Finding Happiness in Retirement
Ever heard “home is where the heart is?” During retirement, finding and keeping what makes your heart smile is as important as your financial well-being.
Foremost, maintaining relationship during your retirement is most important. This could be keeping in touch with family or old friends. Or joining a club and creating new friendships. If you are married or live with another, your home life relationships will be what matters most to you. Now, maintaining these relationships will take time and effort, but keeping your loved ones close will make you much happier down the road.
Outside of maintaining your social circle, activities will help, too! Invest in your hobbies that lead to your desired social interactions. Hiking, crafting, bingo club, or a book club. In retirement the number one reported activity is watching television. While relaxation is important, so is getting out of the house! Social activities not only keep you moving but keep your mind acute.
Studies have found that financial health is correlated to retirement happiness. Having funds secured and your retirement planned out means you can maintain your lifestyle as desired. Living comfortably is what makes retirees the happiest.
Moreover, trends show that within the first year of retirement spending mirrors that of the last working year. The only difference is a different amount of income is reported. Without having to pay certain taxes, more money is essentially available the first year of retirement.
Another trend found is inflation-adjusted spending decreases as retirement continues. Sadly, this is partly due to the fear of running out of funds. Another reason is retirees become comfortable leading a newer lifestyle that may call for less spending and expenses. In a 2019 survey, 84% of participants reported being uncomfortable spending their nest egg especially when they did not have a guaranteed pension.
When spending time with children, retirees are reportedly happier. The youth keep them active and engaged. If retirees have grandkids doing weekly activities and keeping in touch by phone also produce happiness.
Housing is a key factor when it comes to happiness during retirement. Some relocate, downsize, or move into a retirement facility. Homeowners are oftentimes happier than those who rent late in life. On the contrary, moving into a retirement or assisted-living facility has been found to make over 50% of retirees happier and their lives easier—especially those dealing with a long-term care event individually or with a spouse.
When it comes to your retirement, find what makes your heart smile. Be social and stay in touch with family. Invest in yourself. Prepare for and secure your retirement so you can enjoy those golden years.