What do you fear about retirement?

Dec 17, 2008

Happiness in Retirement Depends on You

According to several studies it's difficult for retirees to adjust emotionally to their loss of the identity that their jobs provide. While some studies have found that psychological well-being increases after retirement, others have found that it drops.

For example, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that for a fair percentage of retirees, the retirement years weren't all that rosy.

Four years after retirement, 34 percent said they were less satisfied after retirement, while 25 percent thought that their lives had improved. The remaining 41 percent said that their satisfaction and happiness levels were about the same.

But if you are a well-balanced individual, retirement is an opportunity to sort out your priorities and live your life according to them. You must remember that your duty is always to yourself.

Forget what the studies say — looking out for number one is important. What will make the difference in your retirement life is the authentic you, not the you who you were in your career. So if you are of retirement age and not having fun at work anymore, now is the time to retire. Opportunities for happiness in retirement are time-sensitive, with an expiry date. It is a mistake to retire too late in life because you don't get another chance to do it right.

Retirement is the perfect time to become the person you would like to be and do the things you have always wanted to do. No doubt doing everything you have always wanted to do sounds great. It won’t happen by itself, however. This is true even if you have excellent health and a big pile of money in the bank when you retire.

Planning is important. You must take steps to ensure that when the bell rings to announce your retirement, you’re ready for what’s in front of you. The time available for marital, personal, social, creative, and family activities expands considerably when the hours previously taken up with full-time employment cease. How you manage time is just as important as when you are in the workforce.

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