9 Ways to Use Your Strengths, Gifts, Talents and Abilities in Retirement

Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

Retirement doesn’t have to be an end to a productive life. Retirement doesn’t have to end with wasting away your old days. It doesn’t even have to mean, days of just getting by in life.

I’ve got to be honest with you, the greatest human failing is not being able to judge your own personal strengths, gifts, talents and abilities. In fact, if you’re like most folks, you spend way too much time identifying your weaknesses and spending all your time trying to overcome these imperfections.

Retirement shouldn’t be dreaded. In fact, we should all look forward to it. But, we must have an exit strategy prior to retirement. Even during our retirement phase we can engage in contingency planning. Without necessary planning all efforts will be wasted. Below is a highlight of some tips to consider in ensuring a fulfilled retired life.

1. Recognize your abilities

All retirees have significant abilities that when recognized can be useful during retirement. The first thing is to recognize your abilities and dismiss the feeling of inadequacy. You must recognize your strengths, gifts, talents and abilities, whatever they may be.

Believe in your ‘true self’ and find out what you’re truly good at and what your “unique calling is.” We all have special talents and are unique individuals. It is important to identify and take advantage of these abilities either to just help out or even generate additional income.

2. Identify your unique strengths

Explore and identify your strengths and talents. This will help in keeping your passion alive. Being passionate in life requires strength to back it up.

For instance, if you had pursued carpentry as a career or as a hobby, your strengths could be an eye for detail, precision, and creativity. You could mold your after-retirement career around these traits.

3. Be confident and proud of your strengths

It is a natural tendency to underplay your strengths. After all, no one wants to be a “brag” but retirement is the time to be confident and proud. After identifying your strengths, it is important to then be confident and get started.

You’ve accomplished so much in your life and now is the time to take advantage of your skills. With your strengths set, you can’t shy away because, after all you’ll be engaging in what you know best. So, its OK to give yourself a small tap on the back.

4. Building your retired life around your strengths

Now that you’re off the working life routine, you can relax and do what you’ve always wanted to do. Use your skills and talents to identify opportunities.

Perhaps you’ll pursue a ‘second’ career after retirement or a volunteer opportunity. The possibilities are endless. Just be open and receptive to receive and you’ll gain a sense of fullness and accomplishment.

5. Finding new goals

Now that you’re no longer in formal employment, really think about your goals and aspirations. What is it that you want to accomplish in your life? Has your dreams changed since you were a teenager? Do you still have the same interests that you did 20 years ago? How can you make your dreams become a reality?

Make new goals to give your life a sense of direction. Maybe you’ve always postponed because of your previous engagements, but now is the time. Set those new goals and work towards them.

6. Start a business

Some people as their exit strategy, opt for starting out into the business world. It can very rewarding to finally try something new and remain active.

Today, retirees are better educated and skilled. Use your knowledge and skills to start a business or nonprofit organization. Not only will you use your talents in a wonderful way but you’ll make a significant contribution to the world.

7. Re-education

Reeducate yourself. After all, learning is a lifelong process and you could use your retirement years to increase your knowledge.

Take this time to learn new skills or brush up on rusty ones. This can be as simple as undertaking short courses, going to seminars and/or conferences.

8. Community service

Pay back to the community that gave you so much by volunteering your services. Play a part in the development of your locality. As someone who has been working for some time, this can also be an opportunity to lend some of your expertise towards work done around your community.

9. Remain active

Stay active in the community. Perhaps you can run for political office, help someone with their campaign, become a deacon, whatever you’re called to do. Also, keep fit and exercise.


In conclusion, everyone has special gifts and talents that could be utilized to make the world a better place in which to live. Even if they were previously hidden or dormant, retirement is the time to take advantage and pursue them.


Teboho Polanka
Teboho is a Social Worker, Writer and Inspirational Speaker. He is in pursuit of MSc. in Managerial Psychology. Graduates are able to apply psychological principles and methods to tackle challenges in the work environment and provide effective practical solutions. Acting as industrial-organizational psychologists.