I could not agree more with Heidi Ardis, who published an article this week at Kiplinger, a personal finance website.
“Retirement is more than just relaxing and enjoying leisure time; instead, it involves actively seeking activities and interests that align with your values and passions,” she wrote.
That’s so refreshing to read from a website devoted to financial planning. As people near retirement age, financial experts climb out from behind every rock and tree to help people “get ready” for their golden years by hording more gold.
Yet, very few retirement planners ever approach the subject of what a meaningful retirement looks like. While it is true that without provision, there is no vision; the opposite is also true. Provision without vision is boredom and a ticket to early death.
“Retirement gives us the opportunity to rethink our purpose and to rediscover who we are, using the extra time to focus on who and what is most important to us,” Heidi wrote.
“In many ways, retirement can be a new age of discovery for us as we find new pursuits that interest us,” she added. “Or we can view retirement as an opportunity to make up for lost time, doing the things we’ve long wanted to do but didn’t have time for.”
Each of those reasons — discovering new things to do and making up for lost time — are the focus of just about every go-getter I interview for Forward From 50.
Heidi suggested five ways to give retirement more purpose and meaning. They include:
Find your passion — You do this by reflecting on things that at one point made you feel alive and fulfilled. Then, invest more of your disposable time toward rekindling that passion. It’s also a great time to step out of your comfort zone to try new things. A retirement spent in isolation is not good by any means.
Volunteer or give back — This is a great idea, especially if you haven’t really decided what to pursue. By giving your time to help other people, you will get instant satisfaction, and you’ll be surprised what doors open as a result. Volunteering also builds connections to new people and different opportunities.
Set goals — Absolutely true! But don’t forget, a goal without a date is only a wish. Don’t set goals that are too daunting either, because you can quickly lose enthusiasm for them if it becomes too much like work. Heidi recommends breaking bigger goals into smaller ones to help keep motivated along the way.
Focus on continuous learning — There are countless things awaiting your discovery. That’s because God wants you to remain in awe of creation. Taking classes or attending workshops is a great way to learn new information, develop skills and, most importantly, make connections with others. We can all use another friend!
Consider a part-time job — One of my clients, Workamper News, matches full-time RVers with part-time, limited-term jobs in thousands of locations around the country. Not only can that help finance your travel dreams, but it also keep you busy, engaged in productive work and making a little extra spending money, too. Even if you don’t have an RV, there are lots of places actively looking for workers who demonstrate “old-fashioned” work ethic.
Don’t forget you can also teach a course or mentor someone, and even start your own website or podcast to share your hard-earned wisdom gained through a lifetime of experiences. Check out Platform Launchers for help in that regard.
“By aligning your retirement with your passions and values, you can create a meaningful and purposeful life that continues to inspire and motivate you,” Heidi wrote.
Her full story is available at www.kiplinger.com.
After closing his business and enduring several painful years of uncertainty regarding what to do with his life, Greg founded Forward From 50 to help men and women over 50 to live more purposeful lives by pursuing things they are passionate about. A Wisconsin native, Greg currently lives in Arizona.