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Five new skills to learn in retirement

Your Life
Thursday 09 November 2017
Time to settle into a boring retirement? Not these days! Here's Key's tips how to turn retirement into an incredible chance to learn new skills.

Gone are the days when retirement meant slowing down and losing the identity of working life. This generation's retirees are vibrant, lively and making the most of the "second life" retirement offers. Holidays, family time and new hobbies top the list of things to do. Here are five new skills you can learn and how to go about them.


Retirement can mean aches and pains. But they don't have to rule your days (and nights). Take up Pilates and learn to control parts of your body you didn't know existed! Pilates is a gentle, but very effective, form of studio-based exercise which uses body weight to strengthen the core, stomach, back, hips and limbs. Important skills to have as your body ages (even if your mind doesn't!).

How to: contact your local leisure centre or seek out a Pilates specialist, as they are often freelancers who hold classes at local halls and other venues. Physiotherapists, osteopaths and even your GP may be able to recommend a teacher.

Walking for Leisure

Use your retirement to take walking to another level and learn how this everyday activity can offset weight gain, protect against heart disease, and strengthen your emotional and mental health, too.

How to: use traditional OS maps, or download the OS app to your smart phone. Start by exploring your local area by using byways and footpaths. If you like, you could use an app or an on-body activity monitor like a Fitbit or Fitbug Orb to measure your steps and track the benefits of extra activity. You could even join a local walking club to stay safe and sociable whilst keeping fit. 


A certain British baking show has placed good old fashioned home baking - and a certain older lady baking expert - firmly back into the nation's hearts. Baking is trendy. Upskill your existing passion for baking by taking a class. Or use your skills to teach others: the youngsters in your family will be keen to learn (and it's something the whole family can enjoy together).

How to: sign up to a class such as speciality baking or decorating at a local venue (independent cafes and tea rooms often host them). Maybe you could even offer to lead a class!


It's never too late to learn the highly technical game of golf. Golf is a wonderfully social sport, and gives you a great reason to get out into the fresh air, avoiding the negative habit of sitting at home too much.

How to: visit your local golf clubs for taster days or open days to see which course, classes, instructors and atmosphere suits you best.

Arts and Crafts

Why not tune into your inner creativity and join a painting or pottery class? Or how about a jewellery making workshop? There are so many crafts classes to choose from! From photography to knitting, discover a whole new world of hobbies to unleash your artistic flair. You can even use your creations as gifts for friends and family on special occasions, which means you can save money too!

Lucky you - retirement is a great opportunity to strengthen your mental and physical wellbeing. The only question is: will you learn a brand new skill, or revisit an old talent?
Page last updated: Wednesday 07 November 2018