10 Components of a Happy Retirement

Financial preparations are an important component of any retirement plan. But money alone is not enough to live a satisfying retirement. Equally important is a plan to spend your time, develop relationships with others and maintain your health. Here are the important ingredients for you to realize the best possible retirement:

Enough money. Obviously, if you do not have enough saved and invested, you cannot realistically retire, at least not with the lifestyle you desire. But simply reaching a number in your retirement account is not the only aspect of retirement you need to plan for.

Having control over how you spend your time. One of the best things about being retired is the ability to decide what you want to do when you want to do it. This type of freedom is rarely experienced by those not yet retired. If you were to find yourself forced to live according to someone else’s expectations, retirement would be nothing more than an extension of your work years. But you get to leave behind other people’s rules as you begin to live your second act.

Spending quality time with family and friends. No longer finding yourself captive to boring meetings and meaningless interactions, you are now free to spend time with people you are actually interested in being with. And you are no longer limited to brief visits swinging monkeyssqueezed into a busy schedule. You have as long as you want to spend with whomever you choose.

Pursuing your passions, hobbies and interests. With the freedom to do as you choose, you can finally revisit the dreams and interests you were forced to put aside due to the demands of earlier life. And with enough interests and variety, you can prevent boredom and enjoy active stimulating days.

Giving back. Retirement can be your chance to express your charitable side and give back to society. Many retirees find volunteering to be a very rewarding experience. You are free to choose the causes most significant to you and make a difference in the lives of others.

Improving your relationship with your partner. Now that you have time to dedicate to the important matters in your life, the happiness of your spouse is an excellent place to start. You have time to spend with one another and rediscover the special person you fell in love with long ago. Although in some areas you may have changed over the years, some things never change.

Enjoying new experiences to broaden your horizons. You are no longer forced to live within the boundaries that defined the working you. The freedom to experiment and explore can open doors to interests you never knew you had.

Living a comfortable and safe life. Retirement is not always about searching for the next adventure. It also allows for the chance to relax, slow down and enjoy living at a pace more appropriate and comfortable for you. A balance between staying active and relaxing can keep you invigorated and ready for whatever comes your way.

Taking time for yourself. Downtime, the rarest of commodities for busy working folks, can now be yours in retirement. Taking time to think, relax, contemplate and dream can inspire you to live a more fulfilling retirement. Just remember that it is up to you to set aside the time and take advantage of your situation.

Maintaining good health. The freedom to do as you please affords the opportunity to refocus on healthy habits and practices. If you feel good it is easy to look forward to what the day has to offer. When it comes to healthy living, a regular routine that you can stick to can get you started in the right direction.

Assuming you are relatively satisfied with your nest egg and believe you can pay your way through retirement, it’s time to start thinking about the other aspects of retired life. In retirement you finally get the chance to do things your way. Make sure you include a plan for your health, relationships and passions.

From my blog on US News & World.

This entry was posted in Aging, Frugal Retirement, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Retirement and tagged , by LoveBeingRetired. Bookmark the permalink.

About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.

4 thoughts on “10 Components of a Happy Retirement

  1. Hi Dave! I would say these are all important components to a happy retirement but I tend to think #10 is THE MOST IMPORTANT! Because without good and pain-free health it is difficult to enjoy any of the rest. And just like so many of these, we can’t wait until we retire to set ourselves up for these. Just like with financial planning, making sure our health it maintained in the years leading up to retirement is vitally important. So while I’m not yet “retired” myself, you’ve reminded me that I have these things to look forward to especially if I take care of some of them right now. ~Kathy

    • I agree Kathy. If you do not have good health the rest of a happy retirement is at serious risk. We cannot beat the effects of time but we can sure fight along the way with a little focus on good health. We can all do our part.

  2. These are all great points. It is true, once you reach the point you can fund your retirement make sure you understand the non-financial aspects of retirement because retiring with poor health and no plans on how you will occupy your time in retirement won’t be very enjoyable. Its all about retiring TO something, not just from something. As someone who has retired early your 2 points- Pursuing your passions, hobbies and interests AND Maintaining good health are the keys. I find that (for me anyway) all of the important points you detail about family, relationships, giving back, relaxing, etc. in your list fall nicely under following my passions and interest but it is still good to list those things out. Between my daily exercise and activity routines, and following my passions there is never a concern for boredom as some who are on the road to retirement might fear.

  3. I could not say it better Tommy. Finding and pursuing passions to keep you excited about each new day and doing your part to maintain good health so you can enjoy those passions to the fullest. Sounds like the right formula to beat the boredom bug if you ask me! 🙂

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