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How to retire with a passion

Article1Sep18

Passion is the preserve of youth some people might argue. As the young are embarking on their adult lives, everything seems so new, fresh and exciting that each new twist and turn is tackled passionately.

But doesn’t retirement also represent a completely new chapter in your life? It’s likely to be a time of profound changes in your lifestyle and habits – an opportunity for fresh awakenings and a rediscovered passion for life.

In short, retirement offers an opportunity to completely reinvent your life – and here are some suggestions about doing so with the passion that might turn that reinvention into a whole new exciting journey.

Endings

For most people, retirement represents the end of the working life you have known for the past 40 to 50 years – the end of a whole lifestyle that probably defined you.

But retirement is by no means the end of the road – it’s an opportunity to stop what you do not enjoy doing, or do not find satisfying, and switching to whatever you find fulfilling and rewarding. As one road ends, countless others might open in front of you, suggests an opinion piece published in Forbes magazine on the 20th of August 2018.

Discovering your passion

Passion is a highly personal sentiment, of course – one person’s passion might be another’s nightmare. Your voyage of discovery is likely to involve recognising the difference between the two.

And retirement offers you all the time in the world to experiment, to try different things, until you find what it is that arouses your particular, individual passions.

This is well illustrated in the stories told by two retirees to property developers McCarthy and Stone:

  • An 80 year-old lady had tried pottery, golf, voluntary work and a host of other pursuits to keep herself “busy” before finally discovering a passion for cycling at the age of 70;
  • A retired school teacher also showed how new passions can grow from old habits when she discovered new skills at the age of 70 by taking her skills to teach youngsters in Poland – and, in her 80s, later becoming such an effective campaigner for the elderly and the disabled that she addressed the House of Lords on the subject.

The point, of course, is that the voyage of discovery may become a passion in itself.

Browse a prospectus

Whilst many might find a renewed passion in physical activity, though, a healthy and enquiring mind is likely to be just as important the older we get.

If you are looking to maintain a sense of purpose through meaningful and more academic study, therefore, why not browse through some of the huge library of prospectuses from universities and colleges. Courses are offered on just about every subject under the sun. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) points out that nearly 400 educational institutions in the UK offer more than 50,000 different courses of study.

Relationships

Mature relationships are likely to be quite different in nature to those we form in the first flush of youth, but that makes them no less passionate or important to our health and wellbeing.

Along with engagement in meaningful activities, the relationships we make in older age are vital to mental health and wellbeing says the Mental Health Foundation.

The population of over 65s has grown by 47% since 1974, says the Mental Health Foundation, and now makes up 18% of the total population. The relationships forged between individuals in this group play an important part in staving off depression and even dementia.

These are critical considerations in view of the 22% of men and 28% of women of 65 and above who are estimated to suffer from depression and the global figure of 44 million dementia sufferers (a population which is forecast to double by the year 2030).

Bucket list or passion list?

Recent years have seen something of a craze for bucket lists – the 100 things to do before you die, for example.

Although it’s probably no bad idea to keep a list of things you want to do, this might miss the point that many passions may lie hidden and as yet undiscovered.

Unearthing those passions is unlikely to happen overnight – you probably won’t wake up one morning to shout “Eureka! I’ve found my passion”. Instead, it’s likely to prove a voyage of discovery and there may even be setbacks before you realise that it was worth persisting in something that becomes a slow-burning passion.

That may be the very reason for trying new activities, pursuits and hobbies – even things you’d never considered as being your particular cup of tea might spur you into a new-found interest and enthusiasm. You won’t know that, of course, unless you are constantly prepared to try something new.

And that leads on to perhaps the most fundamental key to rediscovering passion in your retirement – maintaining an open and positive attitude in everything you do, every relationship you form and every type of challenge you seize.

The data cited in this piece is correct as at the time of writing

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