Andrew Rosen, Contributor
July 14, 2022
What’s the difference between a happy retirement, and a not-so-happy retirement? Financial planners have the unique perspective of seeing many clients retire over time, and as such they can differentiate what creates a happy retirement for most people. While what makes someone happy is always subjective, there are some generalities that play out across many successful retirees.
While good planning doesn’t guarantee a happy retirement, it might help you to feel more prepared for retirement. Planning ahead, both financially and emotionally for a big change in your life can help you to deal with the stress of the upcoming change, leading to an easier transition.
Retirees that seem the happiest are those retiring to something and not from something. If you’re retiring just to escape a work situation you don’t like, or because it feels like that is what you have to do, your retirement situation might be less than idea. If you’re retiring because you’re ready to put work aside and travel or spend more time with your family, you’re likely to have a better outcome in retirement and feel happier and more fulfilled. Having the right mindset and attitude is great first step in embracing retirement and ultimately, in feeling happier throughout your retirement years.
Surrounding Yourself With Loved Ones
Surrounding yourself with those that you love seems like an optimal way to have a happier retirement. Many retirees choose to spend more time with their families, but don’t discount the extra time that you might have to spend with your friends. You could also spend this time making new friends and broadening your social circle. Spending time with people you care about is one way to improve your mood, particularly during retirement when you have the extra time to devote to your social life.
Happy retirees balance out the fun things that they’re doing with additional rest and relaxation. After a long span of working, a bit of relaxation is natural, and finding out the rhythm that best fits your retirement lifestyle will result in your own happiness. Some retirees prefer to sleep in, or nap during the day, whereas another retiree may prefer to wake up early and use mindful meditate to relax. Whatever relaxation methods work best for you, incorporating additional rest and relaxation time into your retirement schedule may increase your happiness during these years.
Retirees and travel go hand in hand, and it can be a great way to spend your time during your retirement years. Seeing new places and experiencing new cultures can cause great happiness for some people, while others may prefer to stay home and travel within their own city or state. From weekend trips, to cruises, RV excursions or sailing, there’s plenty to experience in the world and exploring it with a renewed sense of adventure may bring you great happiness.
Without prioritizing health, retirement may not last as long as you’d like. Putting your own health at the forefront, with exercise, healthy eating, and whatever stress reducing activities area meaningful to you, may not only improve your mood and happiness, but improve your life in general during retirement.
Giving back to others, either through volunteering, charity, or mentoring, can be an immensely positive experience that can bring great joy for retirees. Often, retirees may have wanted to spend time volunteering or mentoring during their career but haven’t had the time, and retirement is an ideal time to get started. Helping others can certainly improve your own level of happiness.
Do More Of What You Love
Retirement is all about you, and doing what you love. So naturally, now is the time to do more of it. If fishing is your thing, and that is what brings you happiness, then spend more time fishing. If you’re a gardener, spend more time in the garden. Lean into what brings you happiness, especially during retirement.
© 2022 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved
This Forbes article was legally licensed through AdvisorStream.