Purpose in Retirement

Retirement is a significant milestone in your life. You’ve been working for many decades, and suddenly you have all this free time on your hands. The structure and routines of the working world give way to a new world of possibilities. Many people find this new phase of their lives to be exhilarating, but many adjustments are needed.

One big adjustment is how to keep your sense of purpose. In a society where people are often defined by what they do as an occupation, leaving the workforce leaves many people feeling lost. Many people feel like they’re no longer working toward a goal or contributing productively.

But retirement doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, it can be the start of a new life filled with meaningful and fulfilling activities. In this post, we will look at ways retirees can develop a new sense of purpose and find new adventures that positively affect their lives and the communities around them.

Consider Your Values and Passions

Retirement is an opportunity to return to the hobbies and pursuits that excite you. Congratulations if you’ve spent your career in a field that you’re passionate about and that lights your creative energies. Surveys find only 20% of workers feel very passionate about their jobs. If you’ve spent your working life as a salesperson, but you’re really a writer inside, then now’s your chance to rekindle your writing passion.

So think about your personal values and interests. What matters to you, and what kinds of things do you enjoy? By matching your activities with your values, you can ensure your retirement years are filled with purpose and meaning.

Consider Volunteer Work

Volunteering is popular among retirees because it’s a great way to pursue your passions and advance causes you believe in. It’s also often an excellent way to keep social connections and forge new relationships. After retirement, many people miss the social interactions they had at work. Volunteering with organizations can help you enjoy the camaraderie of being alongside like-minded people working toward a common goal.

In most communities, there are many ways to volunteer. Many organizations post volunteer positions online. You can also check at your local church, senior community center, and chamber of commerce for volunteer opportunities in your area.

Teaching and Mentoring

You may have spent several decades in your career and acquired a vast storehouse of knowledge and experience. An excellent way to contribute and stay productive is through teaching and mentoring.

If you’re a successful businessperson, you can help aspiring young business owners navigate the tricky waters of entrepreneurship. If you’re an engineer, you could teach an online or in-person course in your field. If you’re a plumber or auto mechanic but can’t or don’t want to do the physical work any longer, you can mentor younger people just entering the field.

Sharing your skills and experiences enables you to support younger people’s growth and success, keep a sense of purpose, and leave a permanent legacy.

Starting a New Business

If you have a business idea you’re sure will take off but haven’t had the time to pursue it, retirement is an ideal chance to make your vision a reality. In 2019, about 25% of new business owners were between 55 and 64, an increase from 15% in 1999. Whether it’s starting a new website or making and selling jewelry online, running a small business enables you to make a meaningful contribution and stay productive in retirement.

Consulting is a very common way for retirees to capitalize on their many years of experience while helping others and supplementing their income. Other retirees become life coaches, start Airbnbs, and become virtual assistants.

If you have an accounting background, you could be a bookkeeper for individuals and small businesses. If you have finance expertise, consider being a financial advisor. 

As the American population ages, there is a significant emerging market for services catering to seniors. A writer could help clients create their memoirs. An administrator could help people pay bills and handle other daily affairs. Someone like, All Around Moving Services Company, Inc., with a moving background,  could help seniors downsize or move closer to their families. A retired IT specialist could work on developing technologies that promote the health and safety of older people. Rather than a disadvantage, your status as a retiree can work to your benefit. Seniors are more likely to accept the advice and assistance of those close in age to themselves.

Continuing Education

Many retirees are interested in lifelong learning. Many universities and schools offer classes and programs specifically for seniors. You may want to go back and get that degree you never finished. Or you might want to pursue a hobby you had to give up long ago, such as music, art, or archaeology. Or learn the native language of your ancestors. Furthering your education is a great way to keep your mind active and improve your life.

We hope you found this post, How to Keep Your Sense of Purpose in Retirement useful. Be sure to check out our post, The Pros and Cons of 55+ Communities for more great information.

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