This past January I began a series called creating an Inspired Retirement plan. I mentioned that while most retirement planning focuses solely on finances, an Inspired Retirement must include having a life plan. In February we explored mindset and a 3 step approach to re-shape and transform our thinking. I received a significant amount of positive feedback from this posting so if you didn’t read this post, I’d recommend going back and reading the prior blog post before continuing. This month we will discover the one thing you can do which potentially will add years to your life. Here’s how.

Discover and live your life purpose.

Many people who retire lack time filling and fulfilling activity, especially if their job was something they enjoyed. Instead of sitting in the local McDonald’s, how does a person connect with people and create a life that has a new purpose and will make a difference? A life that not only fills your time, but fills your soul?

Purpose is what gives us a reason to get up and to make our contribution to the world. Without purpose we drift. This is true in every area of life. For example, having a purpose for saving money, say to pay cash for a car or a vacation, creates great motivation and intentional action toward achieving the goal. At the time of this writing, my family wants to get a puppy, a Shetland Sheep dog, in 5 months. In order to do this we are watching what we spend on non-essentials because we are thinking about the puppy. My twelve year old has said, “Dad, I don’t need that, let’s save it for the puppy!” Once we reach our goal and get the puppy, we will celebrate the effort put forth and the sacrifice will be worth it.

The same is true in post retirement living. You will need a purpose and mission for what your life will count for. The Social Security Administration reports that people without a retirement life plan collect 13 paychecks before dying. So having a life plan is literally a matter of life and death!

Your purpose doesn’t have to be grand, like discovering a cure for cancer, but it does need to connect with what you are passionate about. Think of the talents you were born with, the skills you have developed through education and application. Now combine this with your years of experience and you add up to one amazing person! Yes, you are an amazing person and you were created to make a difference and leave a legacy.

Purpose and significance comes as we give to others. Life comes to us as we live as a conduit of what we’ve take in. That flow of life from us to others is what keeps us vital and fresh. When we don’t have a sufficient outlet to help others we become stale and life less. A great example of this is the Dead Sea. It is called the Dead Sea because it only takes in water but does not give it out. There are no outlet streams and subsequently life does not flourish there.

“No matter where we are, retirement presents us with two choices. Either we can use it to indulge ourselves, or we can use it to make an impact on the lives of others. In other words, the choice we face is between empty self-indulgence and meaningful activity. Will we seek God’s plan for our retirement years? Or will we drift aimlessly along, assuming our usefulness is over and spending the rest of our days trying to squeeze as much enjoyment as we can out of life?” — Billy Graham

What about you? Awareness is always key to beginning any journey, including retirement. Take 15 minutes and consider what you already possess. What unique opportunities have you had that most others probably have not?

Make a list of all your talents, skills, education and experience.

Action steps:
One way to discover a life purpose or mission is to examine your passion. What gets you excited, where you are lost in reading or activity and lose track of time? What gets you angry and moves you to take action and get involved?
What do you consider your role to be in your local community? In your country? In the world?
Is there a dream you had for your life that needs to be resurrected and have new life blown into?

If you are ready to take action today to create a personal life plan for retirement you can get a copy of the Inspired Retirement Planner here. If you are curious how a professional life coach can help you create a life plan of purpose, passion and significance than email me or call 484-461-6403 and we can schedule a complimentary inquiry call to explore what this would look like. Whatever you do, don’t put the life planning process off for another time. Get started today!