Money

It’s Not Just Money that Enriches Life in Retirement

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iStock_000065567781_MediumOver a long career, you’ve squeezed every bit of extra income into fertile investments that have grown into a bulging nest egg.

[Related: 4 Ways to Protect Your Nest Egg in Retirement]

You have enough retirement savings to live beyond 90. In short, you’re wealthy. Your golden years promise to be golden decades. Absent a financial asteroid striking the market, you’ll have few money worries for the rest of your life.

If money is the bridge to a fulfilling retirement you can now kick back and enjoy what comes. Maybe. During your working life, a bigger paycheck was the ‘Holy Grail.’ Now the quest is for something far more abstract, far less quantifiable: How do you find meaning and purpose for the remaining years of your life?

The goal of your quest isn’t money anymore. It has more to do with life-planning and seeking non-financial activities to enrich the years ahead.

Ken Fisher, founder and CEO of Fisher Investments, has a checklist of life-enriching activities to consider when transitioning to retirement. Among them:

– Move into an active retirement community. They’re centered on common interests and group activities.
– Move closer to grandchildren. Make this a primary factor in any location decision.
– Eat better and exercise more. Get up from the couch. Walk more. Join a gym. Limit fast food.
– Stay active. Consider hiking, kayaking, horseback riding. Try yoga classes and group exercises.
– Go back to school. Learn a language. Take classes in whatever interests you.
– Read more books. Join a reading circle.
– Take up a hobby. Try painting, chess or exploring Civil War battlefields.
– Volunteer your time at a local nonprofit or community agency.

If you planned well, you didn’t wait until retirement to begin enjoying life. You pursued hobbies and activities that can now benefit your health and well-being. Pursue pleasure in a form that works for you, whether it’s fishing, playing tennis, teaching or caregiving.

Find an activity and let it take you away for a few hours. Kayaking excites Jo Israelson. Israelson, who opened an art studio years ago, is also drawn to historic preservation. Last summer, she worked on an island off the coast of Portland, Maine, preserving a street and documents from the 1920s.

Everett Bellamy, a retired Georgetown Law dean, continues to help highschoolers navigate the daunting process of applying to law school.

“I’m still advising students who want to go to law school,” he says. “I go over their personal statement and other application materials.”

“I do all of that without charge because it’s part of who I am as a professional.”

If you’re tapping a career competency, volunteering can be more valuable than money.