By Andrew J. Tapparo, MSF, RICP®
One of the greatest challenges of having a goal is what to do once you’ve accomplished it! Retirement is something you work toward your entire life, but once you have reached that milestone and entered your golden years, what’s next? While retirement starts off well for many people, it quickly turns to boredom, loneliness, and sometimes anxiety or depression. This doesn’t have to be the case, though.
We all want to find meaning in how we live. Your career likely brought much meaning to your life during your working years, but now it’s time to uncover a new source of meaning. Here are five key ways to fill the exciting season of retirement with purpose.
1. Find Purpose
One of the most commonly suggested things to do in retirement is to find purpose in your new phase of life. As you transition out of the workforce, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning. Studies have shown that you can prevent this feeling by living a purpose-driven life and that individuals who feel fulfilled are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. Not only that, but they also live longer! You can find purpose in retirement by:
- Volunteering for a local nonprofit or church
- Spending time with your grandchildren
- Pursuing a newfound hobby
- Working on home-improvement or DIY projects
- Taking a class or learning a new skill
- Traveling locally or abroad
Whatever you choose to do in retirement, doing it with a sense of purpose will help you make the most out of your time as opposed to just filling it.
2. Stay Healthy
Declining health and how to pay for the associated medical expenses is one of the biggest concerns for many retirees. In fact, 70% of Americans cite healthcare costs as the most pressing issue on their minds when planning for retirement. Now that you’re in retirement, what better way to spend your time than prioritizing your mental and physical health?
Sure, genetics will play a role in how healthy you will be as you age, but there are also things you can do to mitigate your risk. Exercise and diet are key to maintaining health and they can also be fulfilling ways to fill your time. Try participating in group workouts like kickboxing, yoga, or Pilates, or join a gym if you prefer to exercise alone. Any form of exercise is better than nothing, and it can help decrease your risk of premature death by up to 30%. Learning how to cook a new style of food can also be a fun way to pass the time while also improving your diet.
3. Phase Retirement
Adjusting to retirement is a huge transition! Going from working 40-plus hours a week for 30-plus years to suddenly having all the time in the world is a shock to the system, to say the least. It takes time to adjust, so don’t feel pressure to rush into retirement all at once. Instead, try working part-time or using a phased approach to retirement.
It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to approach retirement in phases, slowly adjusting to reduced hours, part-time work, and then eventually full retirement. Studies have shown that a phased retirement can actually improve vitality and health among retirees.
4. Prioritize Friendships
Retirees who build and maintain meaningful social relationships are often happier and healthier than those who spend their time alone. Spend time connecting with your friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement. It can help prevent loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing that you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall level of happiness, and it can be a great way to fill your time, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.
5. Find a Hobby
Retirement can be an exciting time for many, but some may find it hard to fill the empty hours. Exploring a hobby can bring meaning to your life, prevent feelings of uselessness, and promote overall happiness and health. A newfound hobby can bring purpose to retirement and help you stay healthy by prioritizing your mental and physical health.
Whether you choose to volunteer, take a class, learn a new skill, or work on a DIY project, having a hobby can help make the most of your golden years—while also helping to create new friendships and provide a sense of community, which is crucial in preventing loneliness and improving your overall well-being.
How We Can Help
There is still so much to uncover about how to find meaning in your retirement years. That’s where we come in.
At Tapparo Capital Management, our goal is to foster deep connections and help you clarify your goals. If you want to partner with a team that is dedicated to not just your financial future, but also to your well-being in retirement, it’s time we meet. To schedule a “Get Acquainted Call” to see if we are a good fit for each other, call 978-887-1121 or email email@example.com.
Andrew Tapparo is a fee-only financial advisor at Tapparo Capital Management, a financial planning firm in Topsfield, MA, helping clients turn their savings into a retirement income that lasts. Inspired by the quote “Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life,” Andy founded Tapparo Capital Management in 1997 with a passion for helping clients enjoy a truly worry-free and fulfilling retirement and experience financial freedom. As a Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®), he designs retirement strategies along with sound money management to help clients retire with confidence.
Andy holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and a Master of Science in Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Specializing in retirement income planning, Andy completed a comprehensive financial industry education program at The American College of Financial Services and was awarded the Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation. He is frequently quoted in the media as a financial expert.
Andy and his wife, Susan, live in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and have two beautiful daughters. Outside of work, he is an automobile enthusiast, enjoys taking road trips, and loves the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In his spare time, he volunteers with the local high school varsity girl’s basketball team as the team statistician and runs the team’s website. He is passionate about supporting charities that serve our veterans and their families. To learn more about Andy, connect with him on LinkedIn.