With the end of the U.S. Open also came the end of Serena Williams’ career. She secures her place in history as one of the greatest athletes of all time, retiring with 73 career titles won over 25 years.
As Serena notes in a letter explaining her decision to retire, tennis has been her entire life since toddlerhood. Now, she’s transitioning the time she would normally devote to tennis to venture capitalism, motherhood, and other businesses. Because she is retiring to something, rather than from something, Williams refers to her transition not as a retirement, but rather as an evolution.
While we may not be retiring at such a young age or to such a large estate, many of us have worked in some capacity for the majority of our adult lives – or earlier! Prior to retirement, many of us get unblocked leisure time for just a few weeks or months at most. And while reporters may not be asking us this question, we may find ourselves wondering what we’d do with our free time in retirement.
Turning your Retirement into an Evolution
In retirement, it’s common to feel a loss of purpose and community. This gets more pronounced for people who “retire from” something, rather than ponder what we will do with our time.
The truth is, to make our golden years truly golden, it is crucial to retire to something. A sense of purpose, no matter where it comes from, can actually increase our lifespans. The activity itself doesn’t necessarily matter – grandparenting or other family responsibilities, arts, volunteering, continuing education, sports, or anything that appeals to you can likely work – as much as it matters to have something that expands our social circles and minds. That increases our well-being, which in turn, may allow us to have a more fulfilling and longer retirement!
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