What To Do in Retirement? Retirement Ideas, Tips and More

What to do in Retirement - Poh Ern Si Penang Buddha Temple Blog
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Are you approaching the golden years of retirement and wondering, “What to do in retirement?

The transition from a bustling career to a more relaxed lifestyle can be both exciting and challenging. Many retirees find themselves at a crossroads, uncertain about how to make the most of their newfound freedom.

We at Poh Ern Si Penang decided to unravel the secrets to a joyous and purposeful retired life, providing insights into happy retirement, creative retirement ideas, and the myriad things to do when retired for a more meaningful retired life.

The Current Reality Behind “Happy Retirement”

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The retirement period should be one of the most intriguing times in an individual’s life. Yet, most retirees are not truly making the most out of their remaining lifetime in the world.

They are either in a state of indecisiveness, idling away their time taking care of their grandchildren or babysitting, or even extending their working life for another ten years or more. Some would succumb to joining senior citizen clubs or associations to occupy their time doing social gatherings and retirement activities.

The bitter truth is that, when our infancy period is filled with all kinds of pampering and affection, when one becomes grown-up one will always lack the self-reliance and dignity within. Then upon retirement age, one will find a hard time filling up the sudden vacuum of time available.

The True Purpose of Life on Earth

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Before we talk about what to do in retirement period, we need to understand the actual purpose of living on Earth first.

Let us be clear that our purpose in coming into this world is to perform our purported act of clearing our bad karmic effect or clearing away our sins as we are sinners on this earth. We should constantly be aware that we need to uplift our knowledge all the time through positive habits like frequent reading and most of all be readily available to every exposure and experience to enhance our vast down-to-earth knowledge and information.

Our retirement should also be spent with that awareness of our actual life purpose in mind.

This way, we learn to inculcate good discipline and better time management in the essence of time. At the same time, we gain more earthly wisdom and better chances to improve our virtues while clearing our bad karmic debts along the way towards our retirement age and beyond.

What To Do in Retirement Then?

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Reading to Expand Knowledge and Develop Realization

One of the greatest assets in spending wisely upon retirement is developing the good habit of reading. Sadly, in Malaysia and other Asian countries, an estimate of thirty percent of the people have good reading habits. The rest are either illiterate or have poor reading habits.

When we are in retirement period, one of the best means to occupy our time is practicing the art of reading habit. This way we could not only spend our time easily but also enhance our knowledge of advanced technology and innovative electronic gadgets.

Another aspect of reading should be on spiritual books to develop realization and insight. This way any retiree will not experience any bad brain disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Also read: Zen State

Proper Time Management

The best means to utilize our time upon retirement is to inculcate the good habit of instilling good time management when we are at an infant stage of living. Upon our constant habit of utilizing our time wisely and beneficially, we will automatically develop this natural instinct of occupying our time wisely upon retirement.

This is due to the fact that we will always keep our time useful for all the beneficial schedules and our time chart will always be fully utilized. This way we will never feel in a dilemma when our retirement period is imminent.

Practice Healthy Lifestyle

The last stage of keeping our retirement period beneficial is to involve ourselves in any physical exercises such as Tai Chi, Chi Gong or morning walks, as these kinds of exercises will keep us easily occupied for half a day. A healthy body will create a healthy mind and make our retirement period more agile in movement.

Listen to Good Music

We should listen to good music such as piano or orchestra-based music. This genre of touching and serene music will naturally smoothen our thoughts and make us feel the inner peace within ourselves. This is one of the proper ways to keep our retirement period in good use.

Do More Spiritual Cultivation and Practices

Upon returning home from exercising, we should spend our remaining time doing daily incantations of both sutras and mantras. Apart from that, we should also set aside some time for simple pondering and contemplation. These activities for retirement will help to move in the right direction towards successful cultivation.

Also read: Never Underestimate the Power of Prayer


Another more life-fulfilling interest is occupying ourselves with a plant nursery set up in our garden. Not only is gardening a relaxing pastime but with enough dedication and passion, you can even grow some herbal plants or fruit trees to generate income.

Planting any herbal and fruit plant is a tedious job and needs a lot of care in watering, and adding soil and fertilizer to upkeep the growth of these plants. Hence it is a gradual yet meaningful process of occupying ourselves in attending to all these plants. These are all useful actions for spending our time in our retirement period.

What Not To Do in Retirement

Having said the best things to do when retired, let’s now talk about what not to do in retirement. Some may argue that these retirement activities are what drive them to live day to day or create meaning in their otherwise retired and bored life, but there are other better and more meaningful ways to spend our happy retirement.


Most of the time we are too occupied with our career and financial stability that we overlook the importance of spiritual development to balance up our true way of living on this Earth. Many a time, we keep on working and working until we either break down and become hospitalized, or until we meet doomsday.

This is a very lopsided way of living. Too much occupied with our working life till death is a very shortcoming aspect and incomplete in fulfilling our proper way of living on this earth. We should always develop a good balance between career and financial stability, and spiritual development towards realization and insight. This way we lead a more self-satisfying, light and easy life.

By right, we need not have to resort to working again upon retirement in order to fill up our depleting source of income. Instead, learn to fill our vacuum stage of living by occupying ourselves with hobbies that also come with good earning revenue, for instance, collecting old coins and notes or growing orchids and bonsai. This way we will strike a healthy balance between working on a relaxing hobby while tapping into the revenue-generating potential.

Also read: Intuition vs Instinct

Becoming A Full-Time Nanny or Babysitter

In retirement, becoming a full-time nanny or babysitter might seem like a noble and fulfilling way to spend time, especially for those who enjoy being around children. However, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks of dedicating all retirement hours to childcare.

While spending time with grandchildren or other youngsters can be rewarding, it’s crucial to strike a balance and not let it become an overwhelming responsibility. Devoting excessive time to babysitting might hinder personal growth especially spirituality, limit opportunities for pursuing individual interests, and even lead to feelings of being tied down.

Your retirement should ideally offer a chance for self-discovery, personal enrichment, and leisure activities, not revisiting your parenthood of yesteryears.

Also read: Importance of Good Parenting

Watching Shows or Chitchatting All Day

Succumbing to the temptation of watching shows or engaging in continuous chitchatting all day can be counterproductive to a fulfilling and purposeful retired life.

While some leisure and entertainment are essential, excessive screen time or endless conversations without substance can lead to a lack of personal growth and mental stimulation, which is one of the biggest contributing factors to the onset of poor mental health. Remember, moderation is key.

Also read: Funeral Ceremony

Final Thoughts on Things to Do After Retirement

Whenever one goes onto retirement life, many people find it a great predicament to overcome the ample time available to put to good use and not really enjoying retirement.

What many people, retirees and the younger generation alike, fail to realize is that the crucial moment lies in not how much money is needed upon retirement or finding ways to spend the last days of your life focused on work or caring for grandkids just because you can’t think of other things to do when you retire, but in how much contentment one can achieve with what one has in life.

Honestly speaking, we will never be satisfied with what we have earned in our entire life unless one has cultivated the mind of being contented and satisfied with what one has in life. If not, there will be the temptation to work again upon retirement to fulfill the extended financial needs or just to kill away time.

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