Retirement might sound wonderful, but all too
often the reality is disappointing. Some 28 percent
of recent retirees polled by Nationwide Retirement
Institute last fall said that life was worse in retirement than it was when they were working. It’s one
of several surveys to find that, for roughly a quarter
of retirees, life after work involves isolation and a
loss of direction.
“I have come to believe that mankind is not
meant to just sit around,” says Larry Jacobson, a
retirement life-planner based in Northern Cali-
fornia. “It usually takes about six months before
people say golf is fun, but there’s no fulfillment.”
Spouses James Pawelski and Suzann Pileggi
Pawelski, who study and write extensively about the
route to happiness, say few people realize that plan-
ning for retirement contentment is as important as
planning for economic health.
“There are people who engage in magical thinking about retirement happiness, just as some engage
in magical thinking about retirement security—they
want it, but they take no steps to get there,” says
James Pawelski, who is also the executive director
of the International Positive Psychology Association.
He adds that “the habits formed before we are 50
are the biggest determinant on how well you retire.”
So what can you do now to make your retirement
Reduce financial stress
Money may not guarantee retirement happiness—
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS THE SCIENCE OF RETIREMENT SATISFACTION TIPS FOR HOW TO REALLY ENJOY LIFE AFTER WORK
but paying attention to it is a good first step. Once
you retire, you’ll want to be able to cover your
regular bills without worry, says Robert Frick, the
corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.
To reach financial security, take three concrete
steps: Pay o; debts; consider moving to a smaller
residence; and create regular sources of income.
Frick advocates paying o; all debts, including
your mortgage. If making mortgage payments once
By Kathy Kristof