For decades you’ve defined yourself through various titles—job title, parent, spouse, friend, etc.
But what’s your “title” for your golden years?
See, we just don’t think that “retirement” alone should make the cut.
Retirement is broad and isn’t indicative of your unique thoughts, perspective, skills, values, talents, and goals. Navigating this new life transition will likely take time, exploration, honesty, at times, a lot of work, and a bit of trial and error.
But think about it like this: you didn’t reach your dream job title when you first began your career, and you may not uncover your true retirement “title” right out the gate. But by actively pursuing your aspirations, goals, and passions, you’ll put yourself on the right path to help you discover it.
Today, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the idea of defining your retirement title and how doing so can have a profound impact on your quality of life. It’s time to make your golden years shine.
How To Start Thinking Beyond The Word “Retirement”
Retirement alone isn’t an identity; it’s a term to characterize a stage of life, like teen, adult, etc. And while society has assigned certain traits to different age groups—angsty teens, responsible adults, leisurely retirees—these generalized boxes hardly encapsulate your specific journey.
Don’t let “retirement” the term, pigeonhole you into a path you aren’t passionate about. Maybe you aren’t looking for a conventional relax-on-the-beach and golf-type retirement plan. You may want to pursue an encore career, earn a certification or degree, travel more extensively, pursue long-held hobbies, and more.
Remember, retirement doesn’t have a rulebook or special code—there’s no prescriptive way you have to do things. And, while freeing, that quality can also be overwhelming. Because now you have to carve out an entirely new path full of purpose, meaning, and value with no accurate benchmark to go off of.
You’re in uncharted territory, but you aren’t wandering aimlessly without a map. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through this immense and profound journey.
Your Retirement “Title” Is An Ongoing Story of Purpose
Unlike a job title, you aren’t limited to one retirement title. Perhaps you’ll find that you’ll have various titles, like a coach, mentor, writer, volunteer, grandparent, etc. These titles should directly tie to your values and hopes for the future. To help brainstorm your titles, consider the following questions:
- Where do you find joy?
- What areas are you excited to learn more about?
- How do you see yourself growing?
- What are your talents, and how do you want to nurture them?
- What activities leave you feeling productive, purposeful, and satisfied?
- What are your core values, and how are they present in your life? In what ways could they take more of a leading role?
These questions aim to help you build a comprehensive plan for your time in retirement. Once you check the big-ticket items off your list like a move, trip to Europe, or relaxing on the beach for a month, what comes next?
Far too often, people forget about planning for their day to day in retirement, and that’s where a sense of loss and isolation can set in. Thinking about a retirement title is a springboard to intentionally planning for your future—and not just the big moments, the small ones, too. What will your life look like after you leave your current job? Or, more importantly, what do you want it to look like?
Diversifying your story to include the things you care most about makes your retirement genuinely meaningful. It also begins to actively turn retirement into a personalized life plan.
Your Retirement “Title” and Building A Retirement Mission Statement
Understanding your retirement “title” better can help you consider what you want out of this next season of life. It can also help you think about a retirement mission statement.
A retirement mission statement is simply a tool to help center your mind on the people, places, and things that matter most to you.
Why is a mission statement important?
First, think about it from a business perspective. Nearly every business/corporation has a mission statement. This document sets the tone for the company’s values, culture, and goals. It’s often referred to when conjuring up new initiatives, team hires, and more because it represents the company’s core—what matters most.
At TFS, our mission statement is to clear up financial confusion so you can make confident decisions that move you toward your life goals.
Since your retirement title is directly tied to your purpose, let that catalyze ideas for crafting your retirement mission statement.
Consider these tips:
- Center the statement on your core values and goals
- Let your purpose guide you
- Keep it short and sweet
- Don’t be afraid to revise it as you go along
Think about it like this:
What will get you up in the morning?
Examining retirement from this vantage point is an invitation to prioritize your values and goals moving forward.
The Vast Benefits of Having Purpose As A Retiree
Hopefully, you’re beginning to see an endless horizon of opportunities for your golden years. Your retirement is what you make it, and putting in the leg work upfront can lead to fulfilling rewards later on.
Purpose is fundamental for a meaningful retirement plan. Finding your purpose gives you energy, motivation, gratitude, hope, and more. It can also have innumerable other benefits—let’s take a closer look at some of the most important.
Crafting a purpose-driven retirement plan won’t just lead to emotional wellbeing; it can also translate to a longer life.
In 2019, the JAMA network conducted a study to test this incredible idea. They sampled a group of nearly 7,000 participants all over the age of 50, and what they found was extraordinary. Those who scored the highest on their “life purpose” scale were more likely to live longer.
And, those with higher scores were less likely to pass away from heart, circulatory, and other blood conditions when compared to participants who scored lower.
This is the first study to provide scientific evidence that you can link purpose and longevity. But how could these observational results be possible? It turns out that those with more purpose can find:
- Less stress. A purpose-filled life isn’t stress-free; rather, people are more likely to deal with stress in a more healthy and positive way.
- Better overall health. When you are driven by purpose, you may be more likely to take better care of yourself, like eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep, and more.
- Reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often linked to cardiovascular issues, which are exacerbated by stress. By reducing stress, you may also be able to reduce inflammation.
Mental and physical engagement is critical at every stage of life, especially retirement. Prioritizing learning new things and garnering new skills exercises your brain, keeping it sharp and engaged.
Healthy brain activities like reading, learning, memory games, eating healthy, exercising, etc., can improve focus, concentration and keep you more detail-oriented.
Planning for your retirement lifestyle is another way to take care of your mental wellbeing. It helps you address changes, challenges, fears, and obstacles head-on and create a plan to overcome them.
Think about the people in your day-to-day life. Several of those contacts may be work-related, so leaving your job can make you feel more isolated from the community you’ve had for many years. It’s essential to start thinking about the relationships you want to develop and nurture in retirement, both new and old.
Building fruitful relationships is a hallmark of a happy retirement plan. You need people to support and encourage you along the way. It’s also important to look in the mirror and ensure you’re modeling the behaviors you’d like to see in your closets and dearest friends.
You may find community in several places from family, friends, hobbies, volunteering, place of worship, among others.
What Is Your Retirement “Bumper Sticker”?
You can learn a lot about people from the bumper stickers on their car—where they travel, if they have kids, their hobbies, personal milestones, political views, etc. It’s amazing how much information you can get from a small graphic.
We challenge you to create a “bumper sticker” for your retirement.
Your retirement “bumper sticker” is a short slogan or phrase that encapsulates your big dreams and goals for this incredible season. It’s an entertaining and engaging exercise to get you thinking about the tone you want to set for your retirement.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Free at Last
- New Adventures Await
- The Next Chapter
- Inspired Not Retired (our personal favorite)
Maybe one of these strikes a chord with you or inspires you to create your own. Whatever you choose, ensure it aligns with your retirement mission statement and the goals you want to accomplish.
Your Ideal Retirement Is In Reach
Creating a comprehensive retirement plan that helps you align your money with your life is a complex endeavor. Luckily, it’s at this critical intersection where our passion lies.
Our TFS team would love the opportunity to help you carve a plan for your life that leaves you excited and fulfilled for the next season of your life. If you would like to see how we could help you, set up a call with us today. We can’t wait to help you build your retirement plan.