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Old 03-22-2021, 03:10 PM   #61
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Another vote for hiking. A pair of hiking boots is about it for equipment (although I've seen hikers wearing sneakers just fine). I'm hopping to get back into it soon.
I have probable Morton's neuroma that causes pain in my right foot. I started walking a lot in late 2019. I bought a pair of Xero hiking shoes (a brand of minimalist shoes), and my pain is much improved. All this stuff about hiking boots and ankle supports, and the like seemed like it made sense until I listened to Peter Attia's podcast last September:

#128 – Irene Davis, Ph.D.: Evolution of the foot, running injuries, and minimalist shoes.

Some points that made sense:

-1f you break a bone and it's set in a cast, when you get the cast taken off, your muscles will have atrophied, and you will need to gradually and carefully build strength.
-Our footwear may be a source of the increase in runner's injuries.
-We don't go around with neck braces and back braces all the time, so why do we think we need to brace uninjured ankles?

The shoes are amazingly comfortable and the tread really hugs the ground well. And they are not expensive. They even have a 5000 mile sole warranty. Show me another shoe with a warranty.

So hiking can be very inexpensive.
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:47 PM   #62
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After moving to a new area a couple of years ago, I've taken up fossil hunting and collecting. Almost every bit of limestone rock on my property is encrusted with small marine fossils from the late cretaceous period.

I do some prepping of the fossils with tools similar to dental pics. It's the least expensive of my hobbies by far, and more fun than whittling on a stick in my spare time.
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Old 03-23-2021, 03:46 PM   #63
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A lot of hobbies can be done inexpensively. But you need discipline to not get caught up in the "gear war."

For example. Have binoculars? Then you are ready for bird watching and sky gazing. But temptations await you. For bird watching, you may want a camera. Then a telephoto and fancy tripod. Then trips to exotic places. Same can be said about sky gazing.

Hiking? Get a pair of good boots. But gear wars could await you there too.

Gardening? It can get out of hand if you are not careful. Next thing you know you've remodeled the basement for your seedling grow room.

And so on. Keep it simple. Be satisfied with learning and keeping memories, and it is all good.
Absolutely - avoid "gear wars" - and "accessories wars". I bought a good used road bike for $400 and ride in regular sports clothes.

My buddy bought a $1,500 road bike and then spent several more hundred on "cycling outfits".
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:21 PM   #64
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Absolutely - avoid "gear wars" - and "accessories wars". I bought a good used road bike for $400 and ride in regular sports clothes.

My buddy bought a $1,500 road bike and then spent several more hundred on "cycling outfits".

Ahem... My personal history in this regard is none too admirable. Let's just say I haven't been a fiscally disciplined cyclist or photographer/birder over the years. Your friend who coughed up $2K on bike gear looks like a model of restraint to me.

Many of us on this forum find ourselves never richer, never healthier and never with more free time than just after retirement. The temptation to "blow that dough" on a new hobby can be overwhelming.
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:23 PM   #65
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My husband target practices, hunts, reloads (has become crazy expensive!) and does gun smithing. He likes to listen to music and watch TV He likes to putter around the house but not much to do now in our new downsized house. He likes to go on the internet also- a bit on social media.



I read, and swim in the nice weather. I like communicating on social media. I exercise- including outdoor walks- but I get bored with that.


We occasionally take "wikes" as we cannot do hard steep hiking. We sight see around our new home state.



We would like bike riding but haven;t bought bikes because in winter we wouldn't use them. We would love to own a boat being we are in a lakes area but too expensive for us. Thought about getting kayaks but haven't done that. We would rather go on the mail boats and the lake ship (both of which we can walk to) occasionally, but with COVID we do not want to wear a mask so until that requirement is lifted it's a no go for us. Thankfully we have a neighbor who has been so kind to take us out on his boat several times last summer.



We belong to two politically like minded type groups and this past Sunday we did community service picking up litter along a main roadway.
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:33 PM   #66
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Here are hobbies I picked up in retirement:

Fly fishing — I’m fortunate to live in an area with great access to rivers for fly fishing. There is a bit of a start up cost for waders, boots, rod/reel, line, flies, etc. but it can be very rewarding if you enjoy isolation and nature and the challenge to think like a trout. It helps to get started if you can take classes or get a mentor/guide.

Fly tying — great companion hobby with fly fishing. There is a start up cost for a vise, tools, materials, etc. Once you know what flies you need, there are lots of great resources on YouTube on how to tie them.

Guitar/bass — it is difficult (but not impossible) to learn to play guitar/bass at an older age but it is something you can do at your own pace and alone (with a teaching app like Yousician). Once you develop some basic skills (e.g., strumming cowboy chords) it can be fun to “jam” in a group setting. Starting off with a good/playable instrument is important. It is worthwhile to pay for a few lessons to get proper playing and practicing techniques.
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Couldnít agree more.
Old 03-23-2021, 04:45 PM   #67
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Couldnít agree more.

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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Iím getting back into playing chess.

Chess.com free tier is fine to play against people from around the world at anytime you like.

Lots of other options too.
I just started Chess. I never played before but itís great. Chess.com even the free account is great. I also bought a competition size chess board on Amazon for $25. And I bought a couple of chess books. But the time I put into organizing a group of friends to play each other in tournaments, has really made it special.
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:50 PM   #68
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One of my quarantine projects was a grown-up paint-by-number. They cost about $40 and come with everything you need, though I did find that buying a couple of better paint brushes at the craft store was very helpful, so add another $10-15 for that.


I worked on mine every single day for about 16 weeks. I found it very relaxing. It really helped me put aside the cares of the day and focus on something different. And now I have a really nice painting hanging on the wall just above my computer and I get to enjoy it every day.


I bought mine from paintplot.com.
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Old 03-23-2021, 04:51 PM   #69
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Ahem... My personal history in this regard is none too admirable. Let's just say I haven't been a fiscally disciplined cyclist or photographer/birder over the years. Your friend who coughed up $2K on bike gear looks like a model of restraint to me.

Many of us on this forum find ourselves never richer, never healthier and never with more free time than just after retirement. The temptation to "blow that dough" on a new hobby can be overwhelming.
I played tennis today - realized that I bought this racket when I was dating my wife of 34 years.....

It's carbon fiber, oversized, doesn't look too "embarrassingly retro".....

I've used my wife's racket - new, "latest technology" - my game is no better....
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:32 PM   #70
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I have some "hobbies " that I spend very little money on. One is a walking challenge of 2,021 miles this year (I will hit 500 miles tomorrow). When walking alone, I use the time to also catch up on my backlog of podcasts. I also do organized Volksmarching events which is a whopping $3 each.

Another hobby is genealogy. there are a lot of free online classes on this subject and I have learned a lot about my own family history. Yes, it is also possible to spend $$$$ on this hobby too - it just depends on how far down the rabbit hole you go.

Meetup groups for a variety of subjects. I am leading some walking events through Meetup including a 10K event in South Dakota for June.

I'd like to add playing Pickleball but I have not learned how to play yet or purchased a paddle. there are both free courts and indoor courts (for a fee) in my town.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:40 PM   #71
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Here are hobbies I picked up in retirement:

Fly fishing ó Iím fortunate to live in an area with great access to rivers for fly fishing. There is a bit of a start up cost for waders, boots, rod/reel, line, flies, etc. but it can be very rewarding if you enjoy isolation and nature and the challenge to think like a trout. It helps to get started if you can take classes or get a mentor/guide.

Fly tying ó great companion hobby with fly fishing. There is a start up cost for a vise, tools, materials, etc. Once you know what flies you need, there are lots of great resources on YouTube on how to tie them.

Guitar/bass ó it is difficult (but not impossible) to learn to play guitar/bass at an older age but it is something you can do at your own pace and alone (with a teaching app like Yousician). Once you develop some basic skills (e.g., strumming cowboy chords) it can be fun to ďjamĒ in a group setting. Starting off with a good/playable instrument is important. It is worthwhile to pay for a few lessons to get proper playing and practicing techniques.
I did these too. Iíve had all my equipment for decades so my costs are very low. Fishing and fly tying probably costs me $100 a year. But I live on a blue ribbon trout river. Iím teaching a newbie now and he got a real handsome rod, reel, and line for $150, but I spent many times this a long while ago. One of the few sports where much of the equipment has gotten cheaper over the last two decades.

My bluegrass guitar instructor charges $25 a week for an hour lesson. I have lots of guitars from $1,000 to $6,500 but I doubt Iíll lose money on any of them. We have 3-4 day campout/jams that cost a little in motorhome fuel, propane, etc. Iíve been taking lessons for 2.5 years now and am doing pretty well. Good enough to have fun in groups at least.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:42 PM   #72
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I work on old cars as my hobby. While it can be expensive, I actually make money when I sell a vehicle. Of course my labor is less than min wage. But I also get to have fun driving the vehicle for a while.
So it can be costly during the process, however those funds are recovered later. Let's not add in the tools cost or detached garage costs, LOL. Agree that it can be hard work at times. For sure if you can't do work yourself, old cars are a very expensive hobby.
Yeah, I have been working on cars since the early 1970's (many VW Bugs restored and a Corvette or two). And I made some money on some of those when selling. But the last couple (early BMW, and a 1971 Beetle) wore me out. I still do my own maintenance and general upkeep on the cars we own, but no new big projects are on the horizon. My body can take it, but the aftermath takes longer to heal. LOL!

(I have a lot of mechanics tools just doing nothing these days)
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:49 PM   #73
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I read ebooks with the app Libby that I get free from the library. My goal is to read 52 books a year but Iíve never reached that goal. The closest Iíve come to the goal was 43 books.

I also buy music CDs at my local Goodwills for $1.00 per CD. I also have bought quite a bit of used speakers, receivers, CD players, etc. Iím trying to cut down on equipment purchases and concentrate on finding new groups to listen to.

Walking is another hobby that I enjoy. Try to get out 2-3 times a week for a few miles each walk.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:57 PM   #74
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traveling in our motor home; general aviation; amateur radio. <sigh>
Uh, which one of those is inexpensive again?
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:59 PM   #75
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I often think about what I will do with my free time after I retire so let's discuss some of your inexpensive hobbies and how much you can expect to pay for them.

The term "inexpensive" is very relative term so define that as you will but try to include what you spend or what one can expect to spend on this hobby on a monthly basis.
Genealogy can be a rewarding and inexpensive hobby thanks to the rapid pace digitization and posting on the internet of historic documents by government agencies, Family Search, archives, libraries, and individuals. Many public libraries have excellent local genealogy and history resources genealogists can draw upon at no costs. Most libraries also have subscriptions to paid online databases (Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com) which patrons can use at no cost in the library. It is also possible to search for books at libraries nationwide through Worldcat and then check out those books at your local library, at no cost, through the library loan program. This includes the 20,000 book collection of the National Genealogical Society.

This is a hobby where you can spend nothing and spend the rest of your life immersed in research as long as you have a PC and access to the internet. You can also spend money by subscribing to publications or databases you can access from home. I belong to the National Genealogy Society and two state societies at a cost of about $125 per year. I also spend about $350 per year on personal subscriptions to several online databases (Ancestry.com, Fold3, and Newspapers.com). This past year I spent $150 purchasing digital copies of documents I was seeking from Archives in the UK and other parts of the United States. Occasionally I'll make a day trip to the state archives or a library in another county and incur the cost of fuel and lunch when I make those trips. To reinforce a point made earlier, you can pursue the hobby without incurring most of the cost listed above. It isn't necessary to belong to genealogy societies. You can use many databases using computers at your public library. The $150 I spent ordering records was discretionary, I wanted the documents for my files and the $90 I spent with two archives in the UK was far below the cost of traveling there.

While I occasionally pay for documents I have secured most of the hundreds of digitized documents from libraries and archives over the past year at no charge, merely by emailing and asking them to send me copies. If the documents have already been digitized I find organizations are usually happy to send them. If documents have not been digitized, there is usually a cost to pay for the digitization. There are also thousands of amateur genealogists around the country who will do lookups in local archives and libraries at no charge.

On YouTube there are many no cost video tutorials showing how to start your family history research as well as more advanced techniques as your knowledge grows. The local historical society or genealogy society if your county or city has them, is also a great place to learn how to get started.

Over 20 years I've progressed from building a family tree to immersing myself into serious research understanding the history of the communities and times in which my ancestors lives. I'm now a published author, and editor of a genealogy publication, something I never considered would be in my future when I started researching. The value of the enjoyment I receive far exceeds the small annual investment.
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Old 03-23-2021, 08:24 PM   #76
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Geocaching - (www.geocaching.com)


You can get a free online account, or pay $30/yr for premium features (worth it)

Use the GPS on your smartphone, so no extra cost there.


according to Wikipedia:

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world
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Old 03-23-2021, 09:07 PM   #77
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I backpack and volunteer with my local trail club. Gear can cost a bit at the start, but once you have your set up, it's pretty cheap. Occasional expense to get new shoes, but it's mostly free but for the gas to get to a trail.
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:31 AM   #78
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Ahem... My personal history in this regard is none too admirable. Let's just say I haven't been a fiscally disciplined cyclist or photographer/birder over the years. Your friend who coughed up $2K on bike gear looks like a model of restraint to me.

Many of us on this forum find ourselves never richer, never healthier and never with more free time than just after retirement. The temptation to "blow that dough" on a new hobby can be overwhelming.
(Un)fortunately this has happened to me.

I started mountain biking in earnest after FIRE. At first I got an "average" $3k full suspense bike, but the more I rode, the more I learned about "better" equipment, riding style, and seeing other riders with better equipment, and allowed myself to be drawn into the endless cycle of "upgrades."

I ended up buying two more top-of-the-line cross country carbon hardtail mountain bikes, one for trail riding and one for more grave/cross country riding. That's $16,000. Then every year new equipment comes out and I've got to have the latest/lightest/best stuff, so I upgrade forks, wheels, handle bars, etc., etc.

My latest upgrade is a new fork for one of my carbon hardtails. I spent $900 for the fork which drops my bike weight to a feathery 19 lbs. But that's not good enough as I've gotten bitten by the "weight weenie" bug and am looking at a brand new pair of $3000 custom-built carbon wheels that would drop another 250 grams from my bike weight.

I figured that I've spent almost $35k on bikes and related gears and clothes since FIRE. I've got pro-level gears but I don't even race. Sometimes I look at the stuff that I've bought and just kind of shake my head. The saving grace is that I really enjoy riding. I ride 5-6 days a week, and try to hit 4k miles distance/500k feet elevation gain every year. I figure that if I enjoy the sports and have the means, I might as well get the best stuff money can buy to make my riding experience as fun and rewarding as possible.

And yeah, I'm probably going to get those $3000 custom-built carbon wheels for the bike
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:07 AM   #79
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There are quite a few hobbies where itís possible to go high or low. I still regularly go on fifty mile rides on my 1983 Trek bike that was $300. Friends have long since upgraded, but Iím attached to the bike and have no desire to ride centuries anymore. If anything, I get a better workout from riding my slightly heavier bike. My wife has a lighter Cannondale that we purchased for about 300 from a friend who stopped riding. Both bikes have given us a lot of pleasure over the years.
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Old 03-24-2021, 06:38 AM   #80
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There are quite a few hobbies where itís possible to go high or low. I still regularly go on fifty mile rides on my 1983 Trek bike that was $300. Friends have long since upgraded, but Iím attached to the bike and have no desire to ride centuries anymore. If anything, I get a better workout from riding my slightly heavier bike. My wife has a lighter Cannondale that we purchased for about 300 from a friend who stopped riding. Both bikes have given us a lot of pleasure over the years.
I have a friend who has been riding his entire life. For many years it was his only transportation due to epilepsy. I knew he liked his old bike and kept it running over the years but yesterday he stopped by and I noticed for the first time that his shifters are on the downtube. That is old school. A properly maintained bike can ride forever.
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