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Life After Retirement: How Will You Fill the 40-Hour Gap?

Life After Retirement: How Will You Fill the 40-Hour Gap?

May 16, 2022

You have worked your whole life to finally retire and live out your golden years stress-free. But now that you reached your goal, how are you going to spend your time? With increased life expectancies and medical advancements, there are potentially 30-plus years left for you to do all the things you could not do during your working years. While this can sound like a dream come true for many, it may quickly turn into boredom, loneliness, and even depression if you do not find ways to feel useful and connected. 

That is where we come in. At Wellstone Wealth Management, we will help you focus on your Return on Life (ROL) so that you can live the best life possible with the money you have. If you are approaching retirement, or have already retired, here are four ways you can fill your time and make the most of your golden years.

Find Purpose

One of the most important things I tell my clients is to know what they are retiring to, instead of just what they are retiring from. This can help make the transition to retirement smoother and more purpose-filled because you have a clearer sense of what you want for your life going forward. 

As you adjust to being out of the workforce, you may find yourself feeling like you no longer have a reason to get up in the morning. Studies have shown that you can prevent this feeling by living a purpose-driven life and that individuals who feel fulfilled are happier and healthier on average than those who do not have a sense of purpose. (1) Not only that, they also live longer! (2) You can find purpose in retirement by:

  • Volunteering for a local nonprofit or church
  • Spending time with your grandchildren
  • Pursuing a newfound hobby
  • Working on home-improvement or DIY projects
  • Taking a class or learning a new skill
  • Traveling locally or abroad

Whatever you choose to do in retirement, doing it with a sense of purpose helps you make the most out of your time as opposed to just filling it.

Stay Healthy

Declining health and how to pay for the associated medical expenses is one of the biggest concerns for many retirees. In fact, more than 70% of Americans cite healthcare costs as the most pressing issue on their minds when planning for retirement. (3) What better way to spend your retirement than prioritizing your mental and physical health?

Sure, genetics will play a role in how healthy you will be as you age, but there are also things you can do to mitigate your risk. Exercise and diet are key to maintaining health, and they can also be fulfilling ways to fill your time. Try participating in group workouts like kickboxing, yoga, or pilates, or join a gym if you prefer to exercise alone. Any form of exercise is better than nothing, and it can help decrease your risk of premature death by up to about 30%. (4)Learning how to cook a new style of food can also be a fun way to pass the time while also improving your diet. 

Phase Retirement

Adjusting to retirement is a huge transition! Going from working 40-plus hours a week for 30-plus years to suddenly having all the time in the world is a shock to the system, to say the least. It takes time to adjust, so don’t feel pressure to rush into retirement all at once. Instead, try working part-time or using a phased approach to retirement.

It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to approach retirement in phases, slowly adjusting to reduced hours, part-time work, then eventually full retirement. Studies have shown that gradual retirement and a sense of control over your timeline can actually lead to increased levels of happiness among retirees. (5)

Prioritize Friendships

Researchers at Harvard have found that retirees who consistently spend time with friends report increased levels of happiness as opposed to those who spend their time alone. (6) Spend time connecting with your friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement to help prevent loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall level of happiness, and it can be a great way to fill your time, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.

How We Can Help

Are you nearing retirement and wondering how to spend your newfound free time? At Wellstone Wealth Management, we can help you navigate the next chapter of your life with confidence and find a fulfilling path to retirement. To learn more about how our Return on Life (ROL) approach can help, you can schedule a complimentary introductory meeting by contacting us at 503-594-1210 or, or

About Greg

Greg Allen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Life-Centered Financial Planner, Managing Member, and second-generation owner of Wellstone Wealth Management, a life-centered financial planning firm that takes a unique Return on Life (ROL) approach to help their clients live the best life possible with the money they have. With over 20 years of experience, Greg holds fast to his mission of helping clients plan their finances around their lives, instead of the other way around, resulting in fulfillment, confidence, and a meaningful life. Greg also provides a caring, trusted long-term relationship and life-centered financial behavioral counseling. He specializes in working with people who have recently retired or are close to it (typically five years or less) and relates well to corporate executives and upper-management couples who often have complicated financial pictures and need help maximizing their wealth, reducing their taxes, and preparing for retirement so they can maintain their ideal lifestyle. 

When he is not helping his clients find meaning and purpose, you can find Greg spending time with his friends and family, especially his wife, Sandy, children, and grandchildren. As a native Oregonian, Greg loves the outdoors, visiting the Oregon Coast, and retreating to their family cabin in the mountains. He enjoys staying involved with his church, reading, watching sports, and anything to do with exercise and wellness. To learn more about Greg, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Information provided herein is provided by Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC. This information is for general informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Information was compiled from third-party sources believed to be reliable and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. Investment advisory services are offered through Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Neither Wellstone Wealth Management, LLC nor Oswego Wealth Advisors, Inc render any legal, accounting, or tax advice. All investments involve risk, are not guaranteed, and may lose value. We recommend that all investors consult with a qualified adviser to assess your personal situation before implementing any strategy.