According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, retirement by itself often produces a positive impact on people’s sense of well-being, a feeling that lasts for a considerable length of time. Psychologists have determined that each of us have our own individual set points of happiness. So, how can you help ensure that you get happier as you retire and get older?
First off, it’s important to use your money to purchase experiences, and not just possessions. Don’t take out a big loan to buy an expensive car. Instead, try going on an exotic vacation with your spouse, or organize a family get-together at the beach and offer to pay for those who can’t afford to come. You will quickly find that experiences are the ones you will remember as you grow older, rather than the possessions you own.
You can see a theme developing here, because the second point is to make time for family and friends. Surrounding yourself with people that you love will directly correlate to how happy you are. Retirement is about enjoying your life and the people you treasure most dearly. We all know that shared experiences bring more happiness than those experienced alone.
Next, it’s important to engage in interesting activities. It doesn’t matter whether you’re perfecting your golf game, babysitting your grandchildren, doing arts and crafts, or hiking the Appalachian Trail. The important thing is that you get involved in something that engages your interest – something that gets you out of bed in the morning and gives a sense of purpose to your retirement.
And finally, take care of yourself. People in poor health almost always report lower levels of happiness than people who are in good shape. Those who eat better, get more exercise, and suffer less stress tend to lead healthier and happier lives than sedentary couch potatoes.
In the end, the happiest people view retirement not as an endless vacation, but as a chance to pursue new opportunities and take on new challenges. Click HERE to learn more about our firm and to request your complimentary, no obligation financial review.