Newcomers to retirement often struggle to fill the endless amount of free time they’re suddenly confronted with. Thanks to the Internet, retirees today have a bottomless resource for new hobbies to tackle the endless free time. Best of all? A lot of these resources are free.
Here we take a look at some of the best free online hobbies for retirees.
Podcasts have become one of the most popular forms of media in the digital age due to its range of subjects and accessibility. Podcasts are a great resource for learning something new, catching up on your favorite radio show, or listening to a comedian. Many of the most popular radio programs, like This American Life and All Things Considered, are available as podcasts that you can listen to for free and whenever you’d like. Want to brush up on your history? Check out the longform, multi-part narrative podcast Hardcore History or Myths and Legends. You can even learn a language at your leisure with Coffee Break Spanish. There’s even a podcast for the popular active adult sport pickleball.
Share Your Knowledge on Wikipedia
We’ve all depended on Wikipedia before to answer questions ranging from last year’s Best Picture winner to the history of windows, but did you know that you can contribute to the community by becoming a Wikipedia editor? It’s a great way to stay sharp and up-to-date in the field you’re an expert in, while maintaining a keen eye for detail. How do you become an editor? It’s as simple as creating an account and clicking on the “Edit” button in the upper right hand corner of any Wikipedia page.
Enroll in a Class
Thanks to the internet, you can now attend classes without worrying about tuition (although there are several ways for seniors to save money on tuition in brick-and-mortar universities). Not only can you access lectures through Yale’s Youtube Channel or OpenCulture, but you can actually enroll in courses as if you were taking a course through an online university. This service is provided by websites such as FutureLearn and KhanAcademy. These sites offer full courses on topics ranging from history to economics to science. Another popular resource is Coursera, an organization that collects free courses from some of the country’s top universities.
Have an eccentric interest or a unique perspective on a popular topic? Starting a blog can be a great way to not only put your thoughts to words, but also to engage with the larger community. Although most people view blogs as tackling popular topics like politics, relationships, or celebrity gossip, a blog can be about literally anything you want. Don’t believe it? Check out this blog called Lonely Cheetos (exactly what it sounds like) or this one about Scrabble. There are also several easy-to-use sites that make setting up your blog a breeze. Writing in general is also a great hobby for retirees, as we’ve talked about before on 55places.com.
Have gaps in the family tree or wondering if that fantastical story about your ancestors is true? Genealogy can help you solve these mysteries. There are many online resources to help you start like BillionGraves. The Library of Congress’ archives makes it easy for you to search for family members throughout history. Although Ancestry.com is the best known genealogy resource, there are free alternatives out there like USGenWeb.
Learn to Code
Coding is another great hobby for retirees where plentiful online resources exist (probably because a great exercise in coding is to create a website about coding). It’s one of the few hobbies that you can pick up and master completely free, yet is one of the easiest hobbies to monetize. Check out Codeacademy then test your skills with Free Code Camp where you’ll not only learn more about your new hobby, but you’ll be helping non-profits with their coding needs.