Taking on the task of getting yourself primed for retirement can appear like a monumental task—and it is. For those living around Costa Mesa, and who are seeking a retirement planner, you are probably after practical information on saving, investment, and budgeting. As your financial plan comes together, though, it’s important to circle back around to one of the most crucial aspects of a happy, successful retirement: your free time.

With the right approach, your retirement can feel like you’ve finally made it—with the wrong approach it can feel like house arrest. Filling up your time with hobbies and travel allows you to get a feel for your newfound freedom, but if you’re like most retirees that I’ve helped, these “honeymoon” activities won’t give your golden years the lasting meaning you may be seeking.

The truth is that productivity is deeply satisfying. It feels good to be useful, to contribute toward something, and to have your work appreciated, which is why transitioning away from work can be hard. It can be easy for retirees to turn to filling up their schedules, while the broader, less easily defined goal of finding fulfillment falls to the wayside.

The steps toward meeting this goal are as different as the lives of each individual retiree. Some, after retiring may feel free to finally pursue the goal that they could never find the time to do during their working years, such as starting a small business from home. Others whose careers matched their passions may find fulfillment in pursuing the same line of work, but with the added satisfaction of being their own bosses. Still others turn to volunteer work and community building activities. That being said, here are a few general guidelines to point you towards a fulfilling retirement.

It speaks to who you are.

Start by taking some time to find out what really motivates you. The things you care about, the things you notice in the world—maybe even the things in your community that get you fired up—could all be good places to start to look at what possibilities for finding avenues to your fulfillment.

Think social.

When your activities extend beyond yourself, you’re sharing in the success of something greater than yourself, and that opens you up to a level of fulfillment that goes beyond solely personal goals.

It could be anything.

From helping your grandkids learn how to fish, to starting a surfboard company in your garage, there is no limit to what will add fulfillment to your life.

To get to the stage where planning for fulfillment is possible, you’ll first want a basic financial structure in place. No matter where you are in your planning process, sitting down with a retirement planner to talk through it can make all the difference. Contact Miramontes Capital if you live near Costa Mesa and Orange County and ready to go to the next step.