Every retired person in the world that wants to take a photo has the best tools in the world available to him or her without a doubt. And the ranks of retired people are growing daily. Not to mention cell phones, tablets, point and shoots. The general public has a camera with them 99% of the time.
Once you find what you are interested in, then you can hone in on the specialized equipment you need. Unlike a professional that has to make a living at it. You can specialize. Buy only the equipment that will do what you want.
Time is on our side. And that my friends is the magic weapon. Time is the key to getting up to speed using a DSLR and professional equipment, or semi professional equipment, or a point and shoot.
Where at one time people that wanting to sell photos, had a pretty steep learning curve. It is now as easy as turning on your computer and sifting threw a few on line tutorials.
By the way when is the last time you looked at flickr for landscape photos. It is simply amazing at the quality of point and shoot camera photos that make the list. We are not talking large print quality, but internet quality that people look at by the millions.
I once had an argument of sorts with a very well known professional wildlife photographer. He looked at my photos and said they aren't good enough. My response was " who cares". These guys don't realize that when you have the time. You have the upper hand. You and I have the time to hone our skills to produce professional looking photos. It is just as easy as that. My photos are going up on my wall with pride. Not there photos.
Being retired and interested in photography, I personally would never buy another persons pictures. No insult what so ever. It is just too easy to see a photo and duplicate it. And having fun doing it.
After being interested in it for a few years now. There are a few things I do not do.
1: Don't live on the internet. It is hard for me to understand people who live on forums and give advice to others. Mind boggling. IMO people that visit and participate in forums daily are not photographers they are professional bloggers.
2: I do not listen to the so called pro's. These are a dying bread, and most (not all) will say and sell anything to make a buck. I read very few posts by paid Canon, Nikon and the other big camera manufacturer's employee's by the way. Used car salesman comes to mind when I see these guys pushing something.
3: I don't buy how to manuals. If you don't have the drive to read the manual then you are to lazy to learn photography in general.
4: Unless you just want to hob knob. I Don't buy expensive photo excursions. If retired, and you have the means to buy a 10-20k two week trip. Then for god's sake, take that money and buy a one way ticket there and stay! Enjoy the scenery and take a few photos. A wast of time IMO. If you don't have much time hire a local tour guide. And do daily excursions.
5: Once you have the special gear that you need. You ain't going to get better buying new equipment. STOP buying equipment. I am a firm believer in buying the best you can afford the first time. Then just stop and learn to use it, to it's and your potential.
6: Last, but the most important IMO. NEVER be an early adaptor. Especially with camera body's. If retired or not, wait until the next latest and greatest camera is available to buy. You will save a fortune and you will be buying a camera with all the bugs worked out.
Don't get caught up in the hype. Believe me it will pass and you will be the winner in the long run by a large margin.
Let the guys that want to play, I have the latest and greatest to trouble shoot the new products. The internet is overflowing with want a be pro's that love to brag and play the big shot.
In general enjoy your new hobby. And go into it with your eye's open.. Pun intended.
All the best, Gary