you a pleasant jolt of adrenaline! Many more sedate activities can offer just as much fun and pleasure.

So have a think: what might bring a warm smile to your face, or make your heart skip a beat? Here are a few of our ideas, but you should definitely add your own. Now’s the time!

  • Go hot air ballooning at dawn
  • Swim with the dolphins at Monkey Mia in WA
  • Watch the tennis on centre court at Wimbledon
  • Take a flight in a helicopter
  • Experience a White Christmas in New York
  • Try and spot Migaloo the white whale in Queensland
  • Savour a meal at a Michelin starred restaurant

3) It’s payback time

It’s not surprising to discover that the highest percentage of volunteers are people who’ve retired from the workforce. One reason is that retirees generally have more time on their hands; but perhaps more importantly they have a feeling of wanting to make a contribution to their community in a positive and meaningful way.

If you’d like to share the skills and talents you’ve developed, why not:

  • Volunteer for a charity that means something to you
  • Give a home to a small dog or cat from the RSPCA
  • Write a regular column for a local paper
  • Plant a tree that will outlive you
  • Participate in a charity sporting event
  • Become a blood donor
  • Write your autobiography
  • Pass on what you’ve learned to a young person


4) Learn something new

You probably already have one (or more) hobby that you’re passionate about. This is your chance to take it to the next level!

What’s more, your retirement years are the ideal time to learn more about a pastime you love; or indeed to develop a whole new skill. 

Your retirement years are the ideal time to learn:

  • How to speak a foreign language
  • Advanced cooking skills
  • A musical instrument
  • A particular dance style
  • How to use sign language
  • Horse riding
  • Using Facebook
  • Tai Chi, yoga or meditation
  • Public speaking skills, eg. through Toastmasters

In fact you have so many choices that you could try something new each week and never run out of things to do! For ideas, trying asking at your retirement estate, searching online, or visiting your local library, TAFE, or U3A.

5) Travel to someplace truly special

At your age you’ve no doubt already travelled far and wide. But have you ‘only’ visited the usual suspects such as the UK, Europe, New Zealand or Asia?

Now that you’re working on your bucket list, why not aim for a more unusual or even once-in-a-lifetime destination? Stretch your imagination a little and think about whether you’d like to:

  • Trek through the Australian Outback
  • Put $100 on black in Las Vegas
  • Walk along the Great Wall of China
  • Go on an elephant trek in Thailand
  • Splash in an Icelandic natural hot spring
  • Witness the same animals as Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands

Want to try something even more adventurous? What about:

  • Riding on the Ghan
  • Scuba diving in the Red Sea
  • Driving Route 66
  • Heading off on an African safari
  • Seeing the Northern Lights in Norway
  • Exploring the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids
  • Revisiting your honeymoon destination
  • Having a Guinness or two for St Patrick’s Day – in Ireland!

While you’re doing your research, think about whether you’d enjoy travelling alone, with your partner, family, or friends; or in an organised tour group such as through your retirement estate.

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6) Connect (or re-connect) with the people who really matter

We’ve saved perhaps the most important idea for last. Now that you’ve retired, you have a great chance to connect or re-connect with all those people who’ve played a part in your journey. Here are some ideas for making re-connecting fun:

  • Renew your wedding vows
  • Book a professional photo shoot with the whole family
  • Take the grandkids on a camping trip
  • Have a spa day with girlfriends (or daughters, or granddaughters)
  • Go to a concert with your son or daughter (best pack earplugs just in case…!)
  • Work on a project (such as scanning old photos to preserve them) with a family member 

And it’s not just about connecting with others – you can also take the opportunity to re-connect with yourself. As you probably know, plenty of special memories can be created when you spend time alone. Why not try:

  • Writing that novel you’ve had inside you all these years
  • Working on researching the family tree
  • Enjoying a meditation or yoga retreat solo

Arrange your personal tour of Kensington Gardens

Find out why Kensington Gardens is perfect for fulfilling your bucket list 

With so many facilities available to residents – and an active and welcoming social scene – Kensington Gardens offers you the perfect retirement lifestyle.

We invite you to come and see it for yourself. To arrange your personal tour, call Kensington Gardens today or get in touch online to book a time to come in and visit us.

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