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Do you need a family to leave a legacy?

Do you need a family to ‘leave a legacy?’

So, what now…? [Source: Shutterstock]

So, what now…? [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points:

  • When you are thinking about retirement, it’s important to start thinking about what you’ll do with all of that spare time
  • Keeping your mind active can be fulfilling, without leaving you feeling drained, through doing something you wish you to accomplish
  • A legacy isn’t limited to starting a family — it’s something you do today that will leave an impact when you pass


So, you’ve retired… You’ve got a lot of time on your hands and a lot of time left to make your mark on the world. Kickstarting a personal project in retirement can give you purpose, pleasure and satisfaction.

Although some people may not experience the joys of parenting or have close familial relationships, they still have the opportunity to influence future generations, even after passing away. This article covers all you need to know about creative endeavours, philanthropic pursuits and making friends later in life. The museums, art galleries, charities and scholarly achievements of historic figures should inspire you to create something straight from the heart.

Creative pursuits

Become an author


Your life is your life — share it with others.

If you’re looking for a long-term project to put your effort into, consider putting pen to paper and producing some words. By writing a memoir or maintaining a diary, those whom you have touched throughout the course of your life can get to see your side of the story and find clarity for any unanswered questions. Writing about your own life can help you to contextualise your experiences and look back on fond memories through the rose-coloured lens of nostalgia.

If you’re looking to use your imagination, consider writing a children’s book or something based in fantasy — create worlds for others and introduce future generations to life lessons you wish you’d learnt sooner.

With the advent of laptops and intuitive desktop computers came the relaxed attitude to grammar, punctuation and tense. Think of Beat Generation poets, such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg — let the words run wild and let the machines pick up the slack as you introduce the world to your voice. Anyone can write, everyone has something to say and people want to hear from you.


Try visual art


Visual art is another great way to create a brighter future for others through your retirement. The great thing about visual art is that you can’t make mistakes, just different forms of art. Start with a pen, some paper and something you wish to draw; graduate to painting, colouring or shading with professional equipment. All it takes is the first step towards creating something that’s uniquely yours.

Picture the following: a painting with your signature in the corner sold at auction or passed from one person to another as they determine who the artist may be or what the art represents.

Philanthropic pursuits

Philanthropy or ‘charity’ can be an incredibly rewarding way to give back to the community and help vulnerable people. Charity is often associated with donating money to people or causes, but in retirement, you can be charitable with your time and effort — getting hands on with practical support.


Consider volunteering your time to support a range of causes, such as:

Making friends in retirement

The family you create in your own life may be different to the family you had from birth, because ‘family’ is what you make of it.

Making friends later in life doesn’t have to be a complicated process, but it does involve putting yourself out there and playing an active role in the community. Consider your interests to determine whether you’d like to join:

  • Book clubs
  • Men’s sheds
  • Sport or hobby collectives
  • Community centres or an RSL
  • Local bands


You may be in luck if you’re looking to holiday as a retiree, with group travel and tour packages, along with cruises, serving as the perfect opportunity to meet people your own age. Get in touch with your local travel agent to check out your next trip and ask about who and how to meet people, along with the types of people and activities you can get to know over the course of your retirement.

Leaving a legacy behind means that you don’t die when you stop living, as you live on through those around you. If you’re at risk of isolation impacting your mental well-being, speack to your local doctor about available support.


For more information about meeting people later in life, please visit the guides to dating, volunteering and making friends.


What does the word ‘legacy’ mean to you and how do you plan to spend your retirement? Let the team at Aged Care Guide know!


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