The idea of retirement and planning for it can be daunting. The overwhelming thought of trying to strategically plan and save enough money for fun activities, travel and healthcare can drive away any idea that retirement can be fun and something that you can actually look forward to.
So, quit thinking about the fear of retirement and start thinking about all the FUN you can have.
Retirement Age People Are Happy
The Merrill Lynch/Age Wave report, Leisure in Retirement: Beyond the Bucket List, shows that retirees are generally having quite a lot of fun in their unstructured life, regardless of their income.
Among the findings from the retirees surveyed:
- 92% said they enjoy the freedom of a less structured life
- 86% said it is relatively easy to find inexpensive leisure activities to enjoy
- 82% said they have the most enjoyable leisure experiences with their spouse or partner (only 27% said those times were with their friends)
- 75% said that health limitations don’t substantially affect their leisure activities
- 61% said who they spend time with was far more important than what they do
- 60% said spending time with grandkids was more fulfilling than spending time with their own children
And people age 65 to 74 (presumably mostly retired) reported having more fun at this stage in life than any other age group surveyed — the ones having the least fun are those age 35 to 54 (presumably trying to hang on to their jobs, save for retirement and pay for their kids’ college).
Retirement Is A Time For New Beginnings
One study found that 42% of people ages 25-34 say that they are defined by work. In retirement, only 9% are defined by what their career once was and a full 91% say that what they do for leisure is most important to identity.
Nine out of 10 baby boomers have said their retirement does not define the end of something necessarily, but a new beginning. In their younger years they spent much of their time worrying about raising their families, saving for college, paying off their mortgages and climbing the workforce ladder. With all those things being complete they can now look forward to a less stressed and anxiety filled life.
Retirement Is More Fulfilling Than Vacation
Before retirement vacation time was spent resting and try to get away from work. Now, once a person is retired and not limited by the restrictions of work, spare time can be utilized for structured and engaged activities that can bring a more fulfilled life experience. You may be more inclined to try new hobbies or maybe even re-engage in once loved hobbies rather than taking a nap by the pool.
Time Is More Valuable Than Money
During retirement, regardless of your retirement income, savings or pension plan, you are abundant in time. Studies show that seventy nine percent of retirees say that they now have the amount of free time they desire and that across all levels of assets, retirees report that that in retirement, they are happier.
Not every activity you have during retirement will be an expense. Studies show that 61% of retirees say that who you do something with is more important than what you do. Spending quality time with spouses, children, grandchildren and friends is fulfilling, entertaining, and costs very little.
Strategically planning for retirement is imperative. The thoughts, questions you must ask yourself, and the planning for it can create anxiety and fear for your future. So set aside your fear, trust that you have made the best decisions with what you have available and begin to look forward to the freedom and fun.
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