Front Photo: Marcus Aurelius.
Retirement is a period of significant transition and change. For some people, it can be a confusing and unsettling time. For example, some retirees may find it difficult to find meaning and purpose in their lives because they have more spare time. A purposeful retirement is necessary for a happy, healthy, and full existence.
Having a purpose in retirement is crucial for many reasons. One benefit is that it can help retirees focus and oriented. Retirees can have a sense of purpose and motivation every day if they have a specific goal or purpose in mind. This can lessen the likelihood of experiencing retirement-related boredom, loneliness, and depression.
When writing Retire Bizzi, we came across hundreds of people around Australia who had not liked ‘retirement’, or had wanted to do ‘something else’ and had established small businesses or profitable hobbies. They had passion and purpose. Money was not necessarily the main objective.
Over the years, in interviewing many, many people, there have been certain characteristics that have showed to be good coping skills with their ‘next life’.
People who were vibrant, interesting and interested had:
An enquiring mind, to ask questions, learn new skills
A willingness to try new and different activities
A circle of friends and acquaintances of many ages
Being with people who are positive and stimulate the brain (not energy sappers)
Were physically active people
Many continued to work (in a new field, or staying with one employer, either full or part time). Some had established home based businesses or profitable hobbies
No –one had joined the ‘comparing medications’ club! (ie: spending significant amounts of time with their friends talking about such!)
They had a purpose and passion.
They had a sense of humour
Moreover, having a goal can keep retirees engaged both mentally and physically. Retirement may keep retirees motivated and excited since pursuing a goal or passion demands energy and work. In turn, this can aid in preventing age-related health issues like cognitive decline and other health issues.
A sense of meaning and fulfilment can also be gained through having a purpose in retirement. Many retirees have a sense of satisfaction and pride in their accomplishments when they are actively pursuing a goal or interest. Increased self-esteem, confidence, a feeling of direction in life, and a connection to the outside world can all result from this.
What does it actually mean to have a purpose in retirement, then? It might mean different things to different individuals, but generally speaking, it entails discovering something that gives one’s life purpose and joy. This might be anything from beginning a new hobby or business endeavour to volunteering at a neighbourhood nonprofit. Finding something that fits with one’s values and interests while also inspiring and motivating is crucial.
Of course, it’s not always simple to find meaning in retirement. Finding the ideal fit may require some trial and error, and retirees may need to consider a range of possibilities before deciding on something that genuinely speaks to them. However, it is possible to find a goal that fulfils you if you are persistent and have an open mind that offers satisfaction, joy, and purpose to one’s retirement years.
In conclusion, leading a happy, healthy, and successful life in retirement requires having a purpose. It offers guidance, inspiration, and a sense of purpose and fulfilment that can aid retirees in maintaining their sense of engagement and connection to the outside world. So, whether you’re approaching or have already reached retirement, take some time to consider what gives you joy and meaning, then work tirelessly and passionately towards it. Your later years will be richer as a result.
Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. She is a regular contributor to radio.