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4 Keys to a Happy Retirement

July 02, 2019
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As we continue our #RetiringWithPurpose content series for 2019, today we’d like to talk about something almost everyone strives for in retirement: happiness!

While it will vary for each individual, there are some common denominators that studies link to happy retirement living.

1) Live active, live healthy

It’s not surprising that healthy living is often linked to happy living. Make a short list of the things you hope to spend your time on in retirement and you’ll likely find almost everything on that list will be more likely, or at the very least more enjoyable if you are in good physical health. Plan on golfing? You’ll need to be in good health to walk those 18 holes. More time to spend with kids and grandkids? Keeping up with the littles requires energy. Traveling and seeing the world? Traveling can often be physically demanding.

Health is achieved not just by eating well and exercising regularly. Sure these things are incredibly important. But good health is also achieved by simply staying active.

Of course a huge component of health in retirement means having an insurance plan that doesn’t discourage you financially from regular well checkups.

Suggestion: Start an active hobby such as mountain biking, hiking, or pickle ball!

2) Have strong relationships

A recent study looked at the correlation between happiness in retirement, spending on leisurely activities, and marriage. Interestingly, the study found that joyful marriages made a far bigger impact on the level of happiness of a retiree than spending on leisurely activities. And perhaps even more interestingly, if a retiree was in an unhappy marriage, they had to spend 43% more on leisurely activities to experience the same amount of happiness as unmarried retirees. In other words, according to the study, the most likely scenario for finding happiness in retirement is by having a happy marriage, followed by being single, followed by being in an unhappy marriage.

Another study performed by the University of California found that people age 60 and older who described themselves as lonely, saw a 45 percent increased risk of death and 59% increased risk of mental and physical decline.

The bottom line is that being in healthy, happy relationships can be incredibly important not only for a happy retirement, but a healthier and longer life as well. 

Suggestion: Date your spouse! Check out the date box subscription service, a box delivered to your door regularly with unique date night ideas! https://getdatebox.com/

3) Financial health

Money may not buy happiness, but it can certainly help to avoid the worry, concern and anxiety you might have if you are running out of money in retirement. Being financially healthy means knowing you have the resources to reach the lifestyle you desire in retirement. It also means having the peace of mind knowing you aren’t going to run out of assets.

A sufficient retirement savings allows retirees to pursue the things that matter most to them. It is important to build that nest egg, it is equally important to know how and what to pursue with the time you’ve bought for yourself. What are the things that might add value to your life? That leads us to our final point.

Suggestion: Have a written financial plan made from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Define the steps you must take to achieve the lifestyle you want in retirement.

4) Find Your Purpose

Retiring with purpose means knowing you are contributing to society. It means you are participating in something bigger than yourself. It means you are making a lasting impact felt by those you care about. It means you are making a difference in the lives of others.

In one research study performed by Patrick Hill and Nicholas Turiano, evidence overwhelmingly showed that people who lived with a sense of purpose outlived their peers. The weird thing about this study was that it didn’t matter at what point in life the individual found their purpose. Purpose-driven individuals can slow down their own mortality.

Suggestion: What is a mission you believe in? What can you do to further that mission or contribute to its cause?

As you consider this list, we hope we’ve given you some thoughts on how to pursue your own happiness in retirement!

Sources:

https://www.bankrate.com/retirement/top-factor-that-determines-happiness/

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/loneliness-in-the-elderly-151549.htm

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797614531799