After 20, 30, or 40 years working, it's finally time for retirement. With these tips, retirement will be the most fulfilling time of your life.

If you’ve spent 20+ years working in a field you love with people you grew to care about, it might feel like you have to start all over again and find a new purpose when you finally retire.

Retiring for you may not mean quitting work and living a life of leisure for the rest of your days. Either way, you’ll need to figure out what to do with your time, and that is the first key to having a fulfilling retirement.

1. Keep Setting Goals to Move Forward

Take time to do what you want. Remember all of those days when you were at work wishing you were somewhere else? Now is the time to go to that somewhere else, wherever it may be.

Life doesn’t end when you retire, so keep yourself moving forward by setting goals. Without them, life stagnates.

Goals give your life purpose and can even help stave off some of the negative effects of ageing. Make it a goal to run a 5k race or walk for an hour every day.

Goals can be as small as talking to family once a week or as big as starting a non-profit organization to funnel your passion for helping others.

2. Get to Know Yourself

It’s never too late to get to know yourself. Many people go their entire lives without truly connecting with the person they see in the mirror.

You can go to therapy or simply journal every day. These things aren’t just for people with serious mental health problems.

Look past the stigma, see these things as tools to show yourself some overdue love, and uncover the motivations that drive your actions.

3. Explore and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Retirement can become mundane pretty quickly if you’re not pushing yourself. This is your opportunity to try the things you never had the chance to do before.

Keep things fresh and travel to new places. Take that trip to Brazil, or hike to the top of that mountain.

Take charge of your life and treat each day as a new adventure. Feed the curiosity you’ve always had about the world beyond your comfort zone, and watch yourself grow even more.

4. Find a Passion and Purpose

Retiring from a career you loved might leave you feeling like you no longer have a purpose, but that doesn’t have to be true for long.

Get involved in your community through volunteering your time or expertise. Serve meals at a soup kitchen, or lead a seminar through a recreation centre to share your knowledge with the next generation.

Focus on spending quality time with family to continue building your legacy and contribute to something bigger than yourself.

5. Stay Healthy and Active

You might be retired, but your body still has to work to keep you going. Eat plenty of vegetables, avoid processed foods, drink lots of water, and stay active.

Being active promotes the release of endorphins, which help you to feel good, both physically and mentally. You can accomplish this with a short workout, walk, or yoga session every day.

Make sure you balance your exercise with rest, too. Not only will you feel good afterwards, but you’ll sleep better at night too!

6. Live Mindfully

Staying busy doesn’t always equate to happiness, so make sure you enjoy how you spend your time. You only get to retire once, so make the most of it by staying present.

Being present doesn’t just mean physically showing up. It’s actively engaging in whatever you’re doing from moment to moment.

If you’re washing your hands, feel the sensation of the water and soap pouring over them. If you’re listening to someone else speak, actively listen to what they’re saying instead of planning how you’re going to respond when they’re finished.

Embrace what’s happening right now, and leave what’s coming later for later. Living life to the fullest can only happen if you’re getting the most out of every moment.

Make mindful living a habit by practising meditation every day. This can be as simple as taking five minutes to focus on your breathing in the morning or as in-depth as attending a meditation retreat. Either way, practising mindfulness is essential to living a fulfilling life.

7. Remember to Live by Your Values

Your values are the fundamental beliefs you hold about yourself and the world around you, which guide your decisions and behaviour. Learning what your values are is part of getting to know yourself, and living by those values is what will guarantee your happiness and fulfilment.

If you value honesty, then be honest with others no matter what might happen. Life is too short to withhold the truth from others and yourself.

If you value curiosity, then ask questions without apology and explore whatever frontier you wish to uncover.

From time to time, remind yourself of your values. It’s easy to get swept up in the flow of life and forget to live by your values, so keep yourself in check with a private journal or even a regular blog.

In many ways, retirement is a new start to your life. It’s like finishing the final pages of your life story and getting the chance to write the sequel.

Make your retirement an even more fulfilling chapter by getting to know yourself, setting goals, staying active, getting out of your comfort zone, and living mindfully.

You have every reason in the world to make this stage of your life even more fulfilling than the last.

Caitlin Sinclair is the property manager at Persea. With five years of property management experience and many more in customer service, she has a passion for her community and looks forward to making Persea the place to call home.