What Do Retired People Do With Their Time?

People often ask me, “What do you do with all of your free time now that you’re retired?” In all honesty, I used to wonder how people filled up their time when they no longer had jobs. But then I retired. And what I discovered was that retirement presents unique problems that need to be resolved, and doing so consumes considerable amounts of time.

Before I retired, the computer I used for my work was protected by sophisticated filters that screened out unwanted email. Rarely did an email that could be considered spam breach the system. But with retirement and no more filters, I became dependent on downloaded antivirus programs and soon discovered that my space would be invaded on a daily basis. These invasions are in the form of unwanted email messages.

The first of the series of messages I have received expressed great concern for my safety and well-being. I was advised that it is important to periodically check my credit score. I was cautioned to be sure that I’m not underinsured. I was offered an identity theft protection plan. I was warned that my car is now old enough to pose a danger to me. I diligently tagged these messages as “Spam.” Problem fixed! Not so fast.

Barely having finished with spam-tagging the string of concern-related messages, I began to receive pleasure-related messages. I was offered cruises, prizes, daily horoscope readings, package deals on ski trips, invitations for river rafting adventures, and a discount on an electronic cigar that can be “smoked” in public places without violating Colorado’s smoke-free law.

As each email arrived, I assigned it to spam and hoped maybe I was getting a handle on the problem. That was when someone out there with great phishing software became concerned about my health. That meant I could purchase discount diabetes supplies (don’t have diabetes), follow up on the recall of my hip replacement (don’t have one), and acquire various health-related products for the aging that I never even knew existed. Now I’m starting to say not very nice things, to no one in particular, as I spam-tag.

The fourth wave of messages was apparently intended to convince me that I should do something about my lack of education. Three degrees apparently are not enough. I was invited to enroll in college classes, given opportunities to apply for grants so I could complete my degree, and offered low interest rates on college loans. I was now starting to delete rather than tag many of the messages.

The fifth group of phishermen apparently had deficient software that did not pick up on the fact that I’ve been happily married for fifty-four plus years. So, I was quite surprised to receive a message titled, “Tired of being single? That message was soon followed by messages asking me if I was interested in senior romance and if I would like to meet senior singles in my area. (Yes to romance, right here at home; no to meeting.) But the zinger arrived this morning. The complete title of this email was: “We’ve matched you with a sweet single near you.” I’m sure Hubby will be so pleased.

Over the past month or so I’ve been receiving offers that I would really like to consider. These are work at home opportunities. What retiree wouldn’t consider a job making thousands of dollars a month a dream job? And this while sitting in front of one’s own computer for only a few hours a day! But, as tempting to me as these offers may be, I have to pass on all of them. I already have a full-time job tagging unwanted email as spam.


  1. When people ask that I regard it as a function of their envy which impels them to attempt to lay a "guilt trip" on the retiree if s/he can't list three volunteer jobs and five charitable committees.

    Oops. Am I feeling guilty? Nah, I always say, Whatever I want.