Most of us will meet the milestone of retirement experiencing some combination anticipation and apprehension. This makes sense: retiring is one of the biggest transitions we ever make. With it, comes gains and losses. You’re asked to rethink your self-concept and establish new daily routines. You’re finally free from the daily grind. But now that you are, you find yourself asking, “Now what?”
Ideas about retirement are changing. For many of us Babyboomers, visualizing ourselves in a beach hammock or on a golf course doesn’t exactly leave us feeling inspired to dive into the next chapter. And this is a very good thing. We need retirement to be about more than “riding off into the sunset.” We need it to have meaning.
Continuing to have passion and purpose in your retirement will mean the difference between living a rewarding life and merely existing. Below are some tips to help you create a future that truly inspires you. Retirement, after all, isn’t just an ending. It’s a new beginning.
We’ll start with the reasons why finding new passions in retirement matters:
- You’ll live longer and be happier. Your doctor will tell you: stress is a killer. When we go through major life transitions—even positive ones, like retirement—our levels of stress naturally go up. This is normal. Unaddressed, however, it can lead to a host of physical health conditions, from heart problems to anxiety and depression. By making sure the future in front of you is one you embark on passionately, you’ll greatly reduce the impact of the change on your mind and body.
- You’ll know what is important and what is important. Having a plan in place means you will have already prioritized the activities, expenditures, relationships, and projects that will bring you happiness and fulfillment in your retirement. Our goal is to create a life that has you jumping out of bed in the morning to meet the day with excitement and enthusiasm.
- You’ll be a better human being. When you are passionate and enthusiastic about your life, you show up better in the world. Your happiness makes you a better spouse, friend, parent, grandparent, and community member.
So how do you find new passion in your life?
- Assess your financial picture. One of the first things you’ll want to consider is where you stand financially. Having an honest look at your financial plan and how much money you’ll have each month to live on is key to making sure the opportunities and goals you set for yourself are realistic. You might find you need to reassess your vision to fit a fixed income. On the flip side, you could also find you have more money than you expected and can afford to dream bigger.
- Dream on! Make a list. Ask yourself: What lights you up? What have you always wanted to try but never have had the time to? Maybe you take up a new sport—like biking or stand-up paddle boarding. Maybe you sign up for a pottery class or volunteer to help kids in need. Where would you like to travel? Perhaps there are still a few countries on your list that you’ve yet to see. Or maybe you’ve got some old favorite vacation destinations you’d like to revisit. Who is important in your life? Who would you like to invest more time in? How can you give back? We’ve all got a unique set of knowledge, skills, and experience we can use to make our communities better places.
- Focus on friendships. Relationships are the bread and butter of life. It is through our connection to our friends, family, and neighbors that we find meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. Don’t underestimate the value of the returns when you invest in others. Taking time out of your day to call your sister or visit a friend are small things you can do to lift not only your spirit, but those of everyone you encounter.
- Exercise and eat well. When we show up for ourselves, we can show up for the world. Keeping your brain and body healthy is paramount to being able to live the retirement of your dreams. Make exercise part of your daily routine. Prioritize your nutrition. This will keep your brain sharp and body fit for the rest of your journey.
- Choose your attitude. Remember, happiness is a choice. And it’s the number one factor in determining where you end up. The ability to focus on the positive is a skill we cultivate through practice. How do we do this? Practice being in the moment. Practice gratitude and appreciation for all you have and love. Practice kindness, towards yourself and others. Practice curiosity. Have you ever noticed it’s nearly impossible to be unhappy when you’re learning something new? Stay curious and interested in your world and you’ll be the happiest person you know.
If you would like a free, no obligation private consultation with me to evaluate your situation, you can contact me directly at 501-823-2171. I love helping people plan for their financial future and it would be my pleasure to help you. I look forward to hearing from you.