The Most Surprising Top Reason For Retirement Happiness
While money is always important in working life and retirement, having a pile of cash doesn’t guarantee retirement happiness.
Something a little bit harder to measure may weigh more than your retirement satisfaction. It’s called well being.
For most, well being is a state of mind. If you don’t have it, you could be prone to illness, loneliness and even premature death, according to some new research.
That’s not to say that having enough money for retirement isn’t important. Poverty is not a positive outcome in most places. And this problem is fairly large: Some 50% of families surveyed in the National Retirement Risk Index, may not have enough money to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living.
But let’s say you have saved enough for retirement, which means having socked away roughly eight times your salary by age 60. That’s about half a million dollars for someone earning $60,000 now. What’s really important to live even longer?
— Having Solid Relationships. Whether it’s a happy marriage, stable partnerships or an vibrant circle of friends, those factors tend to contribute to a longer, happier life, according to a recent paper.
“But a marriage, by itself,” notes Bankrate.com’s Taylor Tepper, “isn’t a cure-all. The researchers found a married retiree with a poor relationship with their spouse would have to dramatically increase their leisure spending by 43 percent to be as happy as an unmarried retiree.”
— Health Status. If you’re unhealthy, it’s really hard to be happy. Chronic or acute illnesses can be downers. Even high health expenses can drag down the happiness quotient.
— Leisure Spending. Sure, you can spend money on trips, boats and other pursuits, but it should be reasonable. It can be easy to get into credit trouble in retirement, particularly on a fixed income.
Well-being, in short, is about balance. Although you can’t prevent certain diseases, you can choose to be active, eat right and avoid unhealthy behaviors (you already know what they are).
Also spend within a pre-set budget and keep an emergency fund. That way, any unforeseen expenses are covered.
Most of all, though, spend time with people you care about. Engage in the art of conversation and community. While it’s hard to measure how important these activities are, they’ve never been known to shorten lives.