5 Reasons to Become a Pilot When You Retire

Tomas Peralta

2 min read ·

More and more retirees are choosing to fly through their retirement—literally. Without the burdens of raising a family and earning an income, retirees have the time and independence to learn how to fly and become pilots as a retirement hobby. There is no age limit when applying for a pilot certificate and no age required to stop flying; in fact, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are around 41,000 pilots over the age of 70 with active pilot certificates in the United States.

Flying through your golden years is one of the best ways to spend your retirement—here are 5 reasons why:


Most people plan on traveling when they retire, now that they don’t have to fit traveling into a work schedule, they are free to go as far as they please. Traveling is one of the best ways to spend your retirement; so, if traveling is a retirement hobby of yours, imagine being able to fly yourself to your desired destinations. You can fly yourself, along with a spouse or travel buddy—no need for departure and return tickets, specific dates, no dealing with airlines and long TSA lines. Pack an overnight bag for a day trip to the mountains or a large rolling suitcase if you plan on secluding yourself on an island for an undetermined amount of time. Your trip can be as spontaneous as you want or planned as far ahead as possible, after all, you’re the captain.


Retirees may start to feel like they are throwing their time away if their days are spent frolicking around the house. Make good use of your time by choosing a retirement hobby that makes a difference in other people’s lives. Learn how to fly so that you can volunteer your pilot skills to non-profit organizations that are desperate for volunteer pilots and their planes. Organizations around the country and the world need pilots to help evacuate people from disaster-stricken areas, transport rescue animals to their new homes, help environmental agencies document climate change from the skies—the possibilities to help people in need are endless when you can fly.

Build Lasting Relationships with Family and Friends

A trip across the skies can be an intimate and exhilarating way to reconnect with someone and strengthen a relationship. Spending intimate time with family can be one of the best ways to spend your retirement. You can spark up your love life by taking your spouse on a midnight fly date or fly them to a romantic place they’ve never visited. Instill a love for flying in the younger generations by taking a grandchild on a plane for their very first time. You can strengthen your relationships with loved ones by sharing an experience they will never forget.

Incorporate Old Hobbies into Flying

Maybe you have a passion for taking pictures and want to get back into photography during retirement; flying can be a great way to take your photography to the next level. You can take your camera to the skies and take breathtaking pictures of the earth from above.

Maybe you have a passion for food and want to try new and delicious food during your retirement; being a pilot will allow you to fly yourself to taste different restaurants outside of your community. Fly yourself to all of the best BBQ joints in your state, or whatever you may be craving.

Maybe you’re an artist at heart and want to get back to your creative side during retirement. Flying yourself through the skies can give you the inspiration you need for that new poem you want to write or new piece of music you want to strum on your guitar.

Healthy Aging Through Flying

One of the most effective ways to keep dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders at bay is by keeping your mind active and busy. To learn how to fly may be the most thrilling way to keep your mind sharp. Your mind is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Getting your pilot certificate requires a lot of reading, memorization, focus, and practice which are all things that benefit memory, spatial awareness, and mental clarity. Becoming a pilot throws exciting challenges at you every day that will strengthen your mind to keep you busy and happy.