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""For some, retirement is a welcome (and much-needed) extended vacation, but what if you miss tackling tough projects at work, or want to take this time to find your second calling?

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) share information to help you find engaging things to do with your newfound freedom and stay active throughout your retirement.

Recreation

Although it’s tempting to lounge on the beach or your back deck all day, Massachusetts boasts a variety of recreational activities you may want to try.

  • Hiking — Many DCR parks have Healthy Heart Trails that are typically 1.5 miles or less in length. These quick hikes are a good way to get exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. If you’re 62 or older, you can pay a one-time fee of $10 for a Seniors MassParks Pass and get into DCR parks for free for life.
  • Fishing — If you’re a Massachusetts resident and you’d rather spend your time outside fishing, you can get a free saltwater fishing permit if you’re 60 or older and a free freshwater fishing license if you’re 70 or older.
  • Group Activities — Looking for other fun things to do? Visit a Council on Aging (COA) to find support groups, social gatherings, Tai Chi classes, and more in your area — as well as information on senior services. Find a COA near you to get involved.

If there are activities at local community centers or other organizations that you’re interested in, check to see if they offer a senior discount.

Working and Volunteering

Not quite ready to leave the workforce? According to the Administration on Aging (AOA), as of 2014, almost 20 percent of Americans age 65 or older were working or actively seeking work. Massachusetts offers opportunities for retirees to volunteer and work in various fields.

  • Jobs — EOEA has resources to help you get a new job, whether you’re looking for full- or part-time work. You can find tips for writing resumes and cover letters, training opportunities, job posting sites, and more online. If you’d prefer to talk to someone in person, visit a One-Stop Career Center near you to get job hunting information.
  • Volunteering — If you want to spend your time giving back to the community through volunteering, EOEA suggests various senior volunteer opportunities with different organizations in areas like disaster relief, education, and technology. You can also get involved with local boards and commissions throughout the state to attend hearings and help shape your community’s laws.

Education

If you’d like to continue your education, Massachusetts offers many ways for retirees to keep their minds sharp and pursue lifelong learning.

  • General Education — Brush up on your general education by taking Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses or attending one of Massachusetts’ 29 public higher education campuses. Whether it’s a high school diploma or a master’s, you can earn that degree you’ve always wanted.
  • Vocational Training — If you don’t want to enter a degree program, you can take a vocational training course in a field that interests you and earn your certificate. Vocational programs are great ways to learn new skills.
  • Non-Credit Courses — Dive into new subjects without the stress of tests or term papers by taking a non-credit education course. Lifelong learning institutes offer classes in a diverse range of subjects and locations to enrich the lives of seniors.

Staying Healthy

Massachusetts has services and resources to help you stay healthy, no matter what you decide to do during your retirement.

By keeping your mind and body active through recreational activities, education, a new career, or volunteer work, you can banish post-retirement boredom and stay engaged for years to come.

How have you stayed active during your retirement? Let us know by tweeting @MassGov or commenting below.

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