Retirement isn’t for everyone. It turns out many retirees aren’t satisfied with the way it’s been going for them. The Employee Benefit Research Institute did a study between 1998 and 2012. They interviewed the same 20,000 retirees every 2 years. Here is what they found:
Only 31.7% – 40.9% reported moderate satisfaction with retirement and just over 10% were completely unsatisfied. Very satisfied retirees dropped from 60.5% in 1998 to 48.6% in 2012, which is below half.
Kevin Thompson, CPA says “I think most people think retirement will be easy. I think most people forget just how much of their time was consumed by their careers and young families and neglect to plan for that time.”
Although the study didn’t research the reasons for the rise in dissatisfaction, other studies say that financial difficulties are the cause. For one thing, retirement income from traditional pension accounts has fallen from 38% in 1980 to 20% in 2008.
Other reasons that retirees have become dissatisfied is that they had raised expectations about what it would be like. Some are searching for new ways of creating a retirement income that would give them flexibility. Baby Boomers are clearly not as happy with retirement as generations who came before them.
If you are retired or approaching retirement here are tips to make your experience more satisfying:
- Interact and socialize with others. – Keep up relationships with old friends and don’t be afraid to make new ones. Make most of your social interactions in person rather than by telephone or email. Personal contact is more beneficial, emotionally.
- Do things you love – Stay busy. You may want to find a new career or pursue a hobby. When you follow your passions it adds years to your life. Think about what you enjoyed doing when you were young. Reconnect with those joys and put them back in your life.
- Use your time wisely – Fewer than 3 in 10 people plan their personal activities, recreation time and travel once they’ve retired. A lack of structure may make you feel like you don’t have control over your life. You may feel less motivated to try new things and that can lead to depression or loss of self-esteem. Instead, detail your goals and create an action plan to achieve them. A happy retirement depends on meeting your expectations.
Thompson closes with this advice: “Our busy lives in pre-retirement become empty post-retirement. Successful retirement will take planning. Not just financial but more importantly planning to LIVE in retirement and not just make sure you have enough money.”
Contact Kevin Thompson CPA
email@example.com or call him @ (310) 450-4625 x102