(BPT) - Each phase of life provides an opportunity to find new things that provide a sense of purpose, activities that get us up in the morning and bring fulfillment. Beyond the feeling, there is mounting evidence that shows a higher sense of purpose in life is associated with a lower risk of chronic conditions.
Intentionally fostering a sense of purpose is especially important as we age and the things that once kept us going no longer require our attention, like a job or raising children. Fortunately, many things can deliver a sense of purpose, and they don't need to be exotic or extravagant. They need only capture your interest and keep you motivated, giving you an extra push to overcome any obstacle that might arise. With the results of a recent national AARP Services survey as inspiration, here are five ways to do just that. Your AARP member benefits give you access to products and services that you can use to foster your purpose.
1. Pursue a Passion for Food
There's a saying, 'Some eat to live, others live to eat.' According to AARP Services research, 73% of surveyed individuals agree that a good meal makes life worth living. Fortunately, with more time comes more opportunity to try out new restaurants or recipes, so explore the local dining scene, take a cooking class or use a new cookbook.
To ensure you are able to enjoy those delicious meals, keep your mouth healthy with frequent brushing and flossing, and by visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. AARP members have access to Dental Insurance Options that help make it easier to maintain good dental health with individual or family coverage for the most common dental procedures.
2. Discover Who You Are
Becoming a grandparent and watching your family grow is an exciting life change. As you sprout new branches on the family tree, you might be inspired to learn more about your roots through genealogy research.
Ancestry provides a great resource to access records and online tools to search, save and share family history. AARP members save 30% on the first year of an All Access or a World Explorer subscription. If you're new to Ancestry, you'll receive the discount on the first year of your subscription only. If you already have an account, you'll receive the discount when you renew your subscription for a year.
3. Find New Outlets for Fun
Retirement can mean the freedom to find new sources of fun. Most people over 50 agree that it is time well spent. Only 24% of those surveyed felt that spending money on fun is frivolous. It is, after all, a great way to relieve stress, boost mental health and renew your sense of purpose.
Why not pursue a passion for live entertainment? Enjoy a local concert or a trip to the theater with your friends or family members. AARP members save on tickets to select shows and events through Ticketmaster. Offers include 2-for-1 tickets, Me + 3 (4-packs) and events with select tickets under $40. (Conditions apply.)
To make sure you don't miss a minute of the performance, get your hearing checked by taking advantage of AARP® Hearing Solutions™ provided by UnitedHealthcare® Hearing. AARP members can save 20% on hearing aids and 15% on accessories, plus receive a hearing test at no cost and personalized support through a large nationwide network of hearing providers.
4. See the World
Travel is a popular pursuit as we age. Crossing new destinations off your list is a rewarding endeavor, especially as many are eager to try something new, with 67% of those 50+ agreeing that new experiences are important. AARP members save $50 per person on select river cruises with Collette. Destinations include the fjords of Norway, China's Yangtze River and the Nile River in Egypt.
Traveling by land more your speed? AARP members save 5% on worldwide rail vacations, tours and select train tickets in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond with Vacations by Rail. Itineraries include the Canadian Rockies, America's National Parks & Monuments and many more.
Traveling and being on the go doesn't mean you have to fall behind on prescriptions. AARP® Prescription Discounts Provided by Optum Rx® gives you access to a free prescription discount card that can be used at over 66,000 pharmacies nationwide for savings on all FDA-approved medications. If you're an AARP member, you can receive additional benefits such as deeper discounts and home delivery, so you can save time while packing or traveling.
5. Take Care (of Others)
Just because your children are grown doesn't mean your days of caring for others are over. Most people (89%) consider taking care of family to be a priority and there are myriad ways to do that. Offering support, whether it's babysitting, picking up from school or running errands, is generally appreciated and provides a significant sense of purpose.
Taking care of family also means ensuring the unexpected doesn't become their responsibility. Fortunately, long-term care options can help protect your assets and lifestyle. You can access customized solutions that can help address your specific needs and budget.
You can also flex your caregiving muscles with a four-legged family member. Pets are lovable and fun and help boost your mood and keep you active. Making sure they're healthy, happy and fed instills a great sense of purpose, and pet insurance can make caring for them easier and more affordable. With Fetch by The Dodo Pet Insurance, AARP members save up to 10% on monthly premiums for the lifetime of their pet's policy. Plans can cover qualifying care, treatments and procedures at any licensed veterinarian in the U.S. and Canada.
As we age, our purpose doesn't disappear; it simply changes. Consider it an opportunity to expand your horizons and try something new. Whether it's a hobby, activity or taking care of family, AARP members likely have member benefits available to support it. To discover more options, visit aarp.org/save.
Neither AARP nor its affiliates is the insurer. AARP and its affiliates are not insurance producers, agents or brokers, and do not sell or service insurance products. AARP member benefits are provided by third parties, not by AARP or its affiliates. Providers pay a royalty fee to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. Some provider offers are subject to change and may have restrictions. Please contact the provider directly for details.