Beyond Financial Planning: Finding Vibrant Living in Retirement - Rodgers & Associates
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Beyond Financial Planning: Finding Vibrant Living in Retirement

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It’s not uncommon for people to focus on financial planning for retirement and overlook how they want to actually spend their post-working years. This can lead to boredom, feelings of sadness or loneliness, and a lost sense of fulfillment. Finding meaning and purpose is a common concern for people leaving their careers.

Meaning is the internal sense that our lives are lived for something (or someone) else. We want to know that our lives meant something, and that our impact on others will be remem­bered once we are gone. Often, being involved in a community is one of the most signif­icant sources of meaning for people—a way for individuals to know that others recognize their gift of time and talent.

Purpose is what gives us a reason to get up in the morning and make a productive contri­bution to the world. For many people, a sense of purpose is a necessary condition for happiness and meaning. Most people won’t find much satis­faction in life if they don’t feel they are working toward something they believe in. Purpose is something inside us that provides a sense of drive and accomplishment

At the beginning of 2021, Rodgers & Associates partnered with the television station WHTM ABC27 by sponsoring “Vibrant Living,” a show that explores the ways retirees find meaning and purpose in their lives. A segment of ABC27’s morning show, “Good Day PA,” “Vibrant Living” runs on the second and fourth Friday of every month and focuses on the 55+ lifestyle. The show attests that many seniors find this period of time even more satis­fying than life during their careers.

Show segments feature oppor­tu­nities to volunteer, take up hobbies, pursue mentoring, and explore travel, among other meaningful ways people spend retirement. Here are just a few pursuits the show covers:

Help care for pets

Do you love animals? A March 2021 segment showcased volun­teers who foster pets before they get adopted through the Pet Pantry of Lancaster County. Research shows fostering dogs and cats is a growing volunteer activity among retirees, who can give fostered animals the attention they need without making a years-long commitment.

Cultivate a green thumb

Would gardening be more appealing? “Vibrant Living” traveled to Hershey Gardens in May 2021 to capture the beauty of the grounds and hear about the botanical garden’s need for volun­teers. The segment included conver­sa­tions with several volun­teers who discussed the additional benefits of friendship, learning oppor­tu­nities, and improved health and well-being.

Work with a special needs therapy

Another focus could be helping enrich the lives of individuals with special needs. Leg Up Farm in York County is a pediatric therapy facility providing thera­peutic horseback riding and other educa­tional and recre­ational programs. Horses bring joy into people’s lives through their unique ability to interact and connect with humans in a simple but powerful way. “Vibrant Living” visited Leg Up Farm to learn more about its Silver Saddles Program designed for adults ages 55+ looking for ways to stay active and involved.

Commit to a hobby or museum

Do you have a passion for vintage vehicles? “Vibrant Living” toured the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum (AACA) in Hershey to talk with volun­teers who donate their time and talents to supporting the museum. Auto enthu­siasts of all ages help the renowned AACA Museum put on successful programs. The museum offers oppor­tu­nities to help its team with various opera­tions, from enhancing the visitor experience to carrying out special projects that celebrate classic cars.

Find community at a senior center

Maybe you’re not sure what interests you. Yet another segment was devoted to the role of senior centers—an essential resource for a vibrant aging community. These centers promote good health by giving mature people access to various resources that help them stay active and independent. This summer, “Vibrant Living” visited the Lancaster Recre­ation Center, which is likely to be bustling on any given day. Free exercise classes, a walking club, and discussion groups are just a sampling of the oppor­tu­nities to learn, stay fit, and most impor­tantly, laugh and connect.

You can find and watch all the “Vibrant Living” segments on the Rodgers & Associates Facebook page and on our LinkedIn page. Check back often as we post new segments regularly. Finding fulfillment in retirement is an admirable goal that pays ongoing and invaluable dividends.

Rick’s Insights

  • Meaning is an internal sense that your life is lived for something else.
  • Purpose is what gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
  • Life after retiring may turn out to be more satis­fying than life during your career.