14. How to Give Meaning and Purpose to your Life Post Retirement

Being busy in our jobs – managing hectic schedules and the stress of the daily grind – makes us visualize what would our life be after retirement; a happy and relaxed space where we can chill out endlessly! But once retirement actually approaches, the endless leisure and free time can become overkill. 

If you are nearing retirement or are already retired and don’t have a plan, this is for you!

Without a concrete plan after retirement, many professionals feel empty and restless, craving for a new direction and new purpose but unsure of where or what that might be. Paying attention to financials is important when you retire, but it is equally important that you focus on your mental and emotional health. 

Being in a job gives you a chance to experience promotion and success, awards and opportunities for recognition, and the company of your workplace friends and colleagues. But what fills that gap once you retire?


Meaning and Purpose

For numerous new retirees living with freedom, exploring new things and enjoying new possibilities are enough. But what next? Are you simply content with having loads of free time or you are looking for a purpose to keep you going?

Viktor Frankl once said that “the pursuit of happiness is what thwarts happiness!” 

This means happiness is something that you cannot pursue; it must ensue with a reason. When you have a direction in life, a purpose and a drive to move forward, that is when you gain meaning and purpose in life. It comes as a natural accompaniment to self-fulfillment and stays with you even during difficult times.

It is disheartening to know that a majority of us spend more time planning vacations and shopping than they do planning their retirement. So how do you bring back a purpose and drive in your life once you are retired? 



#1: Read

Reading can be a passion for many of us. Be it any genre, reading books can greatly influence your mindset and give you a sense of direction. One piece of advice that you can take from successful people is developing a habit of reading. There are some great titles available that can inspire and motivate you.

Here are some titles that you might consider reading next:


#2: Practice Meditation & Mindfulness

Whether or not you are approaching retirement, there are few things that will improve your life more than meditation and mindfulness. Practicing meditation is simply a way for your mind to relax, unwind, push away negativity, and embrace positive thoughts.

And mindfulness apps can help you acknowledge what you feel and learn how to control your thoughts, which gives more meaning and contentment to your life. 

There are a number of other benefits to meditation and mindfulness, too:

  • Meditation helps in delaying mental disorders that often come with age.
  • Increases energy levels, refreshes your mind and improves the immune system by reducing stress hormones.
  • Controls blood pressure
  • It decreases muscle tension in the body and eases common aches and pains.
  • Meditation prompts the brain to release endorphins which make you happy


#3: Manage Finances

Once you hit retirement, you are no longer earning as much. This means your finances need to be planned better and well in advance. Managing your recreational expenses is as important as taking care of basic expenditures. However, meeting these basic needs is necessary before you place your focus on anything else because, when you are spending your time thinking about expense management for your retirement, you will have far less time to develop a social circle or engaging in a hobby. So, timely financial planning is vital to your retired future.

Once your mind is free from thinking about how you will manage your basic expenses, you will have significant time for cognitive needs and achieving self-actualization. There are various retirement planners available that can help you plan your expenses and income once you reach the retirement phase.


#4: Contact a Retirement Coach

You can work with retirement planners and financial advisors to manage your expenses and income, but what about things other than money? What about your transition phase when you reach retirement? For this purpose, you need to get in touch with a retirement coach.

A retirement coach can help you transition smoothly to retired life with new excitement and opportunities to grow. A retirement coach helps you figure out what to do with your life when you retire and how to stay productive.

You can plan and coordinate with a retirement coach and see what you would like to pursue – humanitarian work, artistic pursuits, or simply building a new social circle.

Whatever path you choose after your retirement, it is important that you keep an open mind and perceive your retired life as a blank canvas that is waiting for a new masterpiece to be etched.