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You’re never too old to… try an unusual hobby

If retirement conjures up images of knitting needles and slow-paced games of chess, it’s time to reset your thoughts. Once you’re free from work commitments and your children have flown the nest, each day is yours to experience to the fullest. How will you seize your newfound freedom?

Over 71% of those over 60 are making the most of their golden years by embracing new challenges. From mountain climbing and tap dancing to finally working on that novel, we reveal how you too can make the most of each day.

Boost your health and wellbeing

You might not think kayaking, playing the saxophone or learning Chinese have anything in common. But studies show that all types of hobbies can help to improve our wellbeing and boost our brainpower.

Scientists say that hobbies (and social activities in particular) can help to improve physical health, boost your mood and may help to keep illnesses such as dementia away. In fact, those aged over 65 spend, on average, seven hours a day on leisure activities for that exact reason.

And the good news doesn’t stop there. If you’re planning on getting a furry companion to keep you company during retirement, you’re in for some health benefits too. Research proves that simple activities such as stroking a pet or watching fish swim can reduce our heart rate, lower blood pressure and help us relax. Ahhh…

Think outside the box

Your golden age isn’t just a time for relaxing, it’s a chance to rewrite the rules. In fact, many retirees are reinventing retirement by setting up their own businesses.

Calling the shots at your own business isn’t just a great way to top up your pension pot, it’s a chance to unleash your childhood dreams. Ever dreamed of having your own ice cream business? Or selling your art online? Now’s your chance to go for it.

If crunching numbers isn’t your bag, there are other ways to make the most of the most exciting time of your life. Like hundreds of other retirees, why not join the community known as senior nomads? These savvy travellers are taking extended trips to far-flung destinations, stopping in Airbnbs and house-sitting along the way. Who knows, you may even find somewhere to live permanently.  

Explore ways to fund your new pastime

Whether you’re inspired to become a jet-setting globetrotter or a late-in-life entrepreneur, you may be wondering how to make your dreams become a reality. And if you’ve spent years squirrelling away funds for retirement, it’s probably not wise to splash the cash on a pottery course or one-way ticket to the Bahamas. That’s where equity release comes in.

Releasing a lump sum of equity from your property is a great way to raise extra funds for hobbies, trips and treats. The money is tax-free, you can spend it however you like and regulated plans allow you to be flexible with repayments.

But equity release isn’t right for everyone’s circumstances. The amount you can release depends on your age and how much your current property is worth. Some providers might even ask you questions about your health and lifestyle, so you’ll need to think it through.

Need a helping hand?

Exploring the right option for you can feel confusing, so it’s important to get straightforward advice. If you’d like to find out more about using equity release to fund a once-in-a-lifetime holiday or kick-start a creative hobby, talk to one of our friendly advisers.

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