Retirement often involves a dramatic shift in priorities and where we spend our time. We move from knowing where the largest part of our days will be spent — at work, as it has been for decades — to figuring out something new to do with so many suddenly free hours each day.
A recent report from financial services firm Edward Jones, involving 9,000 people and five different generations, highlights purpose as one of “The Four Pillars of the New Retirement.” The report says:
“Purpose is inextricably linked with the other pillars, especially family and health. Retirees with a strong sense of purpose are happier and healthier, more active and more socially engaged, and they live longer.
They have positive attitudes toward their own aging and life itself. They reject the ageist myth that retirement means a life in decline, instead making retirement the most meaningful and fulfilling time of their lives. They want to feel useful more than youthful.”
The report identifies the forms our sense of purpose usually takes in retirement as “giving, growing and enjoying.” Following are the most popular sources of purpose, meaning and fulfillment according to American retirees.