happiness concept, silhouette of feet of couple sitting on the pier at sunset beachWhat are the basics of a happy retirement? While many people might jump to talking about savings, pensions, and 401(k)s, that has a minimal impact on your day-to-day happiness (Although obviously if you don’t have enough money for living expenses or any leisure activities you’re going to be unhappy). The true answer is that your retirement lifestyle will determine if you enjoy retirement and good living or not.

Living without a job is something most people are not accustomed to after a lifetime of pursuing their career, making the beginning of retirement an adjustment period. It’s important to make decisions about how you will spend your golden years. A happy retirement doesn’t happen by chance, only you can make it a reality. Here are five basics to making the most of your retirement. While some of them might seem obvious, putting them into practice every day can take some effort.

1. Keep your body and mind active

There are so many benefits of regular exercise for seniors, including reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, those who maintain good health typically spend less money on healthcare. Exercise should be something you look forward to; you don’t have to go to a gym, there are plenty of options. Chose an activity and intensity that works for you! Walking, gardening, and yard work can all help you stay healthy, the important thing is that you’re getting regular exercise.

The body and the mind are intertwined and when you get more exercise you’ll notice an improved mental state. As WebMD explains, “When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins… [that] trigger a positive feeling in the body…” It’s important that you also workout your brain regularly! Hobbies can be a great way to challenge yourself and there are also stimulating leisure activities such as playing cards, chess, or reading. Why not partner up with your spouse or friends and enjoy staying active together!

2. Have a schedule to stay busy, but not a rigid one like you did while working

Having an endless amount of free time with no major commitments can lead some retirees to become bored, depressed, or lonely. The best way to avoid this is to use a calendar and have a schedule to give some structure to your retirement. However, this shouldn’t be a rigid hour-by-hour schedule like you may have had during your career.

A recent study discovered that those who were better at time management were happier in retirement, “It [time management] was primarily about setting goals and priorities for your free time and then evaluating whether they were appropriate and achievable… Organizing your activities on a daily or weekly basis (not hourly) is also important, they noted.” It’s beneficial to plan time for your hobbies, exercise, and household chores as well as trips and events. It’s good to have things to look forward to on your calendar every week!

3. Take opportunities to be spontaneous

Most adults feel like they never have enough time for the things they want to do. People often have to say “no” to the urge to be spontaneous in order to be responsible. Once you’re retired, time is finally on your side (in a way) so enjoy it! While it’s a good idea to have a schedule to keep yourself occupied, the majority of it is likely flexible. So allow yourself the freedom to be spontaneous!

Stop at the beautiful park you’re driving by and take in the view, act on the urge to call up an old friend to talk for a few hours, go fly a kite just because it was something you enjoyed as a kid. This is your time, spend it in a way that makes you happy!

4. Make time for the important people in your life

Friends and family are just as important to your happiness in retirement; though you may find that your social life changes after you stop working. It might take some additional effort to get out of the house to spend time with friends or even meet new people, but it will be worth it. If you’ve relocated as part of retirement or you’ve retired before your spouse or friends, it can be lonely at first. But don’t let that get you down, let it motivate you to make some new friends!

Sign up for that fitness class that interests you, join the local senior golf or tennis league, become part of a book club. Spend time doing what you love and you’re bound to form relationships with some like-minded people. In most urban areas, there are groups especially for retirees to mingle and enjoy activities together. If you live far away from some of your loved ones, plan regular phone calls and the occasional trip to visit them so you stay close. Filling your life with people who bring out the best in you is key to a happy retirement.

5. Learn new things and spend time doing what you love

When it comes to retirement and good living, staying busy is just part of the equation, you need to spend time pursuing your passions. So break out the easel and paint, get into the workshop and build something, or take out that instrument that was gathering dust. Don’t have any hobbies you’re still into? Why not explore something new!

Find a local group devoted to an activity that catches your eye, do some research to learn about something that intrigues you, or even take a class at the local college (Did you know that many colleges offer free or discounted classes for seniors?) Additionally, there are many opportunities to use your skills to give back by volunteering with an organization locally or outside of your area. Some people choose to start an entirely new lifestyle in retirement to achieve their goals. There is no shortage of enjoyable things to fill your days with in retirement, so make the most of them!


 

If you make these five basics part of your daily life you’ll be well on your way to a happy retirement. It’s important to remember that no one else can give you an enjoyable retirement and good living, you have to seize it for yourself. That begins years before you even stop working, with retirement planning. You have to decide in advance what you want from your retirement and come up with a plan to achieve it. That’s how you prepare yourself for a happy retirement.

If you found this article helpful then SHARE it with your friends and family on social media!

Get more retirement news and tips from AmeriLife

happiness concept, silhouette of feet of couple sitting on the pier at sunset beachWhat are the basics of a happy retirement? While many people might jump to talking about savings, pensions, and 401(k)s, that has a minimal impact on your day-to-day happiness (Although obviously if you don’t have enough money for living expenses or any leisure activities you’re going to be unhappy). The true answer is that your retirement lifestyle will determine if you enjoy retirement and good living or not.

Living without a job is something most people are not accustomed to after a lifetime of pursuing their career, making the beginning of retirement an adjustment period. It’s important to make decisions about how you will spend your golden years. A happy retirement doesn’t happen by chance, only you can make it a reality. Here are five basics to making the most of your retirement. While some of them might seem obvious, putting them into practice every day can take some effort.

1. Keep your body and mind active

There are so many benefits of regular exercise for seniors, including reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, those who maintain good health typically spend less money on healthcare. Exercise should be something you look forward to; you don’t have to go to a gym, there are plenty of options. Chose an activity and intensity that works for you! Walking, gardening, and yard work can all help you stay healthy, the important thing is that you’re getting regular exercise.

The body and the mind are intertwined and when you get more exercise you’ll notice an improved mental state. As WebMD explains, “When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins… [that] trigger a positive feeling in the body…” It’s important that you also workout your brain regularly! Hobbies can be a great way to challenge yourself and there are also stimulating leisure activities such as playing cards, chess, or reading. Why not partner up with your spouse or friends and enjoy staying active together!

2. Have a schedule to stay busy, but not a rigid one like you did while working

Having an endless amount of free time with no major commitments can lead some retirees to become bored, depressed, or lonely. The best way to avoid this is to use a calendar and have a schedule to give some structure to your retirement. However, this shouldn’t be a rigid hour-by-hour schedule like you may have had during your career.

A recent study discovered that those who were better at time management were happier in retirement, “It [time management] was primarily about setting goals and priorities for your free time and then evaluating whether they were appropriate and achievable… Organizing your activities on a daily or weekly basis (not hourly) is also important, they noted.” It’s beneficial to plan time for your hobbies, exercise, and household chores as well as trips and events. It’s good to have things to look forward to on your calendar every week!

3. Take opportunities to be spontaneous

Most adults feel like they never have enough time for the things they want to do. People often have to say “no” to the urge to be spontaneous in order to be responsible. Once you’re retired, time is finally on your side (in a way) so enjoy it! While it’s a good idea to have a schedule to keep yourself occupied, the majority of it is likely flexible. So allow yourself the freedom to be spontaneous!

Stop at the beautiful park you’re driving by and take in the view, act on the urge to call up an old friend to talk for a few hours, go fly a kite just because it was something you enjoyed as a kid. This is your time, spend it in a way that makes you happy!

4. Make time for the important people in your life

Friends and family are just as important to your happiness in retirement; though you may find that your social life changes after you stop working. It might take some additional effort to get out of the house to spend time with friends or even meet new people, but it will be worth it. If you’ve relocated as part of retirement or you’ve retired before your spouse or friends, it can be lonely at first. But don’t let that get you down, let it motivate you to make some new friends!

Sign up for that fitness class that interests you, join the local senior golf or tennis league, become part of a book club. Spend time doing what you love and you’re bound to form relationships with some like-minded people. In most urban areas, there are groups especially for retirees to mingle and enjoy activities together. If you live far away from some of your loved ones, plan regular phone calls and the occasional trip to visit them so you stay close. Filling your life with people who bring out the best in you is key to a happy retirement.

5. Learn new things and spend time doing what you love

When it comes to retirement and good living, staying busy is just part of the equation, you need to spend time pursuing your passions. So break out the easel and paint, get into the workshop and build something, or take out that instrument that was gathering dust. Don’t have any hobbies you’re still into? Why not explore something new!

Find a local group devoted to an activity that catches your eye, do some research to learn about something that intrigues you, or even take a class at the local college (Did you know that many colleges offer free or discounted classes for seniors?) Additionally, there are many opportunities to use your skills to give back by volunteering with an organization locally or outside of your area. Some people choose to start an entirely new lifestyle in retirement to achieve their goals. There is no shortage of enjoyable things to fill your days with in retirement, so make the most of them!


 

If you make these five basics part of your daily life you’ll be well on your way to a happy retirement. It’s important to remember that no one else can give you an enjoyable retirement and good living, you have to seize it for yourself. That begins years before you even stop working, with retirement planning. You have to decide in advance what you want from your retirement and come up with a plan to achieve it. That’s how you prepare yourself for a happy retirement.

If you found this article helpful then SHARE it with your friends and family on social media!

Get more retirement news and tips from AmeriLife

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