Times have changed. The pensions we once knew don’t exist as they once did. Even for pensions that do still exist if you took on a role with a company years ago; many of them have been changed, and only a lucky few get grandfathered in to old pension systems. 401k plans are the new kid on the block. In fact, the 401k as we know it today wasn’t invented until the 1970s and most companies didn’t offer it until the 1980s. Truthfully, there has been a total shift in the way we must approach retirement.
Majority of Americans today are retiring after they can draw social security. They live partially off of it while finding another job to keep them afloat. Here’s a real and sobering statistic: 75% of Americans nearing retirement age have less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts.
Yes, many Americans are just a few paychecks away from financial challenges that would literally turn their world inside out. Our team wanted to understand more about this statistic and how to help our clients get to the other side of that stat where you’re in the 25% bracket. A bracket that is financially prepared for retirement, but also retiring “happy”. So we surveyed more than 1350 individuals over age 55 in 46 states and we determined that the happy retirees have figured it out. They have achieved a balance between having the opportunity to retire and still enjoy a high quality of life.
There were so many factors that we measured with this survey that our Chief Investment Strategist, Wes Moss, rolled them into a book that was just released— “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think: 5 Money Secrets of the Happiest Retirees”. Moss led the project and was determined to answer the question: Does money buy happiness?
Here’s a few key points:
- Happy Retirees find Core Pursuits: Core pursuits can be seen as hobbies, or rather a hobby on steroids. Core pursuits are those that tend to fulfill the people who pursue them. In our survey, we found this to be one of many key factors that the happiest retirees have in common. It was also often one of the driving forces behind why they chose to retire.
- Happy Retirees have a great social life: The happiest retires get out and socialize. They seem to have a stronger sense of community, or connect with others and engage in activities that allow them to express their social nature.
- Happy Retirees have multiple income streams: Whether it’s part-time work, rental income, investment income; the happiest retirees don’t depend on their full-time employment as the sole source of their income. They typically have at least three streams of income funneling into their household.