If you’re still working you’re probably looking forward to the day when you can retire to a well-earned life of leisure.
And if so, you’re certainly not alone.
After all, it’s human nature to want to be able to live life completely on our own terms after decades spent helping someone else get rich.
But unfortunately, there’s a cold, hard truth about retirement: It makes a lot of people miserable.
There are several reasons why:
1 – Retirement can isolate a person and make them feel alone.
Most people in the workplace work with and around other people, some of whom they’ll develop a close personal relationship with.
In many cases, after someone retires the friends they’ve made at work suddenly aren’t around anymore.
Of course having a close-knit family and good friends outside of work can help mitigate the loss of work-place friends, but believe it or not a large percentage of workers don’t have either of those to fall back on.
For those people the day they retire becomes the first day of the loneliest period of their lives.
2 – Retirement can (and often does) lower the retiree’s level of income.
The average person will experience a reduction in income after retirement, especially if Social Security ends up being their only income source.
Far too many people don’t realize that Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan.
It was actually intended as a way to ensure that that the elderly won’t be rendered completely destitute after they retire or become unable to work for some reason.
It’s a simple fact that most workers will end up drawing considerably less from Social Security than they earned on their last job.
Of course this sudden reduction in income can almost always be mitigated by developing a retirement investment plan early in life and following it religiously, but relatively few Americans ever get around to doing it.
3 – Doing nothing can get old pretty quick.
I’m sure you’ve heard people say they look forward to retiring to a life of leisure.
The problem is a life of leisure can easily morph into a life of boredom. And boredom can be depressing!
I love spending time at the beach as much as anyone, but after a day or two I always catch myself feeling restless and bored.
Before I know it I’m actually looking forward to leaving my temporary paradise and getting back to the real world.
That’s why I know I’d never be happy spending every day of the rest of my life in some tropical paradise.
But that being said, perhaps you’d absolutely love living that lifestyle after retirement. And if you do, that’s great!
Just be aware there’s always a chance you’ll get bored once you start doing the same thing each and every day.
4 – Retiring can be bad for one’s health.
Have you ever noticed how many seemingly healthy people retire and then end up passing away within a year or two? Well, it happens a lot, for various reasons.
One of those reasons is often the loss of affordable health care options.
As I mentioned earlier, retirement usually results in a serious reduction in income.
But even worse, it also usually results in the loss of the retiree’s health insurance.
Yes, retirees do qualify for Medicare after they reach 65 years of age, but Medicare often doesn’t pay for everything they need in order to stay healthy. They’ll have to make up the difference themselves.
But what if their retirement income ends up being insufficient to cover all the basic necessities of life plus their health care costs?
This happens all the time, and most people will necessarily choose to eat and pay their utility bills over going to the doctor or purchasing the expensive medications they need. And as a result, their health quickly takes a turn for the worse.
Now I didn’t say all of the above in order to talk you out of retiring. Far from it.
I said all of that to try to talk you into doing what you need to do to plan for a wonderful retirement.
Here are just a few lifestyle changes you can make today that can help ensure that you have a happy and healthy retirement when the time comes:
1 – Develop deep and lasting friendships away from the workplace.
Get to know your neighbors on more than a last name basis.
Start attending church, join a club or get involved with a local charity organization.
Cultivating a group of close friends away from work now can make things a lot easier on you when the time comes for you to say goodbye to your friends at work.
2 – Create a retirement savings plan today, and follow it religiously, day in and day out through the remainder of your working years.
Having a second major source of retirement income to draw on can help endure that you’re able to maintain the same lifestyle you enjoyed during your working years after you retire.
And that one thing can help ensure that you’re happy and contented in your golden years.
3 – Develop interests in several outside activities and hobbies that can occupy your time during your retirement years.
Switch gears and try your hand at a second career.
Become a blogger and share what you learned over the years with the younger generations.
Start the business you always dreamed of starting, but never did because you were too busy earning a living!
All you really need to do is find something that you enjoy doing, and then do it!
4 – Take steps now to ensure that you’ll be able to maintain your good health after you retire.
There are things you can do right now to ensure that your health doesn’t start declining soon after your retirement date.
You can open a savings account dedicated solely to emergency health care expenses.
You can start working out, taking walks and participating in various types of physical activities in order to keep your weight, blood pressure and other important aspects of your health under control.
You can start eating healthier meals.
Bottom line: A sizable percentage of retirees end up being miserable in their retirement years, and far too many of them don’t live very long after they stop working.
You don’t have to be one of them!
Want some more tips for ensuring a happy and healthy retirement? Watch this short video:
Note: As always, you can watch the video at full screen by clicking the “square” icon in the lower right-hand corner of the video.