Retirement Living: A New Purpose to Life

retirement livingPeople have a tendency to let their careers define who they are in life. This is why as we approach retirement, it’s time to take a step back and think about the goals and dreams we’ve always had in order to make retirement living meaningful, and among the best years of our lives.

People are living longer and healthier these days, so it’s important to start planning for your retirement as soon as possible. For many, the idea of kicking back and enjoying some good rest and relaxation is all they want to contemplate when they start thinking about their retirement days ahead. For others, looking forward to traveling and adventure is enough to keep them going.

However, some people tend to worry that they won’t have enough activities to keep them stimulated. They think they’ll miss the routine of a work schedule, and their retirement will be filled with endless days of boredom and insecurity about the future.

Finding something that matters to you, something that will give you purpose in this new stage of life, is important. Start planning for retirement activities well before you are ready to retire. If you are worrying about what to do after retirement, ask yourself a few questions:

1)      What do I enjoy doing that never feels like work? These can either be hobbies or just interests, things you’ve always wanted to get more involved in.  Maybe you enjoyed refinishing an old dresser or building a bookshelf- you can start thinking more about woodworking, whether it be taking some specific classes or taking on more projects.

2)      How can I stay socially connected? Staying socially involved with others is very important as you age. Before you retire, join some associations or clubs to meet people with similar interests. This can also help you stay connected to people from your career. You can become more involved with these organizations after you retire, too, when you have more time to devote to them. Keep in touch with friends and family, maybe offer to babysit your grandchildren during the summer months.

3)      What activities make me feel energized and good about myself? You should try to stay in good physical health by exercising daily and having annual checkups. However, there are plenty of activities other than working out that can help boost your mood. Maybe you’ve always wanted to donate your time by volunteering for a good cause, whether it be at a women’s shelter or a hospital. You can do a lot of good for others, and yourself, by reaching out to those less fortunate and giving back to your community.

4)      What can I do to stimulate my mind? Many retirees find that they enjoy working a part time job after retirement, just to help maintain that sense of routine and keep their minds active. You might enjoy the added bonus of pulling in a few extra dollars a month, too, to enjoy the traveling you’ve always wanted to do. Utilize the skills you’ve acquired in your career to even start your own consulting firm, or turn a hobby into a small business.

It’s never too soon to start planning ahead for retirement living. It’s also not uncommon for seniors to truly “find their calling” in their golden years.  Whatever your dreams are, keep reaching for them. Finding a new purpose in life will be the invigorating change you need to keep you fulfilled and satisfied.

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