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Wow – Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing!

Category: Adventurous retirement

August 21, 2012 — You name the activity – from skydiving to learning how to play chess – there is somebody from the community who wants to do it in their retirement. Ditto for travel – From cruising to Antarctica to taking a train ride across Canada or Europe.

The results are in from last week’s poll, with 215 people taking the time to share part or all of their bucket lists with us. We are so excited about your plans – what you folks are planning on doing couldn’t be more interesting!

Here in this article we will share a summary of what we learned from your input. At the end you will find a link to a CSV document with all of the anonymous responses, which we think are worth looking at. We think these lists are great from the standpoint of getting new ideas, and/or refreshing our memories about the kind of things we might have forgotten we want to do.

Travel tops the lists
At least a quarter of our poll respondents put travel-related items at the top of their bucket lists. Standout destinations were:
– Touring western national parks
– Europe
– South America (Machu Picchu is a popular Bucket List choice)
– Alaska
– Australia and New Zealand

But literally, just about every place on the globe showed up as a dream destination – from visiting the Passion Play at Oberammergau to sailing aimlessly around the globe. RVs, Harleys, and boats were mentioned as ideal dream vehicles to take them to these destinations.

Your editor going for  a ride in a Ferrari

Your editor going for a ride in a Ferrari

Wow, with these activities you are going to be busy
Many of you listed multiple dream activities that you aspire to do in your retirement, so there were probably well over 1,000 listed in all. Here are some of the most frequently mentioned ones:
– Fishing (several mentions)
– Golf (including touring courses in an RV)
– Mountain climbing
– Boating (and that includes kayaking, sailing adventures)
– Get a dog
– Start a regular exercise program
– Get back to my ideal weight at least one more time

It seemed like almost every person responding had their own idea of what would be fun to do. Some of our personal favorites are:
– Learning to fly
– Finish a quilt for each grandchild
– Compete in international BBQ cookoffs
– Read all the books I have been collecting reviews on
– Learn to dance the salsa
– Attend a Kentucky Derby
– Do anything, anytime I want to
– Hot air ballooning
– Buy a new BMW Z4
– Fly remote control airplanes
– Find a local chess partner
– Organize my photos
– Extend my film making into an independent film co.
– Helicopter over the Grand Canyon
(see the full list at the end of the article)

A good number of you, at least 20 of the 215 providing input, want to help others as a key part of your retirement. Several mentioned teaching/tutoring kids and high schoolers in various subjects including math and science. Volunteering with the Red Cross Disaster Services, Habitat for Humanity, and international mission trips were specifically mentioned.

Family and friends
Predictably, many of you intend to spend more time with friends and family in your retirement. You want to see old friends, make new ones, take the grandkids to Disney World, even “make a new beginning” with friends and family. Grandchildren are a top priority for some of you.

Where and how you want to live
It is interesting to see how many of you have goals for your new lifestyle in retirement. Specifically, you mentioned that you wanted to live in this kind of lifestyle:
– Near a university
– In a warm climate
– Low tax burden/low cost of living
– Patio type condo home
– Gated community
– Sidewalks
– Cottage on a lake
– Build an energy efficient home
– Close to an airport
– Rent our home so we can travel most of the year
– Build an outdoor kitchen
– Become self-sufficient
– Start a second career

Bottom Line
First, it is great that almost half of you have a bucket list. Second, we are energized by all the thought that our members have put into developing your bucket lists. And third, so many interesting and original ideas. Now, go out there and get busy ticking them off!

For further reference:

Our Pinterest Bucket List (lots of cool photos)
What’s on Your Bucket List?
Bucketlist-Topretirements – The Complete List of Responses
Top Member Concerns at Topretirements – A Survey
Best and Worst Things About Retirement – A Survey
Australia as a Bucket List Destination
Nostalgic Cars of the 50s and Sights of Cuba
An Antarctica Bucket List Adventure
Bagging the National Parks

Other Interesting Surveys:

Posted by John Brady on August 21st, 2012


  1. I saw the response below on the list of responses…it is a GREAT idea. I would love to see the results of this one…

    I would like to see a survey aimed at those already retired. Ask them about what they should have done before they retired; what they are glad they did do; what they recommend for those considering retirement; did their financial planning work out like they expected; did they relocate; if so, close by or out of state; did they move near family or choose to relocate where they wanted to be regardless of where family lived; how did they meet new friends if they relocated; do they feel they fit in where they now live; do they have trouble dealing with differing political views in their new location; how did they find new medical providers. Those are the things I believe would help prospective retirees prepare for retirement.”,

    by Dwayne Carr — August 25, 2012

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  4. […] For further reading: Senior Pass to National Parks: Your ticket to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. Each pass covers entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges as well as standard amenity fees at national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation. A pass covers entrance and standard amenity fees for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per vehicle fee areas (or up to four adults at sites that charge per person). The Senior Pass is $10 if you buy it in person at a park, $20 if you mail it in. See Senior National Park Passes List of the National Parks Visiting the National Parks by Train Backcountry Hiking and Camping RV Camping in the National Parks How to Make Reservations in a Popular National Park Wow, Your Bucket Lists are Amazing […]

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  8. […] Comments! Please share your ideas and comments about your favorite scenic highways, both in the U.S. and around the world, in the Comments section below. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ||[]).push({}); For further reference: Top 5 Scenic Highways in the U.S. Your Bucket Lists Are Amazing […]

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  11. We saw this article on MarketWatch about some of the top Bucket List destinations and couldn’t resist – we thought you would like to see it:

    You can probably guess most of the ones on this Top 10 list, although we were a little surprised to see Australia as #1
    See the updated articles we have written on some of these bucket list destinations above.

    by Admin — June 11, 2015

  12. If National Parks are on your bucket list here is a nice map and synopsis of each park:

    by Louise — October 10, 2016

  13. We just visited #6 on the list Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park in Sept. This is a must see destination and the trails were flat clear and easy walking. The trees are stunning! We hope to visit again. I would recommend staying at lovely Turtle Rocks B&B in nearby Trinidad. We drove down from Medford OR after flying in from NJ.

    Louise – Thank you for posting this list. There is something tranquil and healing walking in these parks and along the beaches of PNW.

    by JoannL — October 11, 2016

  14. We’re just back from a great trip to Morocco, a fascinating country. Road Scholar had it down to a science organizing a voyage that went from Rabat to Tangier, Chechaouen, Fez, Erfoud, Merzouga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, and Casablanca. Great guides, drivers, lecturers, music, accommodations, and meals. Imagine getting used to the five-times-a-day calls to prayer, walking among hijab and djellaba-wearing crowds, winding through the narrow streets and alleys of the medinas, riding camels over the dunes to a saharan tent camp, all the while feeling comfortable and safe in a 99% muslim country. Highly recommended Bucket List trip!

    by Gordon — October 24, 2019

  15. Despite having maintained and stuck to our retirement budget for 17 years (one item on my bucket list is renewing that budget plan in December every year — it’s fun and satisfying to me), our budget has always included funds for a significant trip every year to address that bucket list. That also includes some short “long weekend” type trips typically also for bucket list places. This latter most often does not include the actual weekend since we are retired and don’t have that restriction.

    However, after a number of good trips, in recent years we realized that our bucket list needed to include some nice upgrades to our home making it an even better destination (the destination we look forward to returning to even after just a few days away) and less maintenance intensive (now THAT is a great bucket list item). We’ve still done a few short trips, but have applied most of our travel budget as well as the maintenance/upgrade funds to these upgrades. Lots of continuing and recurring satisfaction and enjoyment are derived from those changes — bucket list.

    At this point, we’re again looking forward next year to a significant trip — with our personal “destination” at the end. I guess my point is that your bucket list can include things that might be considered mundane if they bring to you their own “reward”. Believe me, accomplishing some of our improvements has been quite an adventure!

    by RichPB — October 25, 2019

  16. One of the things my wife and I think about and we hear our friends discuss is the notion of getting the big trips in early (as in before we are too old to go to more exotic and far away places). So that has motivated our thinking in going to India, Asia, and Africa in our 60s and 70s. But on the other hand a couple we went with on some of those trips were in their late 80s!. The important thing, I think, is to do things while you are able, to the extent of your good fortune and health. Trips and other bucket list items are things long remembered and savored.

    by Nick — October 25, 2019

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