Finding Your Passion in Retirement

by Emily on December 3rd, 2015

What will you do in retirement?

The options are truly endless, and many new retirees find the abundance of choices too daunting to contemplate. Fortunately, experts on the subject are helping put it into perspective with a bit of advice; whatever we choose should begin with an exploration of ourselves.

After years of working for others, we often need to take the time to reconnect with ourselves and rediscover our interests before we attempt to answer the time-honored question: What will I do in retirement?

Ask yourself a few questions as you begin your journey toward a passionate retirement:

  1. What feels timeless to you?
  2. What can you pursue continuously without tiring of it?
  3. What serves as a constant source of energy in both your words and your actions?

If these questions prove too lofty, try these:

  1. What do you love doing most?
  2. When you were working, what did you daydream about doing instead?
  3. Was there a time when you wished you had done something else professionally? What was it?
  4. What have you always wanted to do and have never done?
  5. What pastime or activity brought you the most joy?
  6. What have you done that brought you the deepest sense of purpose?
  7. When are you most content?

Now, answer these questions:

  1. If you had all the time in the world, what would you do?
  2. If you had all the money you needed, what would you do?
  3. If you could do anything, what would you do?

Oftentimes, we tell ourselves we can’t do something we’d like to do because it doesn’t fit into our lives at the time. We may even set up impossible barriers to prevent ourselves from thinking about it seriously, such as the need for money and time. This last set of questions is designed to help you break through barriers that you’ve set in place.

Upon reflection, these desires may be within reach with a few alterations.

Review your answers to the questions above and give yourself permission to explore your options.

Remember to Give it Time

As you grow closer to retirement, return to your answers from time to time and reflect upon them earnestly. You should find that certain themes begin to emerge and you are closer to discovering your purpose in retirement.

Your passion could end up being anything from traveling to learning, volunteering to starting a new business, or simply enjoying time with your loved ones.

If you have trouble, pursue new and exciting opportunities. Try things you haven’t before. Sometimes your passion will not simply reveal itself: instead, it must be sought out.

What if I still don’t know what to do?

Don’t be intimidated by this process. It’s an exciting time to discover and experience life in ways you have not been able to before.

Whether it’s adapting previous interests to your current lifestyle or starting something completely new, utilize the new luxury of free time and remember to have fun.

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