6 Ways To Get Involved And Get Happy In Your Golden Years

Senior woman holding paddle board overhead on beach
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There are a number of things that concern soon-to-be retirees.  Having enough money to retire is definitely at the top of the list, but many soon-to-be-retirees also worry about what they are going to do with their time once they hit their golden years.  After all, you can have all the money in the world, but unless you have something to do with it, all that money really won't bring you happiness.

As you put together your financial plan for retirement, it’s critical to also plan for the utility of your money.  You don’t have to be rich to have the retirement of your dreams and you don’t have to be millionaire.  What you do need is the proper groundwork so that you can do the things that make you happiest. 

A couple of years ago I conducted a survey for my book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think. The results of the survey revealed that the happiest retirees did the following six things to get involved and get happy in their golden years: 

1. Go Someplace.

Some of my strongest survey data showed that happy retirees absolutely love to vacation.  In fact, the happy group of retirees vacation nearly 70 percent more than the unhappy group of retirees. It makes sense- after all, who doesn’t love vacations?  Get yourself to the point financially where you can take more of them. 

2. Help Somebody.

Interestingly, both happy and unhappy retirees spend some time volunteering.  However, the happiest retires are three times more likely to volunteer. In fact, it’s the number one core pursuit for happy retirees.  Socializing, giving back, making a difference- it’s easy to see why they like it and why they’re happy.

Think of all of the events that go along with volunteering that will keep you busy- sporting events, dance-offs, charity auctions, cocktail hour events and banquets. All with the bonus that you’re actually helping people.

3. Close The Book.

The unhappiest retirees almost always reported the same core pursuit in the number one place: reading.  There’s nothing wrong with reading, but it’s a very solitary activity. 

4. Get Out.

The happy retirees, for the most part, select activities that suggest they are highly social and enjoy being around other people.  They love to give and explore.  Interaction with others is paramount.

5. Eat Steak.

Not every day- neither your budget nor your arteries can handle it.  But when the time is right, treat yourself to a nice dinner at one of the happy retiree spots, like Ruth’s Chris Steak House, LongHorn, or Olive Garden.

6. Be With People.

This one is so important it’s actually linked to life expectancy.  Socializing is one of the most important contributing factors to people living long lives.  Even if you already are social and have social pursuits, I encourage you to continue to push that, to continue to focus on expanding your social scope, sphere, and interactive core pursuits in the world.

It's very clear to me that this is a big part of landing in the happiest retirees category.

Are you interested in learning more about retiring early and happy?  If so, please read You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think.  You can also take our Money & Happiness Quiz today!

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For valuable financial tools and information on how to set yourself up for a happy retirement, check these out:

Social Security Optimizer, Retirement Calculator, 401k Allocator, How Do I Stack Up Quiz, Money & Happiness Quiz, and You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think

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