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Finding Your Purpose After Retirement
You’ve been working your whole life — looking forward to the day that you can retire and do what you want to do.
Then that day comes and you find yourself feeling lost. The days seem infinitely long and you don’t know what to do to fill them up. You never thought you’d say this, but you miss your routine. You miss going to work. You felt purposeful then, but now you don’t.
If this is you — or you’re afraid this will be you when you retire — keep reading. We’ve got 5 ideas to help you find your purpose after retirement.
1. Downsize and Declutter
There are 300,000 items in the average American household. Chances are that once you’ve gotten to this stage in your life, you might even have more.
The good news is that now you have the time to go through and declutter your home like you’ve been meaning to do for years. Be purposeful about decluttering and donate items to organizations that can use them.
Once your kids move out and you get rid of all that extra stuff, you can move into a smaller home, maybe even an apartment or a townhouse to get out of yard work. Regardless, a smaller home is (usually) a less expensive home.
2. Organize Your Finances
People are living longer than ever before so being mindful of having enough money for an extended retirement is important. Take time to plan out your finances and determine what you can realistically spend each month.
If you want to give to charities, be sure to understand the tax implications so you don’t end up paying penalties. You can create an Intentional Giving Plan (a philanthropic strategy that aligns with your values) or open a donor advised fund.
3. Get Involved in the Community
Purpose is all about people and feeling like you make a positive contribution to the world. Now that you have the time, there are many ways you can get involved. For example:
- Read to children at the library
- Donate blood or platelets
- Fundraise for your favorite charity
- Provide transportation for the elderly
- Become an advocate for an issue you’re passionate about
And the list goes on. If you don’t know where to start, check out the non-profits in your area, they are always on the lookout for passionate volunteers.
4. Volunteer Your Skills/Expertise
You’ve learned a lot over the years. Now you can help other people by offering your services or expertise for free. Donate your time to non-profits so they don’t have to pay someone else to do it. This frees up funds for other important work.
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. Your career goals might have encouraged you to get out of it, but without that motivation you can get complacent.
Challenge yourself with something new every so often. Go on a mission trip, help build houses for people in Haiti, or do something that makes you nervous at home in your own community.
A Purposeful Retirement
You have stopped going to work every day, but life hasn’t stopped. Retirement doesn’t have to be boring. Get out in your community and live a strong, purposeful life after retirement.
By giving back you’ll receive far more in return.
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