Less than half of retired Americans are very satisfied in their retirement according to a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Only 48.6 percent currently report that their retirement has been “very satisfying” (down from 60.5 percent in 1998), while those reporting their experience as “not at all satisfying” has increased to 10.5 percent (from 7.9).
While this downward trend was seen in every economic group, higher retirement satisfaction was still positively correlated with net worth and good health. If you’d like to be among the most satisfied in your golden years, you’ll need an aggressive savings plan as well as a willingness to explore a few of these adventurous suggestions to get more enjoyment out of your retirement.
Make your own excitement. Imagine all the things you can do once you’re no longer obligated to punch a time clock every workday. Forty hours a week is more than enough to write a book, learn a new language, take up an instrument, mentor young professionals, help those less fortunate or pursue any other passions you’ve previously ignored for lack of time.
Reconnect with old friends. Busy lives naturally create distance in all but the closest relationships, and chances are good that you’ve lost touch with a few friends over the years. Now that you’re retired, it’s time to reach out and reestablish those connections. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are great tools for locating old chums. If you don’t know how these sites work, your grandkids will probably enjoy showing you how to use them.
Build a few new friendships as well.Research has shown that a strong network of friendships can help ward off depression, improve health and lead to a longer life. You can meet potential new friends while volunteering for charity, working a part time job, taking a class, exercising at the gym, hiking the local trails, walking in the park or attending community events. Look for senior meet ups all over the world here , or find interesting volunteer opportunities in your area here .
Don’t get too attached to a routine. We all tend to be creatures of habit, and it’s far too easy to exchange the daily work grind for a repetitive post-retirement routine. Unfortunately, doing the same things over and over again, day after day and week after week, can lead to boredom and a decline in overall happiness and satisfaction. Spontaneity is the antidote. You can inject a bit of it into your everyday life by trying out new hobbies, checking out new restaurants, visiting new cities, traveling to new countries, or even doing something as simple as taking a different route home from the grocery store.
Whether you’re still years away from retirement or have already collected your last paycheck, it’s never too late to improve your retirement savings plan. We’re here to help you review investments, explore options, and make certain you get as much satisfaction out of your senior years as possible.