If you are like most people, you derive much of your sense of purpose from your job. After years of hard work and accomplishments, you may feel lost without your career identity. 31% of retirees report struggling with a lack of purpose. The reality is that modern retirement is not all about living a life solely of leisure. There is so much more potential that is being untapped for specifically older adults. If you are nearing retirement age or are already retired, living a purposeful life is more important than ever and can be enriching and rewarding.
A growing body of research is proving that having a purpose is a significant asset in life. Researchers examined how purpose in the lives of older adults impacts health. They found that those with higher “purpose” scores had:
24% lower likelihood of becoming physically inactive
33% lower chance of developing sleep problems
22% lower likelihood of developing unhealthy body mass index
But the benefits do not stop there. Leading a purposeful life leads to:
Lower feelings of loneliness
More engagement in healthy behaviors
Better outcomes when it comes to diabetes and stroke recovery
Stronger physical functions, like more grip strength and walking abilities
Protection against cognitive decline
Longevity and happiness
We humans are designed to grow, change, and develop at any life stage—retirement is no different. In fact, it is more critical during retirement because of the statistics mentioned above, and you no longer have the career and family life structure.
Retirement is less about finding some monumental new thing to do with your life, and more about recognizing and sharing with others the unique gifts you have been blessed with. If you aren’t sure what those are, broaden your perspective by asking friends and family members for input about your strengths and passions. No matter how you go about it, don’t be afraid to embrace your uniqueness and share it with the world. It could be the key to finding renewed purpose in life after retirement.