• Finding New Purpose in Retirement with Your Free-Time

    Finding New Purpose in Retirement with Your Free-Time

You’ve been looking forward to retirement for a long time. If we’re being honest, it probably started shortly after your first job. And now here you are. But, if we’ve all been waiting for this moment, why do some seniors feel anxious or unhappy in retirement? As it turns out, our brains aren’t great at adjusting to dramatic changes, and retirement can be a big change. Now is the time to choose what to do with your free time and these simple suggestions can help you maintain a sense of purpose in your new life.

Meaning and Purpose in Retirement

Whether you were the CEO of a business or a delivery driver, going from working to not working is a big change. You might feel you’ve lost the respect that came with the position you held or are having difficulty filling your time. When you’ve spent forty hours a week –or more– it can be tough finding enough to do to feel fulfilled.

Without getting too philosophical, finding meaning in life is defined by “the act of making what you do significant.” So then the purpose is the reason those things are significant. Why you want to do what you do. Many new retirees struggle with this existential crisis. While you are working, the reasons for doing what you do is simple; you work to make money, so you can afford what you need. In retirement, that’s not necessary. So the reason — or purpose — of doing the things you used to do is no longer required and it can be difficult to find what to do next.

Now, this experience is different for everyone, which means the particular struggle adapting to retirement is different. But it’s important to understand that it’s a normal process. And this is your first step to finding new purpose in your new life.

Get Started

First thing’s first. You need a plan. Before your first day of retirement, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are you most looking forward to when you retire?
  • What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
  • What hobbies have you always wanted to start?
  • What places do you still want to see?
  • What do you want to add to your life?
  • What makes you so excited you can’t sleep?

When you have things to look forward to and continue setting goals for yourself, it’s easy to find purpose with all your free time. Whether it’s helping others or traveling more, think about the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for.

Then, make a first-year plan for what you are going to do. Always wanted to see Spain? Set your savings goal. Want to spend more quality time with the grandkids? Plan a movie night every month. 

Ready for your next step? Try The Perfect Mix of Relaxation and Fun in Retirement to give yourself some ideas!

Now that you’ve started your planning, get the power to build the life you want with our FREE free A to Z Guide on aging well.