Most people equate retirement planning with a 401(k) or saving money for the future. While a retirement without money doesn’t sound like much of a retirement, focusing exclusively on the monetary aspects of the planning is problematic.
A happy retirement is about so much more than having enough money to pay your bills. So once you have a retirement plan in place to help secure your financial future, be sure that you also consider the non-financial aspects of a successful retirement. And if you’re like retirees who have taken the time to make the conversation about more than just money, you might define a successful retirement as a happy one. So let’s take a lesson from the life stories of the happiest retirees. Some of the happiest and most content retirees have a few things beyond financial security in common.
1. They Go Back to Work
Work in retirement? But don’t we work our entire adult lives for the privilege of not working in retirement?
We know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but bear with us. Studies have shown that people who voluntarily continue to work, even just part-time, past the age of 65 are happier than their full retired peers. The key word here is voluntary. The effect on level of happiness is the opposite when retirees are forced to work for financial reasons.
While picking up a part-time job in retirement can benefit you financially, its advantages far outweigh the extra pocket money. The physical activity, social interactions, and even sense of purpose gained from work all do wonders for retirees’ physical and mental health, which as we know are important factors in overall happiness and contentment.