Why Purpose Is The Secret Ingredient For A Wonderful Retirement (And How To Find It)


Did you know that 31% of retirees struggle with a lack of purpose?

Purpose is the inner excitement that lights you up, affecting nearly every aspect of your life.

Purpose is strongly tied to your mental, emotional, and physical health and longevity. This means that finding and maintaining purpose throughout retirement is critical for long-term joy and fulfillment.

Are you ready to uncover your purpose?

Why Purpose Is So Important For Retirees

Purpose can be challenging to find at any stage in life, and retirement is no exception. It actually may be more difficult for retirees. 

Throughout your life, you’ve had many community-centric activities that brought meaning, like your 9-5 job, raising your children, traveling for work, etc. 

During retirement, these activities naturally begin to dwindle.

As a result, you might have to battle with several things like:

  • Loneliness
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of mission/purpose

Your identity is so much more than being a retiree, and just because you may not get up to go to work every day doesn’t mean that you don’t have a purpose or mission—you just have to find it!

Finding Your Purpose

Self-reflection is the key to discovering your purpose. 

No one else, not even your partner, can tell you your purpose. It’s something personal; only you can make this journey of discovery. 

Here are some easy steps to uncover what your inner self is telling you. 

What Do You Value?

According to one study, “values predict a large variety of attitudes, preferences, and overt behaviors.” 

Your personal values accurately predict what actions and decisions will most likely lead to fulfillment. If you never sit down to think about your values, you’re much more likely to make decisions based on whatever information happens to be in front of you. That can be a recipe for regret down the road.

Life is full of complex and confusing choices. We are all faced with moments in our personal and professional lives that require us to decide without all the necessary information available. 

It’s normal to assume that we need more knowledge or research during these situations. But more often than not, we just need a clear understanding of our values. Knowing what you stand for and where you’re headed helps ensure you stay on a path you believe in. 

Let your values drive your decisions.

Value Activity 

Take a look at the list of values and choose the five that are most important to you. And this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, so be creative and allow what speaks to you to manifest.

  • Dependability
  • Integrity
  • Generosity
  • Courage
  • Gratitude
  • Sustainability
  • Family
  • Learning
  • Self-respect
  • Adaptability
  • Uniqueness
  • Assertiveness
  • Open-mindedness
  • Knowledge
  • Personal growth
  • Flexibility
  • Independence

Then, come up with five examples of how you want to act these out in the future. 

Do you want to share your generosity through gift-giving? Or showcase your dependability and independence by creating a retirement withdrawal strategy? If you value knowledge and learning, will you support your grandchildren throughout their educational journey

Whatever your goals, your core values are the catalyst behind them. 

What Do You Enjoy Spending Your Time Doing?

How we spend our free time tells a lot about our energy levels, personality, and what we can expect from ourselves.

So, how do you like to spend your free time? 

  • Education: Some retirees never stop learning. Their excitement for education leads them to read the latest news, research new tech, or expand their skillset. 
  • Fitness: Many people thrive through exercise. It could be a long run, weight lifting, or even just a stroll through the park. Ultimately, regular exercise creates higher circulating dopamine levels and expands your capacity for joy. 
  • Socialization: Humans are social creatures. Connection is vital for your mental and emotional health. Without it, loneliness and depression can quickly set in. Plus, being social has several proven benefits, like better mood, a higher sense of security, and increased brain health.  

Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is a vital part of living a more purposeful life. 

Recognize Your Unique Gifts and Talents

No matter how much you want to be Superman, it simply won’t work without super strength and laser vision. 

To really get value out of your purpose, it needs to be something achievable. Your purpose should inspire motivation, not discouragement. 

Think about:

  • How to accomplish the goal
  • If you have the tools/skills needed,
  • if not, consider what it would take to attain them.

Ask yourself: “Is the goal doable?” “Do I have the necessary skills and resources?”

Choosing a purpose that comes naturally, has meaning to you, or creates a sense of urgency will make you all the more likely to achieve it. 

When you utilize your innate talents, you will be more likely to succeed, and your success will be all the more rewarding. 

Get Close to Friends and Family

Strong social ties have been linked to increased immune function, longevity, and various mental health benefits. In fact, one study found that a lack of social connection can be more harmful than smoking!

To avoid those damaging effects, dedicate time to doing something meaningful with your loved ones. Exploring your relationships with family and friends will deepen them and provide additional perspectives on your purpose.

Relationships are all around us, and they bring meaning into everyday life. Understanding the connections that matter most to you will help determine how you want to spend the rest of your life (your purpose)—and with whom. 

Connect With Yourself

The most important relationship of all is that with yourself. And we’ve got a great idea of how you can start your self-reflection journey.

A study from UMass Boston shows that journaling is one of the most effective self-reflection tools. It increases self-understanding, acceptance, encourages creativity, and helps move you toward your ideal self. 

Give it a try! Grab your journal and start by asking yourself introspective questions like: 

  • What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What legacy do you want to leave behind?
  • How will you measure your life?
  • What three words would other people use to describe you?

As you interview yourself, your inner purpose will shine by adding light to your values, hopes, and dreams while illustrating the impact you want to leave on the world. 

Living Your Purpose

You’ve brainstormed, researched, and self-reflected. Now, it’s time to set your goals and work towards achieving them.

You are the creator of your happiness, so fill up your cup doing what you love! 

It could be:

  • Volunteering
  • Working part-time
  • Getting involved in your community
  • Exercise
  • Finding a new hobby 
  • Trying something new
  • Spending time with your family and friends
  • Starting an encore career

Once you’ve set your goals, holding yourself accountable is important. Research from Ohio State University shows that sharing your goal with someone else, especially someone you view as successful, will make you more likely to achieve your goal. 

Build A Joyful Retirement Life

Knowing your purpose may compel you to take on challenges that will stretch you as much as they inspire you. Just as a boat can handle any size wave if perpendicular to it, when you’re powered by a clear purpose, there is little you cannot do.

Planning for your lifestyle should be just as important as planning your money.

At Goepper Burkhardt Wealth Management, we have years of experience doing just that. Our professional planners know how to help you thrive both financially and personally.

Are you ready to add purpose, stability, and security back into your retirement life?

Reach out to us anytime to get started!

Previous Post
We are sad to announce the passing of Dant Goepper
Next Post
The Psychology of Retirement

Related Posts