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Five Habits of a Purposeful Retirement

What does “purposeful” living mean to you? These days, we hear a lot about people leading a “purposeful life,” which can sound about as specific as living a “good life.” Is it about being successful? Making each day meaningful? Devoting our lives to a greater cause? And what does a “purposeful retirement” look like, then?

“The idea of purposeful living isn’t really that new of an idea,” says Jake Quigley, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle, a luxury independent living community in the heart of Boston at the crossroads of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue. “Throughout human history, we’ve always had this drive to make our lives mean something and embrace the potential of each and every day.” That can be difficult, he says, during our day-to-day lives, especially when we’re caught up with jobs, raising families and the like. Our retirement years, however, are the perfect opportunity to turn a new page and begin living a purposeful lifestyle.

“When seniors choose to retire to an independent living community like Waterstone at the Circle, they’re able to let go of many chores and responsibilities and have the time to live life as they choose,” he says. “Focusing on building a purposeful retirement can give seniors a plan for this next chapter in their lives, give them something to strive for and help keep them active, healthy and young at heart.”

What defines a “purposeful” life is different for each person, he says. However, there are five basic habits seniors (and all of us) can practice in order to help create an atmosphere where a more focused and meaningful life can flourish. 

Habit #1: Live in the now.

So much of our mental energy is spent thinking about the past, wondering about the future or otherwise filling our brains with concerns, worries, hopes and ideas. Reminiscing about the past can bring us closer to our family and friends, but spending too much time dwelling on what’s happened – especially if it brings up regrets or sadness – can serve to make us less happy overall. Similarly, worrying over what will happen in the future can cause us to be anxious and worked up over something that may not occur. When we take the time to focus on what’s happening now, in the present moment, we’re able to see the opportunities that are available to us and what we can actually affect. For retirees, this could play out in many ways. Instead of worrying overly about how your health needs may change in the future, focus instead on eating right and exercising and staying active now so you can enjoy the present (and reap the benefits in the future).

Habit #2: Focus on one thing at a time.

In today’s harried, rushed world, multitasking seems almost mandatory. We’re on our phones as we’re grocery shopping, making to-do lists while we watch TV or read a book while we’re waiting at the doctor’s office. What would things be like if we slowed down and focused on one thing at a time? This thoughtful approach to living allows us to slow down, really be present in what we’re doing and accomplish things to our satisfaction. It also gives us an opportunity to find wonder and joy in the quiet, everyday moments of our lives. Since retirement is your chance to do the things you want to do, retirees can embrace this habit wholeheartedly in so many ways. For example, instead of listening to music or podcasts as you’re gardening, take out the earbuds and instead focus on the feel of the soil in your hands, the smell of the plants and the gorgeous sights around you. Or savor a meal by considering each bite of food, really relishing the flavors.

Habit #3: Don’t wait until tomorrow to make a change.

When we make plans, there often is an element of waiting. We’ll wait until the new year starts to begin eating right. We’ll jump back into our exercise routine after vacation. We’ll schedule that annual physical once things calm down a little bit. Instead of pushing things off, ask yourself why wait? If you’re ready to do something or make a switch for the better, start right away – it’s the age-old idea of carpe diem.

Habit #4: Do good for others.

Volunteering our time and efforts doesn’t just allow us to help other people – it actually makes us healthier. Studies have shown that seniors (and others) who donate their time to a cause they believe in have higher self-esteem, better mental and physical health, are more socially connected and are more active and engaged than others their age. Many retirees can feel a little adrift during their retirement, since they’re no longer working a nine-to-five job. Why not take this time to discover a new “career” that allows you to chase your passions and help others, too? This doesn’t just have to be volunteering, by the way. You can create a club to bring others of similar interests together (like a book club or knitting circle), or start an exercise group that helps your peers be more active and healthy. “Doing good” can be as big as starting a foundation or as small as a friendly smile to a person in need.

Habit #5: Treat every day as a new day to succeed.

At the heart of it, a purposeful retirement is about embracing each new day as an opportunity to do good, be better and take advantage to the fullest. When we get in a rut, it’s easy to become bored, grumpy and be unappreciative of all the good things we have going for us. By viewing each day as another chance to live your best life, you’ll find it will become easier to live a purposeful retirement.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Building a purposeful retirement doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll want to thoughtfully consider what retirement means to you, what you want your retirement lifestyle to look like and take steps to make that vision come true. For active, independent seniors who are looking for a vibrant lifestyle for this next chapter of their lives, but want the freedom and security of a community designed for their needs, we invite you to visit Waterstone at the Circle. Our luxury independent living community is located in the center of it all, giving you the best of both worlds … the hustle, bustle and excitement of city life paired with the security and high-end amenities you deserve.

For more information about our luxury retirement lifestyle, contact the staff at Waterstone at the Circle.

Luxury Senior Living in Boston

Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and a vibrant lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.

Elegant Independent Living Apartments

Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals. 

Senior Living Supportive Services

As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.

The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.

Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring . . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our vibrant Boston independent living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!