7 Steps to Leading an Active Retired Life with Purpose

7 Steps to Leading an Active Retired Life with Purpose


A major area of concern for elderly people particularly after their formal retirement is that they often lose “purpose of life.” Gone are the days when they were busy and used to get ready for office after getting up in morning.

Similarly, mothers who were housemakers were also busy in helping their spouses or children in getting ready for office / school / college. All this busy schedule used to bring a lot of meaning in life thus propelling to move on.

However, after retirement things suddenly change dramatically as seniors often find as if they have nothing to do and thus  start leading life idly “without a purpose.” Same is the case with mothers after children become independent.

Retired  life  thus  becomes  a  passive  way  of  spending  time  aimlessly either withdrawing or spending unlimited time in trivial things like seeing movies, sleeping for hours, or entering into unnecessary arguments at home, etc. 

Finding Purpose of Life:

To  overcome  the  above,  finding  purpose  of  life  is  of  fundamental importance; our goals and actions are driven by our purpose. Unravelling purpose of life thus helps us in leading a happy and active life. Whether we contribute directly to GDP through work / social service or lead a happy life of wisdom sharing goodwill with community will depend on our purpose of life even after our retirement.

Having found the purpose is, however, the first step. That will determine the goal. As Stephen Covey says, “Begin with the End in Mind.” Once you are  sure  of  the  destination,  journey  can  be  formatted  properly.  For example, if you decide that you will devote your next 5 to 10 years towards social work, you will start exploring opportunities. Or if you think you would learn a foreign language like Spanish or French you wanted to do while you were young, you may start looking at options.

7 Steps to an Active Retired Life with Purpose:

After determining purpose of life, let us start living life accordingly. But nothing can be achieved unless we lead an active life. Here are the 7 steps to remain active after retirement:

  1. Leading a disciplined life with compartmentalization of duties and work. A minimum 8 hours of sleep, 30 minutes of exercise for 4 to 5 times a week, 15 to 20 minutes of walk per day, proper medication (as prescribed by the doctor) lead to an active physical life. This is beginning of journey of active life as good health is crucial for any subsequent activity.
  2. Keeping mind de-stressed and in a reflexive mode. Mind controls all our actions and therefore, a de-stressed mind will keep our body and mood happy. One of the most popular ways is to meditate at least for 30 minutes a day. What it does is to bring us in alignment with our thoughts and mind thus becomes at ease.
  3. Performing the act that has driven purpose in our life at least for 2 to 3 hours a day. If we have chosen social work, let us work off-line or on-line in social work like teaching deprived students, tutoring children in slums, working with seniors in distress, or doing any other social activity that we like. 
  4. Spending time with family / extended family. It can be with spouse, children or grandchildren; it can be children of others in your society; it  can  also  be  in  companion  with  friends,  clubs  or  communities. These play a very important role through developing bondage with like-minded people. It also helps in giving an opportunity to express our views.
  5. Spending some time with self. This gives us moments to pause, reflect,  and  plan  for  future.  Idea  is  not  to  spend  this  time remembering past or regretting what we could not achieve.  Purpose is that being with self alone with help us see ourselves and plan for future.
  6. Enjoy some leisurely time in the day, may be watching a movie or reading a book, solving a puzzle or even spending time on a new hobby like painting or singing classical songs or acting. Objective is simply to enjoy life.
  7. Be sometime with GOD!! That will reveal real purpose of life, living and existence of all of us.


In conclusion, one can say that leading an active retried life with a purpose is the key to an elderly person living a happy and contented life. The 7 steps suggested are indicative in nature. An elderly person needs to plan daily routine depending on his / her passion, liking and nature of purpose.

Author Bio

Dr A K Sen Gupta

Dr A K Sen Gupta is the Co-Founder and Chief Trustee of My Retired Life Foundation (MRLF). This article has been published in Free Press Journal (FPJ) on 17th April 2021, where he is a regular contributor. Dr Sen Gupta was the Director of S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai and Director & Mentor at SIES College of Management Studies, Navi Mumbai. He was a World Bank Consultant and instrumental in setting up National Banking College in Ghana, Africa and Professor at National Institute of Bank Management, Pune.

7 thoughts on “7 Steps to Leading an Active Retired Life with Purpose”

  1. Rameshwar Dass Sharma

    I support the 7steps. Practical & ideal to start with. More or less similar life style following since 2007. Thanks Dr Gupta ///

  2. Indeed it was good message for People like us. Thanks sir.
    It is True after working g for 35 -40 yrs in primate Sector the mind and boda feel like to do something . I am trying to follow what you narated above. Currently I again got job where I have yo lean and give back to my employer. Will like to do any extra once free from current job.

  3. DD Maheshwari

    One doesn’t have to retire to start thinking what to do. One has to think and prepare in advance. This preparation is not easy
    Developing interest in a variety of things happens gradually.

  4. Ram Balak Singh

    Ok sir.rightly said.More or less we are leading the same life/ 7 steps.I have decided to start social work after retirement, in service life also of and on do social work.I decided to start child education at Garigawn near khelgawn with NGO,but couldn’t get started due to lockdown.I started Evening Satyanand yoga by zoom.Two months back I started learning Sugam Sangeet by Getsetup.com.My younger brother Vijay Singh now won over 10years old BP,so I also plan to win one year old BP which came in lock down by satvik food/Life style/Yoga.
    In the meantime I came across neversay retired,may give exposure to my purpose.Though I am very much connected to Initiative of change by Mr Prabhat Kumar first Governor of Jharkhand.and strong believer of Ethics.Peaple say,one man can do nothing.I say ,one man can do what it plan.Jay hind.

  5. Very nice msg.we should follow this to lead a disciplined life n utilize our time to help others when our all responsibilities are over.Without any support lead a healthy n content life is also a big responsibility…. thanks for guiding us with a good steps…

  6. Ram Balak Singh

    Ok sir.I agree hundred percent.Depending of nature of purpose plan to be formulated,but 7 steps must be taken in consideration.After retirement two things happen.Take another job for time pass and routine life or Be self-employed.Second is bit meshy.it is difficult to decide self employed in which area.A lot of area wished which makes crowd within us.Now it can be decided on 4 parameters, relationship,competence, autonomous and self esteem.so, start moving,path show s the way.Once again,thank you sir.

  7. Thanks sir I am feeling like my mother found again in the shape Of above teachings . However I am following some of them already and remaining also included in my routine. Thanks again sir for these valuable thoughts. Jaihind ‘Jai Maa Bharati

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