10 Tips for a Happy Retirement
written by Mike Ballew September 10, 2023

If your job is something less than ideal (or you just plain hate it), you might catch yourself daydreaming about retirement. A happy retirement is more than just the cessation of work, it can be the adventure of a lifetime.

Here are 10 tips for a happy retirement.

1. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

More than 80 percent of retirees agree, the most important factor for a happy retirement is your health. You simply cannot enjoy life if you are sick or in pain. 

To be happy in retirement, you need to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Eat wholesome foods, exercise regularly, and strive to maintain your ideal weight. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol to excess. 

Diet and exercise are not the only components of a healthy lifestyle. Accident prevention is also important. Our bodies are fragile and can be easily damaged. For most of us, driving is the most dangerous we do. Always err on the side of caution when you get behind the wheel. Strive to be a safe and courteous driver.

Another important element of accident prevention is to avoid risky activities. Did you know that on a per-mile basis, motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured than those travelling by automobile? 

Actions have consequences, not only for yourself but for the ones you love. 

2. Create the Best Retirement Plan

When it comes to having a happy retirement, financial security runs a close second to health. Having enough money and knowing that you have enough money gives you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy your golden years.

3. Research the Best Places to Retire

When you are working, you may have to live near a crime-ridden city or in a northern climate with harsh winters. When you retire, you don’t have to live there anymore.

Be flexible and discuss options with your significant other. Make a list of possibilities and visit each one. You can weave the destinations into your vacation plans and business travel.

4. Connect with Others

In our working years, it’s easy to take our social interactions for granted. We see clients and coworkers on a regular basis. Once you retire, you won’t have that kind of social interaction.

You need a social network when you retire. If you have a spouse or partner, obviously that will be your most meaningful relationship. But you also need to spend time with your children and grandchildren as well as friends and other family members.

Seek opportunities to cast your social net by participating in clubs, groups, and organizations that are aligned with your interests. These can be sports-related, volunteer opportunities, church, or hobbies. These types of social opportunities do not find you, you have to find them.

5. Travel

For most of us, travel is limited during our working years because we never seem to have enough time. Once you retire, you are free to travel anytime you wish.

If you and your significant other don’t necessarily agree on travel destinations, take turns planning vacations. Go to the city one year and the mountains the next. Don't miss out on this golden opportunity to travel.

6. Be Adventurous

As we grow older, we tend to become risk-adverse. You need to get outside your comfort zone once in a while and experience things that you wouldn't normally do. Maintain an adventurous spirit and have fun!

7. Start a Side Business

Having some type of commercial enterprise on the side in retirement can help you feel alive and engaged. Make something or provide a service – anything that you enjoy doing. 

Keep it to a part-time basis, though. You don’t need a fulltime job, you’re retired! Just a little something to keep you from going stir-crazy. The extra income is an added benefit.

8. Create Structure

It's important to have structure in our lives. No one is saying that you should wake up to an alarm each morning or run your life like a German train schedule. It can be as simple as setting aside mornings for exercise and chores. Maybe every Tuesday is date night to avoid the weekend crowds. Whatever works for you. Schedule something on a regular basis and stick to it.

9. Choose the Right Age to Start Taking Social Security

The age you start taking Social Security makes a big difference in your retirement benefits. In When should I begin taking Social Security?, we outline the financial ramifications of starting Social Security at age 62 and 70 and everything in between.

10. Get a dog

Finally, we come to number 10 in our list of tips for a happy retirement. A recent study found that dog owners have a reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and fewer doctor visits. If that’s not enough to make you want a dog, consider the unconditional love and companionship that a furry friend will bring you.

Photo credit: Pixabay Eggstack News will never post an article influenced by an outside company or advertiser. Our mission is to help you overcome uncertainty about retirement planning and inspire confidence in your financial future.
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