If you have more time on your hands or maybe you’re looking for things to do in retirement - why not invest that time in yourself by developing new skills or expanding your mind?

The internet offers worlds of opportunity to enjoy existing hobbies, learn new skills and even discover interests you never knew you had. Don’t wonder what to do in in retirement . All you need is a smartphone, tablet or laptop and you’re off!

We've compiled a few suggestions to help you get started.

Are you a culture vulture?

For arts enthusiasts missing their gallery trips, did you know you can explore many of the world's most famous museums from the comfort of your own home? Google's Art & Culture programme has partnered with LA’s J Paul Getty Museum and London’s Natural History Museum among others to let you virtually walk through their galleries, learning more about paintings and exhibits as you go.

If the stage is more your thing, several theatre companies are streaming recordings of shows online for free, while others are asking for a contribution to help support their work. Grab your opera glasses and interval drinks and watch world class performances from the comfort of your own sofa.

Are you a language lover?

If you've always wanted to learn another language but haven't had the time, now is the perfect opportunity to indulge yourself. The popular smartphone app Duolingo gives you free access to extensive foreign language learning programmes, allowing you to learn at your own pace.

You can visit Duolingo's website, sign up for a free account and download their app.

Are you a lifelong learner?

One of the greatest joys in life is to learn simply for the sake of learning. Now is a fantastic time to broaden your horizons, learn new subjects and find new hobbies to do at home . The Open University free online courses lets you explore at your leisure, covering anything from art history to health and psychology.

And the University of the Third Age (U3A) is a great way of connecting with retired people in the community who come together and learn new skills, ideas and activities from each other.

Are you an aspiring artist?

Why not take the time to refine your drawing and painting skills? The YouTube channel WoW Art provides plenty of short courses on detailing different artistic techniques. They also set regular challenges to give you a chance to put what you've learned into practice. 

Are you a bookworm?

If you love books but miss talking about them, GoodReads has thousands of clubs to join, covering different genres. If you’d rather start your own book club, the BookClubz website allows you to set up your own virtual club – managing invites and helping you stay on top of discussions. It even lets you rate the books you’ve read online.

Are you craving time alone? 

It can often feel like there’s a long list of things you want to do in retirement, and balancing your never-ending to-do list with modern life can be tricky. Finding time to be alone is important though, and whilst being with loved ones and keeping busy is essential, so is making time for yourself. Whether that’s creating a space to read alone in, taking up a new solo hobby or trying meditation, ‘me-time’ can help you enjoy a happier and healthier life.  

Are you keen to keep in touch? 

Emails, video calls, text messages – digital technology has made keeping in touch with friends and family simple. With the press of a button we can send them a message or give them a call. But what about the cards and letters that we once cherished? The joy of letter writing is one that’s not only good for keeping in touch with loved ones, it’s also good for our mental health. Take a break from technology and let someone know you’re thinking about them with a handwritten card or letter.  

Related articles

Man with dog

How to track down your old pensions

If you’re beginning to think about your retirement, having a good understanding of how much your pension is worth can make planning easier and more exciting.

Women photographers

Find out about learning on holiday

With busy lives and family commitments, it can be easy to forget about ourselves and the activities that make us happy. That’s why being on holiday, when you’ve left life’s distractions at home, is the perfect time to get back to learning.

Women doing keep fit

Local learning

Taking up a new subject and engaging the mind has many benefits. Be it playing the piano, learning to swim or writing intently, adults who learn new skills in later life perform better in long-term memory tests than those that stick to more leisurely activities, like reading.