Everyone wants to be happy in retirement – but what are the things that bring some cheer to your life once you hit 65 years old?
Of course, everyone is different, but researchers have spoken to thousands of over 65s in the US and Britain and come up with some advice for those approaching retirement, according to web site Real Deal Retirement.
Money can’t buy happiness
Having a regular income and savings definitely helps – but in the States, retirees felt they did not need as much as they thought. Those with savings of more than £300,000 were no happier than those with less, but those with some disposable cash were definitely happier than those who had no money left after paying the bills.
The small things count
Extravagant holidays and entertainment are fun, but don’t rack high on the happy-ometer. Most retirees said reading a good back, relaxing with friends and spending time with their families made them happiest.
Having a circle of friends to while away the time with definitely ranked highly for many over 65s. Researchers calculated retirees with a group of friends were three times happier than those without and 70% found happiness from spending more time with their families.
Paid or voluntary work made retirees happy – but only to a certain extent. Those working up to 200 hours a year were more content than those working 500 hours or more. Anyone working to pay the bills was generally more miserable.
Hobbies and other activities came into play as well. Generally over 65s with around four activities to fill their time were happier than those with no activities. Those with extra activities tended to feel more stressed.
Sex is important to the over 65s and those still enjoying sex were much happier than those who had given up.
Couples and friends with benefits all reported they were happier with some fun between the sheets.
Health and happiness
Several other factors affected happiness for the over 65s. Certainly keeping in good health contributed a lot to the well-being of the over 65s.
Attending religious services made many people happy – but that could be due to friendship and voluntary work as well.
In the end, scanning research from dozens of sources, the conclusion is money helps with happiness, but in the end, lifestyle choices have the most impact on a happy retirement.