Upon achieving financial independence (FI) and facing retirement, it is natural to feel aimless and uncertain of what will occur next. Many individuals achieve FI only to wonder, “What’s next?”. It’s a serious question, one that’s hard to answer.
We spend most of our adult lives at work, often cutting off personal passions and appetites. All these sacrifices for the purpose of gaining financial independence (FI). It’s the same after reaching FI; you must have a clear sense of purpose of what you want out of your life during retirement.
How do you find your purpose after wealth, then? Easy. Assess what activities that excite and bring you joy. Activities that bring value to your life. So, what are these activities? Only you would know. Here are some ideas and examples to answer your “What’s Next?”.
1. Continue to work (because you want to, not because you have to).
You can continue to work. However, the aim is different now. You work because of enjoyment and not for a monetary reward. Working is now on your own terms and conditions says working for certain hours or at a remote location.
You also no longer need to endure stress* in a job you hate because of a paycheck.
*stress is a major contributor to many health issues
If you enjoy working but hate your current job, then find a new one. Take your time as now you don’t need or rely on a paycheck to live. Don’t go back to the old position or the same industry. This happens to some because of familiarity. Instead, find a new job unrelated to the industry you were previously in.
If can’t think of one, you could start looking at your hobbies. Who knows, maybe you could monetize it and turn it as your new loved profession. For example, if you like to write, be a freelance writer or start a blog. You could earn some income there. Not good at it? Then, take an online course to improve on it.
In short, you can turn your hobby into a new career. A “job” taken out of choice and not out of necessity.
Not working can entail a considerable slowdown in life.
Work can make people physically and mentally active and it can be hard for retired seniors to remain active and cognitive alert without the stimulus provided by work. However, retired seniors can remain happy, fit and active throughout this shift in their life.
- Get moving – exercise daily
- Constantly challenge the brain – brain exercises like word puzzles, learning new skills or hobby
- Keep in touch with friends
- Play card games
- Watch educational TV
3. Be a part of voluntary work and philanthropy.
What similarity do financially successful people such as Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have? Their philanthropic endeavours.
Reaching financial independence means that you are no longer required to work for money
Donate some money to any charitable organisation, individuals, orphanages or causes you supported if you have excess money… money you have not allocated for any purposes.
You don’t have to be a billionaire or a multi-millionaire to take part in volunteerism and philanthropic activities nor must you only ever contribute monetarily. You can make use of your skill sets to assist charities or to exert your influence on causes or to take your time to volunteer on the ground.
4. Spend more time on your hobbies
Retired and financially independent people often pursued hobbies with an increased interest by. With, time on their side they seek the intellectual and physical stimulation a hobby provides. Pursuing your hobbies:
- Promotes eustress, (positive stress that promotes good health)
- Offer you a new challenge but without the negative stress like in a work-related challenge
- Promote social engagement and exposing to a new group of people who shared a common hobby.
- Good for the body and mind. Have positive health benefits.
No hobbies? It’s ok. Experiment with a few ones until you find one you think you can continue.
Of course, hobbies can be practical as well. It can enhance your life and even help you become more self-reliant in the process. Or you can even bring in extra income by pursuing hobbies you can monetize (as mentioned in 1. above).
5. Travelling locally (get to know your country)
Malaysia is not a large country, but yet most of us who live in it saw only a tiny portion of what it offers. Now is the best time to see this beautiful country that offers many tourist attractions.
It is common knowledge but travelling is important and they must in one’s life agenda. Many benefits arise from travelling. It changes you physically and psychologically for the better.
No time and/or no money are no longer an acceptable excuse. The cost of flying is quite affordable nowadays. Lots of cheap travelling packages are on offer especially at the famous Matta Fair.
6. See the world and to discover new cultures
Through your working years, you never have much opportunity to see the world. But now, the opportunity is plenty. Observing and experiencing other cultures could expand your mind. You get to enjoy amazing experiences, eat amazing foods, meet new people, and create lifetime memories. Making travelling one of your main goals during your lifetime is one of your wisest moves ever. Many dying people regret not travelling more.
You can travel in style by staying by in a 5-star hotel or save money by staying in smaller establishments. Whatever your preference, just get out there and see the world beyond Malaysia. The world has so much to offer. It’s worth your time and money.
Financial independence is just another stop in your life journey. A stop for you to think and assess how your journey shall be from here. With wealth on hand, the journey may be much smoother. Whatever activities you pursue, just remember one thing… find happiness while doing it.
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So, have you thought about your answer to “What’s Next?”