If asked, most people are hopeful they will have a happy retirement. They’re just not sure they’re taking all the necessary steps to get there. We all have those moments in our busy lives where we stop and ponder, am I doing what I need to enjoy retirement? Much can be learned from those that have traveled the road before you. As financial advisors, we work with people in all seasons of life and have observed countless retirees that have walked this path. The happiest of them agree, there are 4 main areas that contribute to their happiness. If you want to prepare for a happy retirement then listen to this episode to hear 4 secrets to a happy retirement.
Happy retirees take their health seriously
The happiest retirees are ones that remain active with people they love. Physical exercise has the benefit of getting the endorphins going and creating joy. But 90% of Americans get less than 30 minutes of exercise per day. Staying active is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you age. If waiting until you retire to become active, it may be too late. Even though it can be a challenge to find time to create a healthy exercise habit, it’s essential to have the energy you want for a full and fulfilling retirement. Are you doing what you can now to make sure your health and energy will be the way you want in retirement?
Happy retirees have enough money because they had a financial plan
Happy retirees have enough money to retire and are financially independent. Are you doing everything you can to ensure you will have the retirement you envision? What savings rates do you need to have for a comfortable retirement? How do you know that your money won’t run out? Putting together a customized financial plan with the help of a financial advisor can help answer questions like these prior to your retirement.
Having enough money results in less stress. A financial plan will help you make sure you’re saving enough. In the book, Your Retirement Quest, authors Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence tell us that only 35% of pre-retirees have a written financial plan. If you’re unsure if you’re saving enough, now is the time to meet with a professional to give you peace of mind. To get the best results, we’d recommend finding a fee-only financial planner to help assure you’re doing all that you can to have the savings you need for the retirement you’ve dreamed of.
A strong sense of purpose can ensure a happy retirement
A big influence on your fulfillment throughout retirement will depend on your motivation, determination and endurance. In “Your Retirement Quest,” the authors explain how all these feelings will make up the purpose that drives you to be part of something bigger than yourself throughout retirement. The byproduct of caring deeply about a specific passion is others will feed off the energy you are producing. Creating a life of purpose doesn’t just ensure that you aren’t sitting at home watching TV (which retirees do 43 hours a week on average), it can result in leaving a legacy behind. What are your retirement plans? Are you planning to retire to something rather than away from something?
Relationships are important to a happy retirement
Connectedness provides another extension of meaning for the happy retiree. The happiest retirees interviewed in the book state they have a sufficient amount of friendships. Those with fewer friends are 3 times less likely to be happy. Are you developing friendships now that will transcend the test of time? Creating friendships through common interests is a great way to ensure that you will have a number of friendships when you finally leave the work world behind. The seeds you plant now will grow and produce the daily activities you desire in retirement. Finding a healthy balance between these 4 areas will help you set up a retirement filled with meaningful relationships, purpose and peace of mind so you can enjoy all the fruits of your hard earned labor.
Outline of This Episode
- [2:17] Happy retirees take their health and wealth seriously
- [4:52] Happy retirees have enough money to retire on and are financially independent
- [9:22] Happy retirees have a strong sense of purpose
- [13:03] The importance of friendships
Resources & People Mentioned
- BOOK – Your Retirement Quest by Alan Specter and Keith Lawrence
- Episode 22 – Don’t Fail in Retirement
- Episode 68 – Your Pre-Retirement Checklist
Connect With Chad and Mike
- Connect on Twitter @csmithraleigh@TeamFSINC
- Follow Financial Symmetry on Facebook