How to find your purpose during retirement

Retiring with a reason for being won't just make each day brighter; it will keep you healthy, too.

This article originally appeared on grandparents.com. To learn more click here.

With average life expectancy now approaching 80, Americans can look forward to spending almost two decades enjoying retirement. That free time can seem heavenly at first——until the days stretch on.  “[After] the honeymoon stage comes the disenchantment stage,” says Dr. Sara Yogev, psychologist and author of A Couple’s Guide to Happy Retirement. “People feel like everything is purposeless. They can get depressed, and we would like to avoid that stage.”

Discovering your purpose——your driving force——is a proven way of escaping that emptiness. “From what we know from research, those that have a sense of purpose are happier,” says Dr. Yogev. “Their adjustment to retirement is better and their marriages are happier.” What’’s more, studies show that retirees with a defined, actionable purpose have improved cognitive function and a reduced risk of stroke.

Of course, uncovering your fundamental motivation is no small task. We asked Dr. Yogev for tips on how to get the ball rolling.

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