Would you rather plan a vacation or strategize your retirement? A Charles Schwab retirement survey found that Americans spend considerably more time and energy researching vacation possibilities and car purchases than planning for retirement. (1) And even if you are one of the few who has their financial ducks in a row, have you given any thought to the psychological transition that occurs when you reach this milestone? We know that money can only buy happiness if used intentionally, so let’s take a look at the three things women need to experience a fulfilling retirement.
1. Thriving Relationships
Women tend to struggle with the social changes retirement brings more than men do. In fact, one study shows that 62% of women say they miss the daily social interaction they had at work, and retirement happiness for many women depends on the quality of their social life. (2) You may think that when you retire you will have all the time in the world to spend with family and friends, but the loss of your work community and routine make it difficult to maintain friendships.
To set yourself up for a happy retirement, create goals to get together with friends frequently and find ways to make new friends who are in the same season of life as you. You may meet people through volunteering, taking classes, or joining local retirement groups. It’s never too early to start investing in friendships and social ties that will help you ease into retirement.
2. Opportunities To Give
When researching the effects of giving in retirement, Merrill Lynch found that women find great happiness from helping others and giving back to their community and are more likely to define success in retirement by generosity than their financial situation. (3) Approximately 68% of women also feel that retirement is the ideal time to give back. When your working years suddenly end, and you are left wondering what your purpose is, committing yourself to volunteer work gives your days meaning. Any kind of volunteering is beneficial to your psychological wellness, whether it’s shelving books at the library, walking dogs for the local animal shelter, or even giving your time to a cause related to your career.
3. A Strategic Plan To Pursue Passions
While retirement may conjure up images of a slow-paced life with plenty of white space on the calendar, staying busy is the key to a happy retirement. (4) A recent retirement satisfaction survey found that 76% of retirees who were involved in more than ten activities, such as volunteering, creative pursuits, caring for others, socializing, and participating in sports, were more fulfilled in retirement than those who were involved in less than four activities.
In other words, having lots of time on your hands isn’t always a good thing. Enjoy the fact that you aren’t spending the majority of your waking hours at work, but purposefully plan your time so that you aren’t left twiddling your thumbs. Before retiring, make a list of things you want to do and places you want to go. Then, map out a strategy to make them happen. It’s easy to lose your identity when you say goodbye to your career, but setting goals and venturing out into new territory will help you build a new identity and prevent feelings of depression and anxiety.
Let Us Help You
At Archer Investment Management, we want to see women feel optimistic about their future. We also believe in taking steps today to plan for a thriving retirement. Let us help empower you by making sure you are on the right track and are considering every aspect of your life in preparation for retirement. Click here to schedule a phone call and take the first step towards a happy retirement.
Richard Archer is a financial advisor and the President of Archer Investment Management with more than eighteen years of industry experience. Largely working with successful individuals and couples, he specializes in providing comprehensive investment guidance and personalized care and attention to each client. Along with holding a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a MBA, he is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant and a Chartered Financial Analyst®. He combines his advanced industry education and knowledge with his genuine care for people to provide clients with an exceptional experience. To learn more about Richard, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.archerim.com.