There’s no doubt that our culture is obsessed with youth and often overlooks the benefits of aging. You may not have looked forward to getting older when you were younger, but now that you’re nearing retirement you may have gained a different perspective. The fact is, older Americans tend to be happier, according to a Gallup-Healthways poll that measured various aspects of well-being like sense of purpose, social relationships, financial well-being, community involvement, and physical health. There could be many reasons for these findings, from financial stability, to an active social life. However you plan on finding happiness in retirement, remember that aging is associated with an increased sense of well-being from a financial and emotional standpoint.
Older Americans were reportedly more satisfied with their standard of living and financial stability, and experienced less stress and worry related to these things. At a certain point in life, you learn that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can make life easier and make you feel confident about your future well-being. When you begin planning for retirement, you may be surprised by how much wealth you’ve accumulated over the course of your career. It can be nice to know that you’ve worked hard to earn your nest egg, and can enjoy yourself in retirement without worrying about your financial stability.
Many say that people gain wisdom as they age. Part of being wise is understanding what makes you happy and orienting your life around those things. Older Americans were reportedly not only financially better off, but emotionally better off than those under 30. This was measured by asking people what they felt the day before: Smiling/laughing, learning/doing something interesting, being treated with respect, enjoyment, and happiness, or, sadness, anger and stress. Americans aged 60 to 99 were the age group most likely to be emotionally well off. The great thing about retirement is that you have the time to pursue activities you find interesting and enjoyable, be it spending time with your grandchildren, traveling, or volunteering.
After some people retire, they may feel a loss of purpose when they no longer have regular career-related goals to accomplish. Becoming involved in their community could be a solution if you want to enhance your happiness in retirement. Community involvement may play an important role, as another study shows that Americans who receive recognition from their communities have a higher well-being. Volunteering and community involvement are important parts of retirement for some people who are interested in aging in place and want to use their free time to help others and improve the place they’ve called home for many years. And, Americans who have received recognition for their work are less likely to experience worry and stress.
Here at O’Donnell Financial Group, we know how important your retirement is. After a successful career, retirement can be a time to slow down, enjoy what you’ve earned, and focus on your family, friends, and community. We can help you plan for a long retirement with a comprehensive plan that takes your unique goals into account. Click here to schedule your no cost, no obligation financial review today.