Men who are truly happy in their retirement usually adopt these 10 daily habits

I’ve been thinking a lot about retirement lately.

Maybe it’s the age I’m at. Retirement is still a long way off for me, but if I want to get my finances in order to have a comfortable retirement, I need to start right now.

In fact, I should’ve started a long time ago.

But there’s more to a happy retirement than just money. Yes, you need to be financially stable, but that’s only one small component of happiness.

When I look at the people I know who seem to have a happy retirement, I’ve noticed that in many cases, it’s the daily habits they maintain that help them stay happy.

Here are some habits that are worth cultivating if you want to enjoy your golden years.

1) They exercise

Let’s face it: you know this one already.

That doesn’t make it not true.

Staying healthy is important at any age, and regular exercise is a key component of that. But as we get older and enter retirement, it becomes even more essential.

No matter how well you look after your body, aging happens to all of us. And for many men, their job provide them with a lot of physical activity, so when they retire, they suddenly become dramatically less active.

That’s a trap. Inactivity will rob you of your capabilities and age you faster than necessary.

Men who are happy and healthy in their retirement make time for some physical activity every day. What that looks like will depend on your capabilities, but the important thing is to keep moving.

Something as simple as a gentle stroll around the neighborhood can help to keep you mobile and in good shape.

2) They eat healthy

We’ve all been told that we are what we eat. And just like exercise, our diet plays a crucial role in our overall level of health.

When a guy retires, he often finds he has much more time on his hands than he used to when he was part of the workforce. That means he may finally have the time to focus on what he is eating and make sure it has a good balance of nutrients to keep him healthy.

One of the hardest things about retirement is the loss of energy that comes naturally as we age. Maintaining a healthy diet can help with that so that you can focus on productive and enjoyable activities that can make retirement one of the best times of your life.

3) They pursue their interests

I’m one of those guys who is lucky enough to have a couple of hobbies that I am passionately interested in. For that reason, it’s not hard for me to find enjoyable things to do with my time.

But that’s not true of everyone. Many men have never really learned what makes them happy, and have been busy enough in their working lives that they never really had the time for hobbies.

Then, once they reach retirement, they have no idea what to do with themselves.

But retirement can be a fantastic time for immersing yourself in hobbies you already loved or cultivating new ones.

For example, my dad worked in construction his whole life. But when he retired, he got really into poetry. Now, he spends a good chunk of every day writing his own poems.

He’s not trying to be a famous poet. He’s just trying to keep himself amused and engaged with the world.

And it works.

4) They learn new things

As it turns out, picking up a new hobby can have benefits that go beyond just giving you a fun thing to do.

While we are part of the workforce, many of us get locked into only doing productive activities. When retirement comes, you are suddenly free to pursue just about anything.

That makes this a great time to learn new things.

Plus, learning new things helps slow the cognitive decline that can come with aging.

“New brain cell growth can happen even late into adulthood,” says Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services at McLean Hospital. “The process of learning and acquiring new information and experiences, like through structured classes, can stimulate that process.”

And since you’re retired, you don’t have to learn what they want to teach you like you did in school. You can learn anything you want.

Study a new language. Learn to play an instrument. Whatever you learn, it can help keep your brain sharp and give you a new hobby at the same time.

Plus, going back to school allows you to meet new people…

5) They maintain their social network

In general, women seem to place more importance on their social lives than men do. So often, when they reach retirement, they have more friends than men do.

Combine that with the fact that women tend to live longer, so there are more women than men in retirement, and it may not come as a surprise that men are more likely to be socially isolated in retirement than women are.

Check out this study, for example, which found that retired men have less social interaction than women, and that that has a negative affect on their physical and mental health.

Retirement can be a lonely time. Without a job to go to every day, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing fewer people. And if your friends were all people you work with, you may find yourself struggling to maintain a social life after you retire.

That’s why it’s important to do activities like taking classes or joining local groups of other retirees. Not only can it help your physical and mental well-being, but it’s also just fun to have some friends to spend time with.

6) They stick to a routine

Another thing that can help make retirement more enjoyable is creating a routine that suits you.

We all have different interests, motivation, and capabilities. And as you age, there will be those days when you don’t feel like doing anything.

But a routine can help you make sure you get a little bit of what you need every day. It can help push you out of the house to take that walk for your physical health and spend some time socializing to improve your emotional well-being.

After all, it’s a lot easier to maintain healthy behaviors once they become a habit.

7) They make time to relax

Does all this sound exhausting? Well, it’s important to remember that you retired for a reason. As we get older, our energy levels usually drop, making it harder to motivate ourselves to do everything we want.

That’s why it’s important to also make some time in your routine for relaxation. Don’t try to do too much. Remember, the whole point of retiring was to take it easy.

Get some exercise every day. Spend time socializing. Make delicious and nutritious food.

But also give yourself time to do nothing. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing, and taking a nap or just spending a couple of hours in front of the TV every day can be part of a healthy and fulfilling retired life.

8) They manage their finances

Everyone’s financial situation is different. And if you have a financially comfortable retirement, it can be tempting to take your eyes off the road and let things run themselves.

However, staying on top of your finances is a good idea no matter what age you are.

It doesn’t do any good to excessively worry, but even if you are comfortable, it’s good practice to check in on your money every once in a while and make sure that things are going to plan.

9) They stay busy

By now, you will have noticed that there are a lot of things on this list, especially if you’re going to do them on a daily basis.

That’s a good thing.

I don’t want to generalize, but men have a greater tendency than women to get their sense of self-worth and validation from their career. And when that’s over, lots of men can find themselves at a loose end, not knowing what to do with their time or even who they really are without the pressures of work.

“For the most part, we haven’t been socialized to deal with a profound change in our identity,” life planner Michael F. Kay says for Psychology Today. “And paradoxically, although men are supposed to be risk takers out there in the world, we fear that if we try new skills, habits, and behaviors, we might make mistakes and look completely foolish.”

This fear and uncertainty makes many men retreat from the world. But that’s a bad idea.

Instead, the antidote to feelings of purposelessness in retirement is to stay busy doing things you enjoy and that give you a sense of purpose outside of your career.

10) They maintain a positive attitude

Finally, one of the most obvious traits I notice of men who are happy in retirement is that they have a positive attitude.

Getting old is not for the fainthearted. No matter how well you take care of yourself, it’s inevitable that you will lose energy and some of the physical capacity you used to have. Also, as time goes by, you may lose friends and family members.

But men who are able to navigate the change of life that comes with retirement are those who stay positive in the face of all this. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you appreciate this chapter of life as one of the best and most fulfilling you’ll ever experience.

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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