Retire with Purpose perhaps sounds cliché, but there is tremendous power and truth behind this simple statement. As a financial planning firm, we are in constant contact with individuals and families approaching, or already in, retirement. We are working with them to make sure that they are on track financially towards retirement, and we work with them to ensure their distribution strategy, what we call the portfolio paycheck, is set up for them to live the life they seek in retirement while not running out of money. We add great value to our clients by helping them set and reach their financial goals and to Retire with Financial Confidence. It is important to note, however, that to Retire with Financial Confidence is only one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is mental, and we call that aspect Retire with Purpose.
Having Purpose in Retirement helps provide Meaning to your life in retirement and helps define who you are and what you want to do. Purpose helps you stay active, socially involved, mentally stimulated, and spiritually fulfilled. Without Purpose in Retirement, you may run the risk of feeling not needed any longer, sad, lonely, and depressed. One part of our financial planning process is to help you define your goals and chart a path towards an Exceptional Retirement with Purpose! We are not psychologists or therapists, but we have gathered some ideas on how to Retire with Purpose and have also put together a work sheet that may help you get started if you are not sure where to begin.
1. Retire with Purpose – Stay Active Stay Healthy
Physical health is not overrated! To be able to move about is a great feeling and as we age it is important to make sure our health is good and that we stay active. Making sure that you go to your annual physical check ups is important to catch any problems early. Following a healthy diet plan is another facet that will help you stay active, and then of course physical movement. There are so many options for physical movement that are available to us and here are a few ideas:
- Going on a daily walk or run in the park,
- Playing pickleball, tennis or golf with friends,
- Working in your garden,
- Going to the gym, and
- Kayaking or paddle boarding, etc.
2. Retire with Purpose – Social Involvement
When you read about people who have lived long lives, many of those individuals credit being socially active as one of the keys to their longevity. Be curious about others and create new connections or rekindle old ones. Some thoughts on how to stay or become more socially involved:
- Do activities, such as boating, fishing, playing cards together with friends,
- Have weekly lunch or dinner appointments,
- Get a part time job at the local museum, aquarium, or golf course,
- Volunteer at the local food bank or other worthwhile volunteer work
- Pick up the grandkids from school a couple of times per week
- If people are not your thing, perhaps getting a pet is something for you
3. Retire with Purpose – Mental Stimulation
Longevity and fulfillment later in life also comes from being intellectually and mentally stimulated and challenged. Using those brain cells allows you to stay sharp and helps you remain curious and courageous. It can be difficult to get motivated sometimes, so here are some ideas:
- Take an evening class in a subject that interests you. You can obtain certificates as well if that inspires you.
- Pick up a new hobby to learn new skills such as: grilling classes, how to tie a fishing lure properly, knitting a sweatshirt, learn a new language, learn how to garden, and playing bridge.
- Laying puzzles, reading books, solving crosswords, learning how to better use the functions on your phone, etc.
- Tutoring – if you used to be a teacher or have specific valuable knowledge to share, tutoring may be mentally stimulating and socially rewarding.
4. Retire with Purpose – Spiritual Fulfillment
Religion provides purpose and is a source of love and strength for many people in the world. Becoming more involved with church activities can be very rewarding both for you and for your community:
- Attend church more frequently, and together with family and friends, if possible
- Volunteer at church sponsored events; giving your time to others can be very fulfilling,
- Lend an ear to someone in need,
- Enjoy and appreciate everything you have around you, including people and nature.
5. Retire with Purpose – Create and Maintain an Activity Schedule
Most things in life will not happen unless you plan for them and write them down. Having all of these thoughts and ideas in your head is a great starting point, but taking the time to put it down in writing will help you to actually do them. We recommend that you put together a high-level schedule of what you are going to do every day. It can be as simple as “On Mondays I play pickleball, On Tuesdays I…” It is OK to have totally open days to allow yourself to relax and be spontaneous. Looking for some additional ideas – check out our blog post with 30 Things to do in Mount Pleasant.
6. Retire with Purpose – Worksheet
If you would like some help to come up with what means to have Purpose in Retirement for you, please feel free to take a look at this worksheet. You can download it and also print it out to use for yourself. We hope this is a valuable resource.
7. Still Struggling – Therapy can Help!
Mental, social, physical, and spiritual health are all important throughout life and is also true in retirement. If you are struggling with your identity or purpose pre, or post, retirement, seeing a therapist may be for you. Asking for help is a sign of strength and should not be overlooked. A therapist can help you evaluate who you are and who you want to be by asking the right questions and helping you outline your path forward.
Running out of Purpose can be more devastating than running out of Money, so please make a plan to Retire with Purpose, adjust it if necessary, and then stick to it just like you would your Financial Plan. We are not psychologists or therapists, but know that you can always talk to us in confidence about any topic. We want you to thrive and to Retire with Financial Confidence and with Purpose!
If you have friends and family who could benefit from chatting with us, please do not hesitate to send them our way. We would be honored to speak with them.