Boomers are at a crossroads in their life. Many have spent the majority of their life dedicated to their career and now they are faced with the reality of retirement. Some have happily embraced retirement as a chance to enjoy other aspects of their life, but something that keeps many of them from stepping away from work completely is the fear of boredom. How do you stay busy and engaged without work? While some do struggle with answering that question, many boomers have embraced their hobbies as their path to fulfillment. Some are tried-and-true hobbies, while others might surprise you. And whether it’s taking these hobbies up in retirement or working it into their work-life balance, boomers have embraced them wholeheartedly.
For many professionals, cooking was something you did in a hurry in between work. Now that some boomers are slowing down with retirement or a reduced work schedule, they are able to dedicate more time to preparing their meals. Many have found an unknown passion for the culinary arts, and with an endless amount of cooking-related content on the internet, they can conduct their own at-home cooking classes.
It’s almost a cliché of the fidgety new retiree that they begin looking for any and all fixer-uppers around the house to occupy their time. And yet, there’s some truth to that, although it seems born out of genuine interest rather than boredom. Whether it is small projects around the home, or taking on bigger dream projects, many boomers are eager to work with their hands and start building things.
While maybe not the go-to fun hobby for everyone out there, the average boomer seems to be something of a fitness fanatic. Their generation is healthier than any previous generation at their age and a lot of that could be due to their interest in regular physical activity. They were responsible for the so-called “Fitness Revolution” and as they age they’ve maintained that passion for exercise through marathons, groups fitness activities and regular trips to the gym.
Movies are one of those universal interests. Yes, there are some who love the art of cinema more than others, but you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who downright dislikes the occasional movie night. What might be surprising about how boomers are watching movies, however, is how much they’ve embraced the streaming technology. Netflix and other streaming services have allowed boomers to see all the latest movies from the comfort of their home and has actually kept them away from the theatres.
Like movies, music is sort of a hobby enjoyed by all. But quite the opposite of movies, boomers aren’t too interested in the new releases. Some of the greatest music of all-time came out of the boomer generation’s younger years and they hold that music in high regard. Artists who came to prominence in that period still tour successfully with boomer audiences seeking out their old favourites in concert. Also, the boom of vinyl records in recent years has been quite popular with the boomers who grew up with that technology.
While many boomers might still appreciate their vintage tech, like record players, they are also keen to explore the latest gadgetry. Despite the common notions, boomers enjoy staying up-to-date with the latest in phones and useful tech. they use it for a variety of purposes, from work to entertainment, and even health. But aside from the practicality of it, they seem to enjoy learning more about the latest developments and are fascinated in how far everyday technology has come in their lifetime.
When work becomes less of a priority for boomers and they begin stepping away from their careers, many take the opportunity to focus on the relationships in their lives. Whether it be spending time with their families, sharing conversations with old friends, or meeting new people, they enjoy spending time with others. Many of them engage with the community more and attend socializing functions, and many single boomers spend more time dating.
While sports can be a big part of one’s life throughout adulthood, in many cases, it doesn’t go beyond watching hockey on TV and reading the sports section of the paper. However, as they age, boomers have turned to sports in a much more engaged way. Many join after-work or weekend leagues to reconnect with their favourite sports, or even trying their hand at new sports. And don’t think they are sticking to golf and fishing. These boomers are not only eager to play the physically engaging sports like soccer and hockey, but there is also a rise of popularity in extreme sports among their generation. It just goes to show, you don’t grow out of your thrill-seeking ways.
Of course, we can’t ignore one of the great pleasure boomers begin taking advantage of in their second act. We dedicate a great among of our content to boomers’ love of travel and the various vacation adventures they enjoy. For boomers, travel seems to be a way of living in the moment and exploring more. You can see this with their international travel habits, seeing parts of the world that are new to them, as well as with their weekend getaways and road trips, taking full advantage of their free time. For many, if and when retirement comes, it presents the opportunity to see and do the things they’ve always wanted.
One of the most unfair accusations thrown at the boomer generation is that they are greedy or self-involved. Firstly, any criticism that paints an entire generation with the same brush is unfair, but more so it’s unfair because boomers have time and time again show to be generous in many ways. They are apparently one of the most charitable generation with their time, seeking out volunteer opportunities, starting their own charitable initiatives and getting involved in worthwhile causes.
What’s your hobby?