You might be nervous about your future but research suggests that you should run — not walk — toward retirement. Get ready to retire because the best times of your life await you.
Most People Find that Retirement is the Happiest Period of Life
Research from Age Wave and Merrill Lynch found that, of all periods in our life, we are happiest and most content between the ages of 65 and 74.
Consider these comparisons showing how happiness, contentment and relaxation soar, while anxiety seems to plummet in retirement:
- Only 51% of 25-34 year olds say that they often feel happy compared to 76% of people ages 65-74
- Only 47% of youngsters say that they often feel content, while 71% of those retired report contentment.
- Feeling often relaxed is experienced by 71% of 65-74 year olds, but only 41% of those 25-34.
- And what about anxiety? Only 12% of 65-74 year olds say that they often feel anxiety. Whereas it is a common feeling for 37% of 25-34 year olds.
Careful Though, Happiness Levels May Be Dropping
Another study, this one from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, finds that while most seniors are indeed happy, more are actually feeling dissatisfied than ever before.
The percentage of retirees who describe retirement as “very satisfying” dropped from 60.5% to 48.6% over a 15 year time period. Experts suspect that the drop in satisfaction may come from difficult financial situations.
It is no secret that more retirees than ever before are lacking sufficient funds for retirement.
6 Tips for to Help You Be Ready to Retire Happily
No matter how much you have saved, here are 6 tips that will help you have a really good chance of having a happy retirement:
1. Know what you want to do in retirement
Retirees seem happiest when they have a passion to pursue or some other specific purpose in their life. Deciding what you want to do after work should be an important part of your retirement planning process.
2. Create a detailed retirement plan
Your retirement security will hinge on how much income you’ll need and how well you’ll be able to supply it. Some retirees move into that next phase of life only to learn that their needs exceed what they’d planned for. That means scaling back in a big way, and it can put a big damper on the lifestyle that you’d hoped for.
3. Think about who depends on you and who you will depend on
A retirement plan rarely only impacts one person but too often people plan for everything but their loved ones. Your spouse is an obvious consideration but your children and even your parents if they are still living may impact your finances — positively or negatively.
Family is a huge source of happiness (and sometimes stress). You’ll want to be prepared for expenses related to your loved ones. Explore these articles about planning retirement with your spouse, gray divorce, the sandwich generation, boomerang kids and average financial gifts to children.
4. Adjust levers that will impact your financial security
It is not enough to just write down what you have for retirement. Retirement planning is not something that you do once for 10 minutes.
Once you know what you have, you will want to adjust the levers that will impact your overall financial security and keep adjusting throughout your golden years:
- Your Retirement Date: Many people find that if they delay their retirement by a month, a year or two years, they suddenly go from can’t retire, to retiring in style.
Delay the Start of Social Security: If you’ve asked the question “when should I start Social Security?” and been a little unsure about the answer, you’re in good company.
While you can take Social Security starting at age 62, you’re not required to start your benefits immediately. Social Security Beneficiaries have the option of starting their benefits any time they wish between the ages of 62 and 70. The longer you wait, the bigger your monthly paycheck will be. Use this Social Security calculator to determine the best time for you to start.
Accelerate Savings: If you are a few years out from retirement, you have time to save a lot more. Even if you did not save enough earlier, you can still sock away a lot now. Learn about catch up contributions.
Get Rid of Debt: Of all of the strategies that retirees can employ while arranging their finances for retirement, eliminating debt is among the most important. Here are 13 tips for managing your debt.
Imagine Your Future Budget: The more detailed you get with planning your future expenses, the better idea you will have of how much retirement income you really need. It is likely that your spending needs will fluctuate significantly throughout your retirement. Explore 9 ways to accurately predict your retirement expenses.
Figure Out Where to Live: Choosing the best place to retire can be a financial decision, lifestyle choice or both. For most households, housing is the biggest cost and largest asset. Therefore, where you live can be a significant lever in determining your financial security and happiness. Consider if downsizing, a reverse mortgage or a senior community could impact your retirement happiness.
Consider a retirement job: Many retirees find a great deal of satisfaction through a retirement job. And the big bonus: a little bit of income can make a big difference to your retirement security. Learn about the benefits of a retirement job or explore passive income opportunities.
5. Have a good plan for medical considerations
The average out of pocket health care expenditure for a 65 year old today will be a whopping $260,000 — not including long term care costs.
Make sure you have:
- The best supplemental Medicare coverage
- A plan for covering long term care expenses
- A regime to stay healthy
6. Consider professional expertise
You can’t afford to get retirement wrong. You might also be a bit wealthier if you use a financial advisor to help you with your plans.
If you have significant savings, then you might consider getting professional back up. According to research from LearnVest, the biggest mistakes retirees make that could be avoided by using a financial advisor include:
- Lacking a solid financial goal
- Ignoring tax strategies
- Not knowing how to turn savings into reliable income
Additionally, research from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) indicates that using a financial advisor is proven to make you feel more confident.
Are you off to the races with your retirement plan?
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
Feel Free In RetirementWelcome Back %greeting%!
Retirement Calculator: Get On Track Now
Login to the NewRetirement Planner.
Try a new scenario. Make updates. Assess the status of your future.
Send this to a friend