How to Make the Perfect Bucket List Over 50

human hands on the world map

Big birthday coming? Don’t dread it. Think of the Big 5-5 as an opportunity. You’re not getting older, you’re just reaching a point where you can really zero in on your priorities and fine tune that 55th birthday bucket list. Okay, so you are actually getting older, but with that age comes the wisdom and enthusiasm that make this time of life so special and rewarding.

To be clear, bucket list is an umbrella term that can include any and all of your dreams and aspirations, whether it’s a once in a lifetime adventure, or taking up a brand-new hobby that will be an ongoing addition to your life. Don’t think of it as a “before I kick-the-bucket list” but a “can’t wait to fill my bucket list!” The good news, it’s your personal wishlist so it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks about your goals and ambitions. You are constrained by neither tradition nor expectation. The better news - the possibilities are limitless.

Sure, there will be some ideas that may have reached their expiration date for obvious reasons. That bungee cord that looked so exciting 20 years ago may now be, how shall we say, a swing and a miss. But that doesn’t mean there are not loads of adventures waiting for you.

You’ve probably got dozens of ideas for your list already, but here are a few suggestions to help get the bucket rolling.

Once in a Lifetime…

  • Travel to an exotic destination

  • Splurge on something extravagant

  • Push yourself out of your comfort zone with a feat of daring like skydiving or mountain climbing

  • Grab a microphone and belt out a karaoke song

  • Dramatically change your hairstyle or color

  • Participate in an international festival like Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Running with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

  • Find an old friend you’ve been thinking of

  • Go on a road trip with buddies

  • Try unusual food

  • Join a flash mob

Get a New Hobby

Hobbies for Men Over 55

  • Enjoy the great outdoors on your own or with buddies and experience new parts of the country as you go fishing in lakes and rivers, even oceans.

  • Golf is a sport that stimulates both body and mind while providing social connection and a chance to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Car restoration is a fun challenging way to bring out your inner car enthusiast.

  • If you’ve always enjoyed dabbling in woodworking, carpentry may be the hobby you’ve been looking for.

  • Beer brewing has bucket list written all over it. You can start with a reasonably priced beer brewing kit and upgrade as you get more involved.

Hobbies for Women Over 55

  • Take up a new sport. Cycling, running, swimming, rowing, tennis, and golf are all sports that will keep you active and connect you with others  

  • Bring back the art of knitting its making a comeback as a fun, therapeutic activity and a great pastime.

  • It’s never too late to discover the beauty of photography. You can make and store memories while enhancing your cognitive abilities.  

  • Gardening is a huge passion for the over 55 set. Get involved with a few plants and maybe you’ll work up to growing your own patio veggie garden

  • Get your personal blogger on. As you share your thoughts with a broader community, you will connect to the larger world.  

When creating your personal “can’t wait to fill my” bucket list, the most important criteria is to be honest and include desires that really resonate with your true self. Whether you’ve always dreamed of learning a second language, getting a pilot’s license, or studying classical piano, there is no time like the present to make your list and start thinking about how to get those items checked off. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.