Are you ready to face life after retirement?
In this article:
- Find Your Purpose in Retirement
- Day to Day Living After Retirement
- Give Back to Society
- Live a Healthy Life after Retirement
- Live a Fulfilling Life
- Staying Smart and Sharp
- Maintain Good Relationships
Life after Retirement | Discovering What You Want To Do and What You Can Do
The Struggle in Finding Purpose after Retirement
Whenever I mention the term Rich Retirement, there is an immediate focus on the financial aspect of retirement benefits.
However, a truly Rich Retirement consists of complete life balance.
What good is it to have money if your health is lacking? What’s the point of cash if you can’t find a reason to get out of bed? Finding purpose at this stage of life can truly be one of the hardest parts.
I once met this retired pilot. Let’s call him Jim. Jim was a very good pilot who loved his job. He said it motivated him to get up every day and gave him a strong self-identity.
Unfortunately, he was forced to retire due to a mandatory retirement age law.
This loss of job sent Jim into a downward spiral that lasted for months. Being forced into retirement essentially took away his self-respect. This was a challenging situation for me as a retirement coach.
You see, as retirement experts, we are very adept at discussing the financial aspects of retirement.
We know this stuff like the back of our hands. Running calculations, developing strategies, and giving timely financial advice becomes second nature. A financial advisor will have no problem telling you how you can manage your money after retirement.
But whenever a situation arises that is similar to Jim’s, it requires a deeper level of thought. Finding purpose in retirement can be daunting for both the retiree and the retirement adviser.
To keep a long story short, we had a series of discussions aimed at helping Jim find a new purpose.
I’ve realized that one of the best questions to ask in this situation is “What is the one thing you always wanted to do, but life got in the way?”
The answer to this question will help guide you down the path toward finding your new purpose… just like it did for Jim.
This guide is meant to provide some creative ideas as you consider how to spend your post-retirement life.
Ways to Live Your Dream Lifestyle by the Time You Retire
Humans are the only living creatures on earth that have knowledge of our own mortality. We know that we will get old and leave this world someday.
Knowing that life does not last forever, we all want to spend our golden years in peace and enjoy our time without worry. But, this is easier said than done.
If you don’t plan carefully, you could end up struggling to make ends meet instead of just enjoying the fruit of all your past hard work.
Here, we will talk about the different aspects you need to prepare for so you can still live an enjoyable lifestyle in your advancing years.
It is a given that you are preparing for your retirement financially, but today we will discuss ways to making your retirement a fulfilling one.
1. Find Your Purpose in Retirement
Many people are excited to retire.
Finally, you are no longer a part of the rat race. But now, what kind of retirement lifestyle will you have?
You can enjoy your days, sleep long hours, go on vacation any time you want, do your house chores, and then forget about the pressures of daily life in employment.
And then what?
One day, as you sit in your easy chair, you might notice an itch to get back to work — not because you need the paycheck, but because you are looking for fulfillment.
You want that same sense of accomplishment you had when you were still working.
As early as now, you need to know how you plan to stay fulfilled when you’re retired.
If you do not do this now, you will find very little meaning in life by the time you leave the workforce.
Do you want to paint, write, or maintain a garden? Or do you want to take care of your grandkids?
Whatever you choose, it’s best to have a plan in place for your time sooner rather than later.
Do you want to serve in the church? Or perhaps you want to play music.
You might choose to be an elder in your community, or you can join a band and play gigs with your friends.
Ask yourself about special talents you’ve always wanted to spend more time honing, or volunteer for organizations with the same views as yours.
A. Find a Hobby You Enjoy
There are many hobbies retirees find fulfilling. These are activities that can help you feel productive and can make you an expert in a specific field.
Here are some examples of common hobbies – and as an added perk, some of these pastimes can even bring in a little cash!
- Electronics. If you like tinkering with electronics like televisions, tablets, and smartphones, then repairing other people’s devices can be an enjoyable hobby that can even bring in a little extra money from home.
- Knitting. Knitting is a very popular hobby for retirees, as it keeps fingers nimble and brain’s sharp. You can knit adorable clothing for your grandchildren, or make knitted accessories and sell them either in stores or online.
- Bonsai. You can buy pre-potted bonsai plants and continue nurturing them in your garden. They provide a great challenge, but their beauty is sure to keep you hooked. Bonsais are very expensive once fully matured, and can fetch you a pretty penny should you decide to sell them.
- Couponing. Many savvy shoppers say that this is a day job in itself. Subscribe to coupons by snail mail, search online for great deals, and allot some time each day organizing your stash in time for your next big grocery trip.
- Blogging or Vlogging. If you have something to share with the world, you can start creating your own blog, and then monetizing it down the line. With your years of experience, you are probably quite credible in your chosen niche. Your “war stories” will make interesting advice for younger people just starting out, either in their personal or professional lives. With the popularity of YouTube nowadays, you can also star in your own videos, sharing advice in the field you previously worked in.
And the best part about it these hobbies? You don’t have to work around an office schedule. You can manage and own your own time.
B. Meet People in the Retiree Community
Retired life doesn’t have to be lonely. There are other people in your community who are also looking for their own purpose in their retirement age.
Every community has a group of retirees you can join. However, not all groups have the same passion. Some may have a specific focus on dancing, while some have specialization in painting. Others will make music and devote their lives to it.
Ask yourself first what it is that you enjoy the most, and then choose an organization that fits your interests. If you are from the military, there’s no shortage of retirees who meet for the purpose of reliving their military experiences.
You can join a rod and gun club and be a resident firearms expert, teaching younger people how to own and use one properly.
Today, it is not difficult to find a group of retirees who meet regularly. All you need to do is to browse online and find a group in your area or city near you.
You can also call up colleagues who have retired earlier than you did, or neighbors who are also living their twilight years.
C. Travel and See Places
Travelling does not have to be expensive. If you are on a tight budget, you can visit local areas you have never been to before.
In the United States, there are many places you may not have seen before. The freedom that the retirement age offers makes traveling ideal.
If you want to set aside some money for traveling, talk to a financial planners early on so you know how.
Here are a few travel recommendations:
- Chicago. Here, you can take a trip on a river cruise. This is a relaxing activity older adults usually enjoy. You can also visit famed restaurants and those that serve authentic Chicago cuisine. Make sure you visit the museums to get a good feel for the city’s history.
- Orlando. The climate in Florida is great for retirees, but you need not retire here to visit. Visit Disney or Seaworld if you haven’t already, and of course, the beach. Just an hour away from the city is the New Myrna beach, which is definitely worth a visit.
- Las Vegas. Surely, you want to experience what Las Vegas has to offer at least once in your life. There is a myriad of things to do here. Visit the casino at night and watch live shows. Marvel at the architecture and visit the Komodo dragons in the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.
- Washington. If you have not been here yet, then you must visit this place during your retirement. You will begin to appreciate the country more if you know about its history.
- New York. The Statue of Liberty is a breathtaking sight. Spend a few days in New York and tour the famous landmarks like the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center, and the famed Central Park. You can enjoy a peaceful stroll around the park and sample all the delicious food the city has to offer.
2. Day to Day Living After Retirement
Chances are you will live alone with your spouse. And since work will no longer keep both of you busy, you need to find some ways to make your life enjoyable.
Here are some of the things you can do so you have something to look forward to each day.
A. Find a Gym
Exercise is key to living a healthy life after retiring. Without good health, you will never enjoy your retirement as you are likely to spend more days feeling all of your aches and pains.
Apart from taking care of your health, the gym is a great place where you can meet new friends.
B. Be Involved in Your Community
After working, you have so much time to contribute to society. You can participate in local councils that can make decisions on how to better improve your community.
You can join political parties, and then do things that will help advance the programs of the political figures you support. You can even run for certain positions open for retirees and make a difference in your community. It’s never too late to do your part.
You can use your spare time to babysit children in your community and get paid for it. This is a good way to augment your social security checks.
I’m sure your neighborhood is full of young families with working parents, who’d welcome the idea of you helping watch over the kids until they get home.
You may once have been that parent who asked for help from older neighbors to watch over your kids while you worked. Now you can do the same when you reach retirement age.
3. Give Back to Society
Being a philanthropist does not always mean you need to give out money. As a retiree, your priority is your health and your life. Since you are no longer earning, you can only live by your retirement check.
Even if you can’t give away millions of dollars, you still have a valuable commodity – your time.
Here are some ways you can contribute some of your time to society:
A. Hunger Relief
If you know how to cook, you can spend some time or money to feed the poor. If there is no existing soup kitchen in your area, you can talk to the other residents and ask them for their support in starting one.
Or instead of volunteering at a kitchen, you cook once a week, pack up your car, and then distribute it to the people who need it the most.
There are a lot of homeless people who rely on these soup kitchens and the kindness of others for their daily sustenance.
B. Volunteer for Charity Work
This is a good way to keep yourself busy. While you were lucky enough to reach retirement age with a little nest egg saved up, many people aren’t.
Join a local pantry, or join volunteer groups that plant trees. There are many organizations that help advance social causes, such as taking care of the sick and cooking for a soup kitchen.
If you like animals, then you can also volunteer as a foster parent for rescued animals at a local shelter. You can even donate old clothes, things, and money for people who are down on their luck.
C. Share Your Knowledge
There may be some groups in your area where you can act as consultant. Let’s say that you used to be an educator; you can offer free tutorials in the day time to students who need guidance with their homework.
You can also teach young kids how to read and write. You can gather other retirees and make a low-cost learning center for children. Families who can’t afford to pay for daycare or kindergarten classes can benefit from this.
D. Disaster Relief
You cans also give back to society when disaster strikes.
You should not put yourself in harm’s way, but you can provide food, shelter, and clothing to the victims of a calamity. If you used to be a doctor or a nurse, you could volunteer to exercise your profession for free in times of need.
If you have extra resources, you can buy relief goods in bulk and pack them up for distribution. You can also become part of organizations for emergency and disaster preparedness.
You can train to be a disaster response expert and hold classes and seminars for free, so you can educate your community about what to do when disaster strikes.
4. Live a Healthy Life after Retirement
As we get older, our bodies also become more sensitive. As such, we need to be more careful and mindful about the things we eat.
A healthy lifestyle is imperative if you want to enjoy your retirement. You cannot enjoy it if you are constantly in pain. You won’t enjoy traveling and helping others if you have major problems with your health and well-being.
Here are some ways in which you can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A. Eat Healthily
Eat healthy foods and make sure you are consuming more fruits and vegetables in your diet than meat.
As an older individual, you need to avoid bad fats and anything that is rich in cholesterol, as these will only clog your arteries and increase your risk of developing heart disease.
B. Avoid Sugar and Other Foods That Can Cause Diabetes
Needless to say, you have to stop smoking and drinking, as these are bad habits that can also increase your risk of getting cancer.
If you enjoyed drinking heavily when you were younger, then consider limiting your alcohol intake when you reach retirement age.
C. Go Jogging or Biking
Jogging and biking are both good cardio exercises. They will keep your legs and your heart strong, and they are also good ways to reduce your cholesterol count.
You have to keep in mind that if you do this, you must be in a safe place. Avoid highways and crowded areas where cars pass by. You should also do it at a time of day where you are less likely to be victimized by crime.
5. Live a Fulfilling Life
For some, retirement can be a frustrating and depressing period in your life. The reason being is that most retirees do not do anything that gives them self-fulfillment.
As a retired individual, you will miss those times when you were earning your own money, when you were receiving awards for a job well done, and when you were solving complex problems at work.
These things will cease to exist once you leave the workforce. To find fulfillment in life, you have to ensure that you find a passion that will keep you motivated and fulfilled.
You must do something that, when asked, you will be proud of owning and talking about. It must be something you had meant to do when you were young, which is still doable as you age.
It does not always have to be charitable work. It does not always have to be something that will yield money.
Many times, it can be a hobby where you can find solace and comfort. Many retirees choose gardening, while some want to compose music or write novels.
This choice cannot be made by anyone else but you.
To live a fulfilling life, you just need to ask yourself what things will make you wake up excited in the morning. Dig deep into your heart and soul. Once you find this, you will begin a new journey in your life.
6. Staying Smart and Sharp
As a retiree, you are no longer doing work that makes you think and solve complex problems. As a result, your brain does not get the same exercise it did when you were in the workforce. To stay healthy, it is also important that you stay sharp.
Here are some tips on how you can do that.
A. Keep on Learning
Nothing exercises the brain more than learning. The reason behind this is when you learn something new, the brain creates new neural pathways.
It is important that you read, and that you try to retain the information you have read. Doing this will keep your memory sharper, and learning new things will also stimulate your brain cells to divide and communicate with each other.
B. Use your Senses
The brain is likely to stay sharper if different senses are involved. The reason behind this is that different areas of the brain are responsible for storing information that came from different parts of the body.
There is different storage for sound, sight, smell, and others. If you take part in activities that stimulate the different senses, the brain is forced to create a connection between this information.
And when it does, it is easier for the brain to retrieve the information, and will, therefore, make you sharper.
7. Maintain Good Relationships
In your twilight years, you surely do not want to go harboring resentment against anybody. You want to live your remaining days with no emotional baggage, and as such, you must keep a good relationship with your friends and family.
Here are some ways on how you can keep your emotional status in check by maintaining good relationships.
A. Accept Diversity
Times change. The things you considered weird during your younger years may now be acceptable in society. This is particularly true in terms of race, nationality, political beliefs, as well as religion and sexual orientation. If you accept diversity, you will develop less animosity towards others.
B. Have Time for People
You are now a retiree. And unless you are managing a business, then you definitely can find time to spend with people. Accept invitations from friends and family, and make small sacrifices to travel if you have to.
If you have kids, then spend time with them. Go see your grandchildren or invite them over often. You can also begin a dinner or lunch tradition for the entire family, if you haven’t started one yet.
C. Listen More
Arguments always ensue because people want to talk instead of listening. As you age, you will begin to realize that it isn’t good to completely disregard other people’s sentiments. All it takes is to open your ears and mind to what people have to say.
D. Develop Empathy for Others
Empathy goes way beyond expressing an apology or pity for somebody. It is a deep emotion where you actually feel what another person is going through. And as such, you will take action to help alleviate their pain.
You cannot develop empathy if you do not listen, as listening is key to understanding the emotional turmoil going on inside a person’s heart. Retirement does not have to mean that you are going to live your life in seclusion.
It is a new phase in your life, and you can take this journey with other people.
You can choose to make yourself happy, or you can choose to live the days of your life lonely.
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
As early as today, you need to ensure that your actions are geared towards your future. You need to set aside money now that you can use later.
You can use these funds as your retirement income for your daily consumption, medical needs, and also for leisure. And you must also set funds you can use for your vacations and your passions.
Growing old is the final stage of life. You can only make it worthwhile if you plan for it today. Save money and make the right decisions in consideration of your golden years.
Check out the animated video below that explains the tips for finding purpose in life after retirement:
Are you ready for your transition to retirement? Share your worries about your life after retirement in the comments section below!