Just about everyone who is still slaving away at the office shares the very same goal as those who have long left the workplace: a happy retirement.
How to get there?
A happy retirement means many things to many different people. Even then, there are 10 habits that can certainly help make retirement more gratifying. They are:
- Be a saver, not a spender. It’s much easier to spend money than save it, but the gratification you’ll enjoy in retirement by having enough of it is a strong argument to save plenty through your working years.
- Have many interests. The happiest retirees know very well how to travel, play and explore, and they wholeheartedly engage in three or more hobbies on a regular basis. Keep in mind, it doesn’t really matter what your interests are. It might be hiking or theater. It might be photography or volunteering. The one thing that matters is that you feel passionate about these interests.
- Establish satisfying daily routines. Few things are more important to a happy retirement than creating daily routings – and sticking with them. Figuring out the right routines that can bring you pleasure can take time.
- Keep close to your kids (but not too close). The happiness level of most retirees soars when they live near at least one – and preferably two – adult children. But kids should not be dependent on you. The adult children of the happiest retirees are out in the world living their own lives rather than suckling off the financial teats of their parents.
- Create a new identity that has nothing to do with work. For most of our lives, our work is our identity – and once we retire, our identity is gone. But that work identity becomes a distorted self-image once you retire. It’s critical to find a new, overarching purpose.
- Connect with friends. The importance of having many friends in retirement cannot be overstated. Most workplace friends are not real friends and most disappear after you leave the workplace. It’s important that friendships branch out to your personal interests beyond work.
- Try new things. No less importance than establishing routines in retirement is also having the wherewithal to regularly try new things. Consistently staying within your comfort zone can lead to a lack of initiative and lethargy in retirement.
- Invest for income, not growth. One thing that retirement should absolutely not be is a time of uncertain income. That is certain to add anxiety and discomfort to your retirement. This not only requires pre-planning but also a financial advisor to regularly keep tabs on your investments and updating your investment plan, as needed. Think of retirement as a time to live off of well-earned dividends and not a time to focus on expanding your portfolio.
- Your health matters. Typically, the happiest retirees also are among the healthiest retirees. While you can’t do a lot about genetics, you can still take simple and regular actions to care for your body.
- Don’t penny-pinch. While retirement should not be a time of extravagance, it most definitely should not be a time of serious penny-pinching. While you might not want to dine regularly at pricey restaurants in retirement, you also don’t want to deny yourself simple pleasures either. It’s also important to spend some of your retirement savings on pleasure-inducing things like travel and visits to see family members.