If retirement is on your mind, then you might want to think about being happy. Retiring can have many effects, and relaxing isn’t the only thing you will be thinking about or have on your plate. Being happy is important. Without feeling happy or content, your life could be cut short or become a living nightmare.
Research shows that complete retirement leads to several issues you may not have thought of. Between 5 and 16 percent of people who fully retired found an increase in difficulties associated with mobility and daily activities, and the same percentage found a rise in illness conditions. It isn’t just your physical health that is affected. A big issue at hand is mental health. 6-9 percent of permanently retired folks said they had a decline in their mental health once they had retired.
So how do you stay happy once you hit retirement?
1. Eliminate debt
Not all debt is a bad thing. While this may be true, consumer debt for things like car loans, student loans, or credit cards isn’t a great plan, especially if you’re planning on retiring.
Spent money doesn’t magically reappear. Of course, the best way to free yourself of debt is to make sure to avoid it completely. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option. If you have debts and are on the road to retire, make a clear plan for getting out of debt, and stick to it. It will pay off later down the line.
2. Pay attention to your health
As mentioned, 5 -16 percent of folks who retire find they have mobility or health issues, so getting as healthy as early as possible is key. On top of the physical, you have mental health to concern you as well.  Studies show depression is the most prevalent mental health condition in the older population and a leading cause of disability. For many retired Americans it is beneficial to continue to engage in physical activity post-retirement. Keeping up social interactions or continuing to work part-time upon retirement has been shown to have very positive effects. The key is to keep busy, find things that you are passionate about or interest you. Given 2020 and the economic downturn, it’s important to note that some evidence suggests in the event of involuntary retirement, an even bigger impact is felt by the individual once they retire.
The good news is that just 19 percent of retirees believe that life is less enjoyable in retirement. In 2018, more than 80 percent of retirees said they had the same lifestyle as before, or better!
No matter where or when you retire, make sure you are happy because without happiness you will have years ahead of not much fun, either mentally or physically.
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