10 ways to celebrate your retirement

Festivities and adventures

Saving up enough money to retire is a major accomplishment that's worth celebrating. You can mark the occasion with a party or finally take an extended trip. Or you could relax at home and relish that you don't have anywhere in particular to be. Here's how to make the first few weeks of retirement memorable.

Plan a retirement party.

A retirement celebration can range from a small and intimate gathering of immediate colleagues and family members to a large bash including co-workers, clients and customers you interacted with over years of work. The party theme might center around your retirement plans, such as a luau for a retiree about to take off for Hawaii, or reference things you bought or sold on the job.

Go on a trip.

It's difficult to fit grand adventures into two weeks of allotted vacation time. Now you can go on an extended international trip and immerse yourself in the places you visit. Retirees have the luxury of traveling during weekdays and off-peak times and can take advantage of last-minute deals, which can sometimes make travel more affordable.


Retirement gives you the freedom to truly unwind in a way you never could during a short vacation. You can put your alarm clock in the closet and linger over the newspaper every morning. You don't have to get dressed at all if you don't want to. There's no need to rush anywhere.

See the 5 most popular retirement destinations abroad:

Make a memory book.

You have accomplished a lot in your family life and your career. Maybe you raised a family or climbed the corporate ladder. Organize all your pictures into a photo book, and take the time to add dates and captions.

Write your memoir.

Retirement can be a time to think about how you want to be remembered. Tell your own story by writing a memoir, book or blog. You can pass on wisdom you have acquired to your grandchildren, or list career tips for younger people in your industry. Most people have many stories to tell. Make sure you get yours down on paper.

Take a class.

You could rekindle a childhood interest by taking piano lessons or a painting class. Or you could take college classes in a subject that interests you. Some colleges allow retirees to audit classes for free or at a deep discount, and other colleges provide classes specifically for retirees. You could also take courses online from your house – no parking pass required.

Try something new.

After working for decades, you might be ready for some new experiences. The beginning of retirement is a great time to tackle your bucket list. Whether it's taking up woodworking, trying an innovative cuisine or experiencing a different culture, seeking out interesting experiences will help keep boredom from creeping into your retirement years.

Give back.

You could give a financial gift to your alma mater, favorite charity or your grandchildren. Consider taking on a large volunteer role for a cause you care about. Or you could mentor a young person in your career field to pass on the skills you have acquired.

Dote on your grandchildren.

The chubby cheeks and delighted shrieks of your grandchildren might have lured you into retirement. They will always remember the time you spend with them. While you probably don't want to be an on-call baby sitter, you may want to play a larger role in the lives of your grandchildren.

Plan your next chapter.

Retirement is the beginning of a new lifestyle that doesn't require going to work every day. While the beginning of your retirement might involve extensive travel or some long-awaited relaxation time, you may eventually want to find an activity that gives you a sense of purpose. Start to dream about the new role you will play.

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report