Finding Purpose After Retirement

For many, retirement is an important goal they dream about reaching. They spend their whole life working and saving money to enjoy some much-deserved freedom. However, once it finally arrives, some individuals may feel like they’ve lost their sense of purpose or direction. With all the planning spent on the financial aspect of retirement, many forget to consider how they want to spend their post-working years. 

Fortunately, living a satisfying, meaningful, and happy life after retirement is possible—and, with the national life expectancy continuously increasing, individuals can even enjoy a more fulfilling life than their career years! 

Uplands Village is a retirement living community in Cumberland County, Tennessee. Here, we encourage our residents—and all individuals—to live with purpose and intention, focusing on kindness, personal wellness, the environment, and inclusion. We’re sharing how you can find meaning and fulfillment during your retirement years. 

Purpose vs. Pleasure

When picturing how they will spend their ungoverned days post-retirement, many people imagine themselves filling the days with things they love. “I’ll finally be able to sleep in, meet my friends for lunch, visit the grandkids, and still have time for the movies!” Unfortunately, while activities and days like these are enjoyable and satisfying in the short term, few people find long-term purpose from weekday lunches. 

During retirement, it’s essential to distinguish between activities for pleasure and activities for purpose and fulfillment. For some, this could be finding ways to give back while doing something you love. For example, if you love to read, consider volunteering your time reading to children or hospital patients.

Get To Know Yourself 

After spending 40+ years working or raising a family, it’s normal to associate your identity with your past roles: dedicated parent, loyal partner, self-reliant manager, compassionate teacher, etc. Now, after retirement, you must get to know yourself again and rediscover your true identity: 

  • What drives you? 
  • What are your values? 
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?  
  • What are your goals? 
  • What are you passionate about? 

Getting to know yourself on a new level outside of a career can be instrumental in finding ways to spend your retirement. 

Rewarding Ways to Gain Purpose After Retirement 

After rediscovering your personal interests and passions, you can put them to good use to create an enjoyable and fulfilling retirement. Here are some ideas to get you started. 


Volunteering is an ideal way to combine your passions with a feeling of purpose. Whether it’s animals, children, the environment, military families, or even your local community, you can choose a specific cause you are passionate about and get involved in furthering their mission. 

Volunteering is also a great way to meet people who share your passion and interest. To find local volunteer opportunities, you can visit your local City of Commerce website or other online resources

Work Part-Time 

Even after retiring, some people miss the routine and fulfillment of a job. Working part-time during retirement can be an ideal solution for those not wanting the burden of a full-time career but looking for a small way to contribute their services. 

Many retirees who go back to work part-time use it as an opportunity to try something they’ve always wanted to do or are passionate about—whether it’s becoming a librarian, a barista, or a seasonal employee at a national park. Plus, it’s a great way to earn some additional income during retirement! 

Consider an Independent Living Community 

Ironically, many people are reluctant to move to a retirement living community right after they retire. They want to travel and enjoy their time at home and feel that a community environment is too stifling or restrictive. However, these communities are just the opposite! Independent living communities, like Uplands Village, focus on making life easy and enjoyable for retirees while at the same time providing them with several opportunities for activity, fulfillment, and social connections. 

Retirement Living at Uplands Village 

Uplands Village is not your typical retirement living community. For over 100 years, we have been a community founded on purposeful and intentional living, encouraging and empowering our residents to live fully while making the world a better place. We understand the importance of finding fulfillment during retirement, and we ensure our residents have access to the tools and resources they need to do so. From guided fitness classes, learning opportunities, and social events, Uplands Village focuses on the continued growth and development of our residents. 

We take special pride in our volunteer programs. Many Uplands Village residents volunteer in the local community as well as our very own community, spending their time and efforts in our assisted living and long-term care neighborhoods. 

By learning more about yourself and your values, you can lead a purposeful and intentional life. At Uplands Village, we are lucky to witness this daily in our independent living residents!
To learn more about our retirement living community in the mountains of Tennessee, we encourage you to visit our website