Most of us spend our working life knowing or feeling concerned about the financial aspects of life after retirement. There is constant information around us regarding financial planning during our working years so as to lead a similar lifestyle post-retirement. Whether we do something about it is a totally different question!
While money is a must to enable a comfortable retired life, what many of us forget is – how we want to spend this phase of our lives?
The initial months of retirement can be blissful with the amount of free time, and yet, after a while, a feeling of loneliness or sadness may creep in. The sense of purpose or the drive that a career used to provide is missing once you retire.
How to work towards finding meaning and purpose in life?
You may question why a purpose is needed when you had one throughout your work life. Watching endless hours of TV or browsing your phone may give you those few moments of joy but not an enduring feeling of fulfillment. The thought that “I used to be someone important” will soon arise, giving way to a loss of a sense of purpose or meaning in life.
Hence it’s important, also possible in these senior years, to have a productive and fulfilling life.
Here are six ways one can continue to lead a meaningful and, therefore a happy life, even without a full-time job responsibility:
1. Focus on a healthy lifestyle
You now have plenty of time to focus on your fitness goals. Eating a balanced diet, maintaining fixed sleep routines, and regular exercise, whether it’s a morning walk, jogging, or playing a sport, having a fitness regime that works for you goes a long way in keeping your spirits up.
Similarly, yoga and meditation will support in developing mental and spiritual wellness. Strengthening physical and mental wellbeing will help reduce age-related ailments.
There are multiple social causes to which you can provide your time and labor. Select a cause that resonates with you – teaching underprivileged children, offering services to orphanages, old-age homes, animal shelters, volunteering with environmental, healthcare, and human rights organizations for activism, funding, counseling, social support, etc.
Involvement in these worthy causes will make you feel fulfilled, rewarded, and inspired that you are contributing to making the world a better place for the next generation.
3. Work part-time
Your regular 9-5 career has ended, but you can continue to function on a part-time basis. Retirees function as consultants, mentors to the young workforce, and in advisory positions with their earlier company or another firm in the same industry. This is the best way to stay relevant feel purposeful while augmenting your retirement savings. Options like blogging, public speaking, or freelancing are also good ideas to explore.
4. Pursue your hobbies
Pursuing a hobby that you only managed to dabble in with your busy schedule is a great way to feel engaged. Gardening, painting, reading books are all hobbies that keep your creative juices flowing and cognitive skills active.
It’s never late to try something new – learning to play an instrument, enrolling in a language class, or simply sharing your skills in the community will energize an otherwise mundane schedule.
5. Nurture important relationships
Just like looking for activities that stimulate you, make sure to surround yourself with people who love and accept you for what you are.
Cherish, cultivate relationships, maintain a social circle that remains with you through thick and thin. Building a strong sense of community is essential for your happiness and mental wellbeing.
6. Practice things that make you happy
Notice the good things in life, display gratitude, live, laugh, give more, practice being enthusiastic and satisfied.
The last thing you want to worry about in your retirement is a reliable cash flow. Ensure you have enough savings so you can reward yourself for the decades of hard work you’ve put in, through traveling to exciting places, joining a club, meeting different people, and just doing the things you always wanted to do.
Remember – you’ve only retired from work; life still awaits you!