Do you have a plan for your retirement?

Whether it’s travelling the four corners of the world, making more time to spend with loved ones, or working on the garden, most of us will have plenty of spare time on our hands once we leave the workplace.

And, naturally, with both your weekends and weekdays now free, there’s no better time to revive an old hobby or perhaps pick up an entirely new one.

But with so many options available, how do you know where to start?

To help give you an idea of which hobbies are the most popular among retirees in the UK, the team at Reassured surveyed 1,000 people and asked them what their favourite retirement hobbies were.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 hobbies for UK retirees...

The top 10 hobbies for retirees

  1. Gardening - 35%
  2. Country walks/hiking - 30%
  3. Reading - 25.6%
  4. Travelling - 25%
  5. Cooking - 22%
  6. Painting - 10.6%
  7. Watching movies - 10.2%
  8. Volunteering - 8.6%
  9. Playing an instrument - 8.4%
  10. Swimming - 7%

At the top of our list, coming in as a favourite for a whopping 35% of those surveyed, was gardening.

Well-known for being relaxing and helping to relieve stress, it’s no surprise this wholesome activity ranked at the very top of our survey results.

Of course, gardening wasn’t the only favoured hobby, with a further 30% stating they enjoy either country walking or hiking. Much like gardening, this is the type of healthy hobby that requires plenty of spare time, something you’ll have in abundance during retirement.

As for our third and fourth most popular hobbies, both reading and travelling were chosen by 25% of our survey participants, with reading being slightly more popular at 25.6%.

Coming in at fifth place, roughly 22.4% of those we spoke to love to immerse themselves in cooking.

Interestingly, following our fifth most popular hobby, there's a noticeable drop in the popularity percentage. Our next most popular hobby, painting, was only chosen by 10.6% of those we surveyed, with watching movies and cinema trips following closely behind at 10.2%.

The remainder of our top 10 was rounded off with hobbies such as volunteering, playing a musical instrument, and swimming, which were picked by 8.6%, 8.4%, and 7% of those we surveyed.

This sudden decrease in hobby popularity between our fifth and sixth spots is certainly an interesting statistic and may indicate that the popularity of these hobbies is on the decline.

However, with that being said, it's worth mentioning that hobbies such as painting and playing a musical instrument are harder/more expensive to get into than simpler hobbies like reading and walking, which may help to explain their lower popularity.

The top retiree hobbies for women and men

For women, it was:

  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Reading
  • Country walks/hiking
  • Travelling

For men, their top hobbies were:

  • Gardening
  • Country walks/hiking
  • Travelling
  • Reading
  • Cooking

Given the vast range of hobbies to choose from once you’ve retired, you may be wondering if certain hobby types are more popular with men or women, and although hobbies like cooking and reading appear to be more popular with one gender, the difference in popularity is much closer than you might think.

In fact, when looking at the gender divide between hobbies for men and women, what quickly becomes apparent is that the top five hobbies for both genders are exactly the same.

Unsurprisingly, given its top spot overall, gardening is the most popular hobby for both men and women, at 36.7% and 33.6% respectively.

This is then followed by cooking, reading, walking, and travelling for women, and walking, travelling, reading, and cooking for men.

The most popular unusual hobbies

  1. Making homemade wines
  2. Going to the pub
  3. Caravanning
  4. Modelling railways
  5. Family genealogy
  6. Recording music

Although we wanted to primarily focus on the most popular hobbies favoured by retirees, we couldn’t finish the research without touching on some of the more unusual hobby choices that emerged.

Whilst it’s not too surprising that activities like caravanning and going to the pub might become more common once you leave the world of work, studying the art of winemaking or recording your own music is certainly more niche.

We also saw some survey participants displaying a keen interest in researching their family history, and for the modelling enthusiasts amongst us, you certainly have a wide range of options available.

In other words, if you can think of something you'd like to spend your time doing, you’ve found yourself a hobby.

So, there we have it, the most popular hobbies for retirees in the UK. Of course, if none of the top 10 activities we’ve mentioned take your interest, remember that there’s no harm in stepping out of your comfort zone to try something more unconventional.

Secure your loved ones' financial future

Lastly, whilst you may no longer have to consider the cost of raising children or mortgage repayments during your retirement, you may still have to provision for the future living costs of a partner or covering funeral costs.

To discuss your over 60 life insurance policy options why not contact our award-winning team at Reassured? We can compare life insurance quotes completely free of charge.

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