Retirement Planning Advice:
Retirement Identity & Purpose

Wendy, Retirement Coach

You are seeking my best retirement planning advice, right? 

Are you ready? I'd bet you aren't even thinking in this direction...

Yep, most people talk finances... and yes, your income and savings are important. BUT, to me, how you spend your retirement days is equally important. 

You retire -- and BAM! You suddenly don't know WHO you are or WHAT you will do all day, every day!  

You dreamed of the freedom of retirement, you voluntariy retired -- so what happened? Yikes!

My Best Retirement Advice is:
Find a New Identity and Retirement Purpose!

Life Purpose

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At one point, I wondered why so many unhappy retirees were writing their anxiety stories on my site.

How can so many retirees feel anxious, unfulfilled and downright depressed -- after being freed from a lifetime of employment?

My answer:  We Need Purpose to be fulfilled in life. Yes, even in retirement. Humans weren't created to simply exist day to day. 

Retirement Purpose (my own definition) means: Helping others live life. 

Consider this: Retirement began, for the most part, when Social Security checks started in 1935. Some eighty years ago, the government decided people did need to stop working but could not without income.

The times were different:

  • people died earlier in life
  • people lived with family in their later years

Nowadays, retirees are folks who worked a lifetime (usually) and took pride in their accomplishments. Ok, some folks couldn't wait to quit work as it was not fulfilling for them, but many others (whether they liked the job or not) worked as it was what you do.

After a lifetime of working, working scheduled hours, fitting in personal pursuits into weekends (or not at all), nobody knows HOW to relax and enjoy their retired years.

Today:

  • we live longer than ever expected due to medical advances
  • we live independently longer, many living alone without a partner
  • society provides many options to help seniors live a good life

Check out: The History of Retirement from Early Man to AARP

 How to Enjoy your Retirement? Pay it forward

Hey, as retirees, we've got the time, right?

Why sit at home, feeling down, helping nobody, feeling sorry for yourself?

Find Yourself Again -- 

You might:

  • Teach others what you know (online, tutoring neighbor kids, adult education classes, etc.). We all have knowledge in some specific area, even simply living life... you assume everyone knows what you know, but they don't. You could even write a blog, similar to what I'm doing here... helping others!
  • Help others (family, friends, neighbors) still stuck in the crazy working world. You remember the hectic never-ending lifestyle, right? Where can you step in to help?
  • Volunteer to help wherever you see a need. You can volunteer for an organization (but be sure it meets YOUR needs, your schedule, your mindset). You might also consider voluntarily help your neighbors... taking an elderly neighbor grocery shopping in the winter, cutting someone's grass, helping out where you see a need. It's about feeling good about helping, not just keeping busy, right?

Personally, as strange as this sounds, I deliberately look for seniors, in the grocery store parking lot, in the winter. They are freezing.  Many can't locate their car. Then they need to load the groceries.  That is where I step in -- I help them find their car, get them inside, load groceries in the back. They are grateful too.

Freedom is fun, for a few weeks, but then -- you are slammed with the lack of identity and purpose. It happens to far too many retirees...

Please use this too-easy retirement advice to find your own purpose in retired life! It doesn't have to be difficult, seriously... just find a way to own your new lifestyle and help others while you live it!

Do it while you CAN -- and karma will repay you when you are elderly.

Do you have Retirement Goals? I challenged retirees and here are a few responses! I hope they push you into action!

Have YOU written your Bucket List? Your ideas don't have to be BIG - but they should inspire you to take action!

Things To Do if You Feel Like Nothing is Working Today...