While aging was once thought of as a negative thing, a study by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics found that, on average, people's happiness peaks at ages 23 and 69. At 69, nearly 70 percent of Americans are also retired. Today, we hope to give you the keys to make sure your retirement years are the happiest years of your life.
Know what you want out of retirement
Not all retirements are created equal. Some are filled with adventures around the world, while others focus on spending time with grandkids or relaxing on a beach. Those goals come with different price tags, and therefore a different set of steps to make them happen. Knowing what you want before you retire can help you devise the best plan to make your dreams attainable.
On that note, make sure you know what your partner wants out of retirement, too. If you want to spend time traveling, but your spouse wants to stay close to the grandkids, that could cause some issues down the road. By having these conversations now, you can head into retirement prepared for what's next.
Take some time to do the things you couldn't before
Maybe you've always want to take up art classes, spend more time in the garden or volunteer for your favorite charity. Retirement is your time to fill with the things you love. Take some time to do all of the things you were daydreaming about at your desk during your working years.
By trying new things and spending more time on your passions, you can set a routine that will keep you from wasting your best days sitting on the couch.
Get out and get active
There are many studies that show that people who active later in life are happier and live longer. One study that was done by the National Cancer Institute in 2012 found that people who engaged in leisure exercise could expect to live up to 4.5 years more than individuals who were not active. Starting a walking group, going to the gym or joining a fitness class can help you stay active and engaged during your retirement.
Stay close to friends and family
Make time to see your kids, grandkids and neighbors. You may find you miss the social aspect of your working life, but retirement can give you the freedom to have that same interaction with the people you love. Without the distraction of work, you can focus more of your time on the people who matter most.
Have a long-term plan
Long-term health care may not be first on your list of things to save for, but don't wait until a medical emergency strikes to think about your options. Beginning a long-term care insurance plan sooner than later may result in lower premiums and more comprehensive coverage in the long run.
As we mentioned earlier, there's good evidence that your retirement years should be some of the best in your life. By using these tips, you'll hopefully be able to live a long, happy life after your working days are through.
Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb are financial Advisors at Wealth Enhancement Group and co-hosts of "Your Money" on KLKS 100.1 FM on Sunday mornings. Email Bruce and Peg at email@example.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, LLC, a registered investment adviser. Wealth Enhancement Group and Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services are separate entities from LPL Financial.