For many people, their job might play a major role in “defining” who they are. (At cocktail parties ever notice how people ask your name and “What do you do?”). Redefining themselves after many years in the workplace may be a little challenging for some people facing retirement. This can, however, be a terrific opportunity to become what they “wanted” to be rather than what they might have “had to” be because of bills and other obligations. Perhaps they worked long hours and spent a lot of time at the office or traveling away from home. Perhaps they remained with a job they did not necessarily like because of its compensation. Perhaps they did not get to go many places or do recreational things because time was taken up by other priorities. With time now a much more available resource, volunteering and trying new things might help them discover an all new “definition” of themselves.
A co-worker recently adopted a senior dog. This dog had been fostered by a local rescue group which got her out of a shelter and fostered her with an older lady who cared for the dog while it waited for its forever home. The lady provided daily care for the dog, loved the dog, took it to the vet, and brought it to adoption events where the dog found its new owner. This woman became involved in fostering dogs after she retired and her husband passed away. She always loved dogs, but did not have the time to devote to them while working and raising a family and then caring for her ill husband. Now, fostering senior dogs is her calling, a passion she discovered in retirement. It adds life to her years, great companionship, and she is part of the dog rescue community where she has made countless new friends. She has re-defined herself in retirement and, now in her 80s, gets up each morning with an exciting purpose and enthusiasm. She gives and yet feels she gets so much more in return.
Retirement can be a time to get involved with a wide range of causes that are near and dear to the heart. Retirees possess outstanding skills and knowledge developed over many years. There are so many ways to lend helping hands. One need not limit oneself to just one organization - some of my clients volunteer several days a week for different organizations, making a wonderful impact on their communities. From driving to sorting to coaching to answering phones and providing leadership, there appears to be no limit to the possibilities.
Because people are living longer and retirement can last for decades, finding fulfillment in trying new things from golf lessons to travel to crafts to volunteering may possibly be the key to self-discovery - and to a happy new life after working!
The opinions expressed are those of the author and are provided for educational purposes only and not as specific advice for any individual. Seek professional advice before taking any action in regard to your finances.
Todd A. Slingerland, OSJ
6 Tower Place Albany, NY 12203 (518) 867-4000 x105 firstname.lastname@example.org ww.capitalfinancialplanning.net