Happiness in Retirement

by | Jun 16, 2020 | News and Updates

Recently, I came across a copy of a Wall Street Journal article from July 27th, 2005 titled “The Secret to a Happier Retirement: Friends, Neighbors, and a Fixed Annuity.” Interestingly, I distinctly remember this article from my days managing money. Back then, its message didn’t quite align with my perception of retirement. However, as I’ve aged, and particularly as I’ve engaged with people about their retirement plans over the years, the article has resonated with me more deeply.

Rather than delving into the entire article, I’d like to focus on the seven points it highlights:

1. Value your time. Many retirees find themselves doing tasks they dislike. It’s essential to acknowledge what you don’t enjoy and delegate those tasks to others.

2. Think ahead. Consider what you want for your future, especially regarding potential long-term care needs and their impact on your plans.

3. Expect less. Setting realistic expectations, whether in terms of market performance or family dynamics, can prevent disappointment. It’s often better to anticipate less and be pleasantly surprised than to expect too much and be disappointed.

4. Pick your neighbors. Living among people with similar resources can reduce financial stress. Downsizing to a smaller, more affordable place may bring greater happiness than living in a larger house among people with more disposable income.

5. Buy yourself income. In the past, pensions provided retirement income, but now, with 401(k) plans more prevalent, fixed annuities can offer guaranteed income for life. Creating a retirement paycheck, rather than focusing solely on managing a portfolio, can provide a sense of financial security.

6. Work in retirement. Finding purpose in retirement, whether through volunteer work, gardening, part-time employment, or mentoring, is vital. Besides providing fulfillment, it can help balance income needs.

7. Invest in friendships. Cultivating meaningful relationships in retirement is essential for happiness. Spending time with friends, whether traveling, dining, or simply relaxing, can enhance your retirement experience significantly.

By considering these seven areas, you can enhance your retirement enjoyment. Drawing from my 27 years of experience in retirement planning, I’ve found that strategic planning can lead to greater happiness in retirement. If you have questions or would like to explore what your retirement paycheck could look like, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or message. I’m here to assist you.

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