Develop a hobby before you retire – Yahoo Finance

I have recently gotten into table tennis. Hitting the ball back and forth reminds me of all the benefits of starting a retirement hobby before I actually retire. Many people think they should wait until they have an excess of free time before they get into a new hobby, but I think that’s a mistake. There are many benefits to already having an established hobby when you retire. Here’s why you shouldn’t wait until retirement to figure out how you will spend your time.

Interest in a new hobby might not be sustainable. You may find you don’t actually want to spend as much of your retirement time with the activity as you first thought. I’ve done many activities in my life, including baseball, soccer, biking, bridge, golf and many more. Only a few of these will remain my hobbies in retirement. Part of this is due to my interests, while other hobbies have been dropped due to my physical ability.

I like going to the golf course and hearing the sound of the ball going in the cup, but it took me a few years of consistently playing to realize that I enjoy the game more when I don’t play that often. When I play too much, I tend to lose focus and play lousy. I just don’t try as hard, because the score doesn’t matter to me as much when I frequently play the same holes. The initial passion of a new hobby often keeps things exciting enough for many people to want to play more. But it takes longer to know whether the activity can be a lasting hobby or just an occasional pursuit.

It’s easier to switch hobbies when you have a job. Switching hobbies is often expensive. Almost every new activity takes some start-up capital, much of which can be unexpected. When I first got into road biking, I knew about the costs of the bike and helmet. But that’s just the beginning of the costs of being a road bike owner. The costs of a nice road bike alone can be thousands of dollars. Then, there are shorts with padding, chain lube, clipless shoes, pedals, pumps, tools to make bike adjustments and a stand. There was so much I needed to buy just to get the bike going, and then I needed water bottles to stay hydrated while I ride. And if you end up riding a lot, some of those bike parts, like the chain, wear out and need replacement.

I still love biking, and one of the main reasons is due to its incredible health benefits. But if I started after I retired, I don’t know if there would be sufficient slack in the budget to try a new hobby like this. I might have missed out on a beautiful way to stay in shape and meet new people due to unexpected high costs.

Budget for ongoing costs. I’m still in the honeymoon stage with table tennis, but so far I like it. I know that unless I find a couple of friends and play at one of our homes, then it will cost about $50 a month to play at a club, plus money to replace the rubbers on the paddle that wear out every year or two. If I still love playing after getting into it more, then at least I know to factor these costs into my retirement budget. Retirement is unpredictable enough. There’s no need to add more variables such as unexpected costs of new hobbies if I can help it.

David Ning is the founder of .

via Develop a hobby before you retire – Yahoo Finance.

About The Author


A husband, father, brother, uncle and cousin to a great group. I'm an budding entrepreneur that has interest in making money that will sustain deep into retirement. At this point in my life I see no reason why I shouldn't get my piece of the pie.