Here Is How Retirees Spend Their Free Time

Retirees can spend their free time in a variety of ways, depending on their interests, hobbies, and personal circumstances. Some retirees may choose to travel, spend time with family and friends, engage in physical activities or sports, volunteer, or take up new hobbies or projects. Others may prefer to relax and enjoy leisure activities, such as reading, watching television, or gardening.

Still, others may choose to work part-time or pursue further education. Ultimately, how a retiree chooses to spend their free time is a personal decision and may vary widely from person to person.

An American Time Use Survey from 2019 reports that retirees have more than seven hours of free time every day. According to some recent surveys, this is how Retirees in the United States spend their time.


Those who have put in the time and effort over many years deserve a rest day or two. The elderly and the young have the luxury of sleeping more and caring for themselves. Adults 75 and up average 9.9 hours per day, split evenly between resting and caring for themselves. People under 25 spend more than 10 hours a day sleeping, showering, and getting ready. Everyone else sleeps a little less than average.

In front of the television

The most popular pastime of retirement-age people is watching TV. Statistical data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that those 65 and older watch 4.6 hours of TV every day, compared to those 25 to 44. People aged 55 to 64 watch 3.24 hours of television per day on average, with this number rising in the years leading up to retirement.

Repairing Your House

Those 65 and older devote the greatest time of any age group—nearly two and a half hours every day—to home improvement projects. Lawn and garden maintenance, home repairs and upgrades, cooking, and cleaning all consume a disproportionate amount of time for the elderly compared to the young. From an average of an hour per day in the early twenties to just over two hours per day in the late fifties and early sixties, the amount of time spent on housework continuously rises as we age.


The retirement age is often ignored, as many individuals continue to work after that point. The average person between the ages of 65 and 74 works about an hour per day. This calculation considers supplemental revenue streams such as craft sales, childcare, property management, and yard sales. However, most retirees do not continue to work until 75, and the percentage of their lives spent working steadily declines.


Retired people do not have to rush through their morning meal before leaving for work. Those freed from the constraints of a long workday might devote more time to activities such as finding nutritious food options or scheduling lunch dates with friends. Daily food and drink consumption among retirees averages 1.35 hours, or 5 minutes longer than the national average. People spend more time at mealtimes and in the bathroom as they age.


Those who are retired often have the leisure to look for the greatest price by visiting many establishments. It is becoming more critical that those living on limited incomes can afford basic needs at reasonable prices. The senior population spends the greatest time of any age group, almost an hour each day, shopping (in-store, over the phone, or online). On average, shoppers in the 35-44 age bracket spend 0.7 hours each visit.


In retirement, some people can devote more time to helping others. Volunteering and other civic or religious activities account for over half of retirees’ daily time, compared to less than a quarter for those aged 35 to 54. Counted in this total are hours spent volunteering, going to church, or serving on a jury.


Retirement is a great time to finally get around to reading that classic you’ve been meaning to read or to completely immerse yourself in the current page-turner. The elderly typically like reading more than their younger colleagues since they have more free time. The oldest readers, those over 65, spend the greatest time each day turning pages (approximately 37 minutes). The average person spends less than one-third of their day reading or approximately 16 minutes.

Clicking around on the web

It’s possible that senior citizens now spend as much time online as teenagers and twenty-somethings do. In terms of time spent using a computer for fun and games, retirees are roughly on par with the general population. Also, retirees spend roughly 15 minutes daily on phone calls, letters, and electronic messages.


Having friends and activities to attend might help you feel like you still belong after retirement. The average person of any age spends roughly 40 minutes each day chatting with their neighbors and pals. This encompasses both in-person communication and the organization and participation in social gatherings. Playing cards or board games with other people may be a great way to meet new people and pass the time during retirement, which is why the typical retiree spends 13 minutes each day doing so.


Taking time off from work allows you to unwind and recharge your batteries. Beneficially, retirees have more time than any other demographic to sit back, reflect, and enjoy life. It takes the average American adult only 19 minutes per day to unwind, whereas the average retiree spends about 30. The freedom to relax and do whatever you want, whenever you want, is a major perk of retirement.


Most retirees are not increasing their time spent exercising despite having fewer reasons not to do so. From 13 minutes for those 45 to 54 years old to 15 minutes for those 55 to 64, there appears to be a little increase in exercise time upon retirement. However, people over 65 drop back down to an average of just 13 minutes each day.