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How To Find Purpose In Retirement

By Succession PlanningOctober, 2018March 18th, 20242 min read

People are living longer, which means time spent in ‘retirement’ is increasing – the latest US Census figures report the average retirement is 18 years. The huge numbers of Baby Boomers moving into this stage of life is becoming a phenomenon of its own, and could potentially ‘reinvent’ what retirement actually looks like. Just because they are ‘old’, doesn’t mean the huge Baby Boomer cohort won’t continue to change society rather than ride off quietly into the sunset.

We all need to plan for retirement, and Tom Kalejta points out that this often means finding a (new) purpose beyond full time employment or business ownership. The shift into retirement can lead to depression for some people (not just professional sportspeople). Further, he notes that it’s important to distinguish ‘keeping busy’ from actually having a purpose.

I would take this one big step further. If purpose goes beyond our work life, then it doesn’t necessarily need to change significantly when we retire. This is about changing our thinking that work is not a purpose in and of itself, rather a means to achieve the purpose.

Finding that true purpose isn’t always easy, but having that as the foundation makes it easier to transition through the various stages of our life as we age.

Consider This: Do members of your family – particularly the wealth originators or generators – have a clear sense of the purpose in their lives? How does their purpose differ from those of other generations in the family?

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