Just about everyone who is still slaving away at the office shares the very same goal as those of us who have long since left the workplace: a happy retirement.
Ah, but how to get there?
A happy retirement means many things to many different people. Even then, there are 10 habits that can certainly help to make retirement more gratifying. AARP reached out to three authors who all have written important books on retirement. Here are their 10 top tips for a truly happy retirement.
1. Be a saver, not a spender.
It’s much easier to spend money than to 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. The key is starting to save as early as possible, with a goal of having at least $500,000 saved at the time of retirement, says Wes Moss, chief investment strategist at Capital Investment Advisors in Atlanta, Georgia, and author of What the Happiest Retirees Know: 10 Habits for a Healthy, Secure and Joyful Life. Of course, not everyone can save that much, but it’s a good goal, he says. It’s also a good idea to have your mortgage paid off or almost paid off, and Moss says that those who are within five years of repayment are four times more likely to be happy. It’s also best if the retirement money comes from a mix of sources, such as Social Security, pension, rental income, investment income and perhaps part-time work.
2. Have a bunch of interests.
Sitting on the couch watching reruns of Fantasy Island will not likely result in a fantasy retirement. 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, says Moss. “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but a lack of curiosity kills the happy retiree,” he says. Keep in mind, it doesn’t really matter what your interests are. It might be hiking or biking. It might be photography or volunteering. It might even be painting theatrical sets for the community playhouse. The one thing that matters is that you feel passionate about these interests, he says.
3. Establish satisfying daily routines.
Few things are more important to a happy retirement than creating daily routines — and ultimately sticking with them, says Nancy Schlossberg, professor emerita from the department of counseling and personnel services at the College of Education at the University of Maryland, and author of several books on retirement, including Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life. Figuring out the right routines that bring you pleasure can take time. Most retirees may have to experiment quite a bit and accept the fact that it can take a while to figure out which routines work and which don’t, she says. “Retirement is a major transition that changes your roles, your routines, your relationships and your assumptions about yourself and the world,” she says. “You may struggle to find your path and to develop a new set of routines. You have to be patient.”
Read the remaining tips in the full AARP Article here
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