Home Topical Index to all subjects
Purposeful activity is a big part of what gets us up in the morning, and keeps us interested and vital. While advertisers emphasize relaxation and fun in retirement – and these are important – most people find that full-time amusement gets stale pretty quickly. The ideal image of a retired life is not people sitting on a beach or playing golf, but people focusing on something that matters to them – maybe something they never had time for during their earlier years.
Purpose relates to:
- Spirit, because the way we define what is truly important in life should guide us in finding purposeful activities that embody, or at least conform to, those priorities.
- Love, because how we spend our time affects the people we care about. And because some of our purposeful activities may involve caring for or caring about others, whether family, friends, our local community, or the larger world.
- Avocation, because we need to balance our purposeful activities with leisure and rest; and because some activities can fulfill both needs.
- Security, because it matters whether we need to earn more money in retirement, or whether we can afford to focus on volunteer, community, or self-defined projects that produce no income. And because some activities – starting a business, creating a not-for-profit, supporting civic causes – are likely to cost us money.
- Health, because the pursuit of purposeful activity is dependent on our physical and mental vitality, so we should make plans that recognize that age will probably slow us down (but without giving up on having Purpose in our lives).
Topics and sub-topics under Purpose
Not everyone is the same. When some people retire, the last thing they want to think about is doing anything serious, while other people get antsy if they don’t have some productive or important activity to pursue. Some have been just waiting for retirement so they can work on goals they have always had in mind, while others are at a loss what to do. Some see purposeful activity as intrinsic to self-actualization, as a spur to worthwhile achievement, and as a way to earn respect from others. Other people see it as just a lot of work, which they’d rather not deal with. What matters to you?
- Work: Activities that earn you money
Even when you are “retired,” you may find that you like working for money – perhaps as a part-time activity, perhaps starting your own business, or in some other fashion. Or you may need to continue working, at least a little, to pay your bills.
- Affording retirement: Can you afford to retire when you want to? If not, when will retirement be feasible?
- Need to work after retirement: Do you financially need to find some other paid employment after retirement?
- Desire for work: Do you want to work after retirement, whether or not you have a financial need for it?
- Dealing with layoffs and early retirement offers: What are your options, and what makes sense for you?
- Type of work: What kind of work best suits you and your preferred schedule: more of the same, or something new?
- Self-employment: Is starting your own business, or buying into an existing business, right for you?
- Your current work situation: Does your current situation need to be improved, and if so, what’s the best way to go about it?
- Job hunting: How do you a find a new job?
- Buying into a business: How do you go about finding a business you can buy out or buy into, and how do you manage the process?
- Starting a new business: How do you start a new business of your own?
- Business succession: If you already own a business and are ready to retire, what are your options for finding new owners or managers?
- Business liquidation: If you own a business of your own and are looking to liquidate it, how do you go about it?
- Family farms: What options are available if you own a family farm (or want one)?
If you do not particularly need the extra income, or if you have a desire to help others, or if your time availability is too irregular for paid employment, you can do a lot of good for others by volunteering, and at the same time do good for yourself.
By focusing on the impact that you have on others, directly and by your example, you have the opportunity to sculpt that impact: to have it be what you want it to be, not just an unintended side-effect of your own existence.
- Civic engagement: What opportunities exist for you to get involved in political, social, or other civic causes?
- Charitable giving: What methods are available for you to financially support organizations and causes that matter to you?
- Financial legacy: What plans can you make to see that other people and causes are provided for at your death?
- Your story: What can you do to shape how you and others see your life, both while you are still here, and after you are gone?
©2016 Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc. / RetirementWORKS, Inc.