Finding Purpose in Life After Retirement

Smiling senior man playing guitar on park bench

Charles Dickens was an English writer, social critic, and the creator of some of the world’s best-known fictional characters. Many of his works continue to be read and adapted today. Clearly, he had both a way with words and an intricate understanding of the human mind and its workings. What advice might the man who invented Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Madame Defarge, and David Copperfield offer seniors pondering the prospect of retirement? According to Dickens, “The best way to lengthen out our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose.” It seems he’d add his voice to the multitudes who insist that there are real benefits to finding purpose in life after retirement.

Finding Purpose in Life After Retirement

Finding purpose in life after retirement is about discovering what really matters to you. It’s about considering what you’re capable of and exploring what brings you a sense of satisfaction. The answer will vary from one person to the next, and it may change as your circumstances shift. So, how do you find your purpose? Ask yourself a series of questions:

What do I love to do?

Spending time doing things you enjoy is always more fun. Think about what you love to do. Make a list of the skills that you have that you like to use. Chances are, there are organizations or opportunities to put these skills to work in ways that will be purposeful. Choosing how you can give your time and talents is a great way to find your sense of purpose. Whether you join an existing organization as a volunteer, serve as a mentor or tutor, or take classes to sharpen your skills, there will be others who will appreciate what you have to offer.

What do I feel strongly about?

What always provokes a reaction? Is there something that makes you want to get up each morning? Is there a topic that always catches your attention and makes you want to learn more? Is there a subject you could cheerfully spend hours talking about and exploring without feeling bored? If there’s something that you feel strongly about, then working around it might give you a sense of purpose.

Is there someone I want to help?

Are you an animal lover? Perhaps the local shelter needs someone to make phone calls asking for donations. Are you bilingual and eager to share your knowledge? Perhaps a student would appreciate video-chatting with you to improve their language skills. Reaching out to organizations that help those in need may provide you with a sense of purpose.

What energizes me?

What gets you moving? Follow the passions that energize you. Is variety important to you? If so, you’ll want to mix things up to keep your routine from getting stale. Are you always seeking a new challenge? You may want to look for a purpose that includes some sort of educational component so that you can keep learning as you go.

What exhausts me?

It might seem like a negative query, but it’s important to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses if you want to find the best fit. What tasks leave you feeling older than your years? While you might not be able to avoid them completely, as a volunteer, you can certainly minimize them. That’s one of retirement’s joys. You’re free to direct your energies where you wish. There’s also no reason to feel guilty. After all, the task that drains you might delight someone else. Instead of making yourself miserable by forcing yourself to complete a task that you despise, look for ways that you can put your skills to work that suit your personal preferences. It’s also healthy to set limits, to choose opportunities that respect those limits, and to periodically re-evaluate your choices to make sure that they’re still the right fit.


Are you ready to find purpose and explore your passions? We wish you the best of luck!

Hoping to retire in Nebraska? Look no further than Kinship Pointe. We offer assisted living and independent living communities in four locations: Kearney NorthridgeMcCookSeward, and Wayne. At Kinship Pointe, our delightful staff works every day to help residents pursue their passions and live life to the fullest. To learn for yourself what makes Kinship Pointe so special, schedule a tour or contact us online.

Files under: Living with Purpose