June 8, 2016 — Congrats on your retirement, you earned it! Unfortunately a happy retirement doesn’t happen automatically – a lot depends on how staying young and maximizing your happiness every day. This article will share the best research we’ve seen to help you to live longer and get the most out of every moment of retirement.
To write this article we have taken a “Best of the Best” approach. To do that we assembled a list of great articles from around the web on the “secrets” and “mistakes” surrounding retirement. From each one we have picked out what we think is the most important tip or two. The result is a lot of variety in terms of ideas and themes – turns out a happy retirement has many different components.
Staying young in your mind
Is there anything worse than grumpy old people, or folks who We love this article from Grandmagazine on Tips to Avoid Old Fart Syndrome. The author, Karen Beatty, offers 12 tips, and every one of them is great. Here are our 2 favorites:
Tip #1: Verbal repetition gets dull and tiresome. Ask someone to monitor you – do you keep trotting out the same old stories in response to almost any stimulus? Repeating yourself really does date you and make you seem like an old codger.
Tip #2: Don’t attempt to manipulate the larger environment. Try to be more accepting when things don’t go your way. Karen explains: “The royal road to Old Fartdom, in fact, is paved with bricks of grumpy, fussy and resentful.”
On the same theme, here are 2 tips from Topretirements on How Baby Boomers Can Stay Young in Their Minds.
– Make friends with people of different ages. Every age has something different to offer, and it’s boring to just have friends your own age. Find someone interesting much younger or older and make a new friend. It will keep you younger, and more interesting.
Avoid the “organ” recital.Ration your talk about your Medical problems. No doubt we all have our physical ailments and medical treatments that take up more of our lives than we would care to. But for heavens sake, there are other things to talk about. Your companions will appreciate it.
Here are some great tips for keeping your body strong and youthful for as long as possible. Bad health can of course strike at any time, but if you don’t take preventative actions, it is a lot more likely to happen sooner.
– Balance and Stress Reduction. Barbara Beskind, a 90 year old occupational therapist, has 2 tips in her article “The Surprising Secret of Aging Well“. They are: good posture and a 30 minute walk. She thinks these activities help improve balance and cardiovascular strength, not to mention reducing stress. We agree.
– Working longer leads to a longer life. The SquaredAway Blog recently published the results from a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The study found that delaying retirement even one year longer tended to prolong life. It concluded that people working gives people “substantial financial, psycho-social and cognitive resources” to draw upon, while retirement can create stress, anxiety and even depression, especially in countries “where work is highly valued”. We believe that even after you retire, you can get the same healthy contributions you got from work by engaging in meaningful part time and volunteer work.
Do It Now
– Do it now before it’s too late.. In our article, How Older People Can Show Us How to Stay Younger, we reported a tip we fervently believe in. The first is to write out your Bucket Lists and get started crossing off items. Experiences and people are often the best things in life. The trip you didn’t take, the grandchild you didn’t visit, the time you could have helped someone, the thrill you missed – all opportunities for happiness and fulfillment lost. Do them now. You may never get the chance again.
Your Financial Life
Having enough resources to enjoy your retirement without worry is high on everyone’s list. So is thinking about what happens after you are gone.
– Develop a budget so you know where you stand. The first tip in our article, “7 Things You Must Do Now That You Are Retired“, was to understand and face the state of your finances. The Center for Retirement Research estimate that over half of retirees are at risk for a reduced standard of living in retirement. You need to prepare a detailed budget that lists all your income sources, matched up to your expenses. Once you understand your financial picture you either have to live with it, add income, or reduce expenses.
– Create Your Will and Living Will Now. Don’t leave your kids or surviving family members a mess. Act now to clean up what will happen after you are gone, and how you would like the family to act if you need to go on life support. This will bring you peace of mind and your kids will thank you.
Where You Live in Retirement
We encourage you to think carefully about where you live in retirement, this should not be a casual decision, or a no-decision (let inertia rule).
– Don’t build your dream house right away. In our 3 part series on “Retirement Wrecking Mistakes“, one of the biggest is to plunge into building your dream house early in retirement. That’s because chances are you still might not appreciate what your retirement will be like. You are likely to build a home that is too big, too expensive, and not suitable for your needs as you move from a youthful early retirement to life in your 80s and 90s.
Good News – Retirees have more fun and lower stress
A recent Merrill Lynch study found that people aged 65-74 rate themselves as having more fun, lower stress, and are more relaxed than any other age group. With just a little effort, you can be in the same happy boat!
Comments? What are the best tips you have for living a happy and long life in retirement. Please share your ideas, along with your reactions to any of these ideas in the Comments section below!
For further reading:
Tips to Avoid Old Fart Syndrome
How Baby Boomers Can Stay Young in Their Minds.
The Surprising Secret of Aging Well
How Older People Can Show Us How to Stay Younger
7 Things You Must Do Now That You Are Retired
Retirement Wrecking Mistakes
The Extraordinary Happiness of Retirees