How To Describe A Meaningful Life In Retirement

Ask someone how to describe a meaningful life in retirement and you may get a thoughtful look and a vague answer. It’s been my experience that people commonly associate retiring with the intent to live a more meaningful life.  While living a more meaningful life is commendable, it’s often hard to define. As a result,  they really have to think about what that would actually look like.  It’s easy to say you’d like to live a meaningful life but what does it mean?

After a lifetime of work to support yourself and your family, the notion of doing something meaningful with the rest of your life is a compelling one. Retirement offers that opportunity.  Because it may be the first time in your life that you can truly make the choice to do something that’s meaningful for you.

If you asked me, I’d answer that sharing what I know makes life meaningful for me. That’s exactly why I decided to use my experience with retirement to write about it and help others with their transition to retirement. Since I believe that by sharing what I know, I make life better for other people. So if I can help someone else recognize and appreciate the roller coaster ride that retirement feels like, I feel successful. It adds meaning to my life.

It’s likely that you have  completely different thoughts on how to describe a meaningful life in retirement for yourself. Maybe you’re like others that I talk to and have a hard time actually defining what’s meaningful for you. There’s no one best answer. However, the closer you can get to figuring out what’s meaningful for you, the more successful you’ll be in achieving it.

Regardless of how you describe a meaningful life, recognize that it involves taking an action. Therefore, this isn’t a passive pursuit.  So, if you want meaning, you need to do something to find it.

Remember, a meaningful retirement life won’t find you. You need to find it.

I’ve found that the search itself offers meaning so don’t be discouraged if it takes you awhile to discover an answer that’s relevant to you.

Feeling like you like some inspiration about how to describe a meaningful life in retirement? Here are 10 ideas for you to consider:

10 Ways to Describe a Meaningful Life in Retirement

  • Finding life satisfaction
  • Having a positive effect
  • Living with a sense of purpose
  • Able to find connection with others
  • Living in an authentic way
  • Pursuing your passion
  • Finding a way to give back
  • Living in the moment
  • Ability to express self
  • Separating what’s important from what’s not

Finally, as you think about retirement and what it will be like, focus your thoughts on what will make the time meaningful for you. As a result, your call to action is to describe “meaningful” in a way that inspires you to move forward. You’ve earned the opportunity to make this a truly awesome time of life.

Need some help planning a meaningful retirement? Contact Retirement Style for more ideas.


People of all ages struggle to live a more meaningful life, but the struggle to identify a meaningful retirement is very real. Working with a certified retirement coach can help you frame what’s important to you and how to work towards it in order to find a meaningful life in retirement. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your journey and how we can help.

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