Want a Happy Retirement? Do These 6 Things Now

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Key Takeaways

  • Money is not the only or even the most important piece of a happy retirement.
  • Focus on the 6 goals below for a happy retirement.

Goal 1: Focus on staying healthy.

  • Be deliberate about exercising at least 30-60 minutes per day.
  • Good health is the most important ingredient for a happy retirement.
  • Studies show that exercise and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of developing certain health conditions, increase energy levels, boost your immune system, and improve your mood.
  • See tips on active living from the “National Institute on Aging” https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/exercise-physical-activity
  • You will reduce healthcare costs as you get older if you maintain your health.
  • You will get greater value out of social security as you will live longer.

Goal 2: Get Social

  • Happier retirees were found to be those with more social interactions.
  • Further, social isolation has been linked to higher rates of heart disease and stroke, increased risk of dementia, and greater incidence of depression and anxiety.
  • A low level of social interaction is just as unhealthy as smoking, obesity, alcohol abuse, or physical inactivity.
  • Live close to family and friends if you can.
  • Join groups such as retirementmonthlyincome.com/communities – where you can meet like-minded retirees that share the same interests as you.
  • Make an effort to join meetups in your area around people your own age.
  • Join classes or groups in activities you might be interested in (golf, poker, yoga, book clubs, etc.)

Goal 3: Find a sense of purpose

  • The happiest retirees perform activities that give meaning to their life.
  • In a Gallup poll, nearly 3 in 4 Americans said they plan to work beyond the traditional retirement age, with the majority planning to do so because they “want to,” not because they “have to.”
  • Volunteering is another way to gain sense of purpose. Consider VolunteerMatch.org to find volunteer opportunities in your field of interest.

Goal 4: Keep your brain sharp

  • Play brain games like chess, read books, learn new things, travel.
  • Studies have shown that doing the above keeps you mentally active and sharp.
  • You could take free college courses from many top universities, such as Yale and Stanford, through an online learning platform like Coursera.
  • It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, both health-wise and in general, and doing something different can be a refreshing change.
  • Some people have found that simple changes, such as trying a tasty new recipe, finding a different hairdresser, or joining an exercise class they haven’t done before give them a new zest for life.


  • Staying happy in retirement takes work.
  • Don’t be 1 of the 55% of retirees that are lonely and unhappy.
  • Use the 6 proven techniques described above to lead a happy and fulfilling retirement.

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