While most of us say we can’t wait for retirement to be able to do all the things we’ve always wanted to do, the problem is how to fill in the thirty years or so after retirement, especially as we are living longer. Retiring from work doesn’t mean retiring from life.
According to a recent survey in North America, 40% of recent retirees said they were happier when they were working because they felt they had a purpose and structure to their days. Retirement isn’t always what people expect. There’s an increasing trend for people not to retire outright, but to start working less. Research has shown that retirees who cease to contribute and to be productive and active, die earlier than those who continue to engage fully in society.
The beginning stages of retirement are like a honeymoon. You don’t have to get up to go to work, you can play golf or go fishing whenever you like and you don’t have deadlines. But the euphoria and the novelty soon wear off; after all, there are only so many lattes a week you can drink and only so many times a week you can go fishing. Your former identity is no longer relevant and you need to re-evaluate who you are and what we want out of life. It’s important to keep all aspects of your life in balance; that is your finances, home life, health, relationships, leisure time and your purpose in life.
Being positive is an important part of enjoying your retirement and contributes to living longer. Some people enter retirement filled with negative thoughts and fears of ill health and lack of money. The key to happiness is to be happy with whatever you have and to be thankful for whatever is good in your life.