People who are truly content in their retirement usually adopt these 7 daily habits

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Retirement is your time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, right? 

You’ve finally got time to do things you enjoy and ideally, you’ve got some money set aside to fund your adventures in retirement. Let the good times roll. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. 

Enjoying retirement isn’t about how much money you have in your pension pot or how many trips abroad you can squeeze into one year. Sure, those big things are great, but true happiness comes from the little daily habits you keep.

People who are truly content in their retirement know this and they’ve taken great care to adopt daily habits that ensure they stay consistently happy in their golden years. 

Today, we’re taking a closer look at those habits, to help you ensure your retirement is more magical than mundane. 

1) They get their daily dose of fresh air

Getting outside to get some fresh air is a non-negotiable for people who are truly content in their retirement. 

Getting outside in nature has so many health benefits including: 

  • Helps to keep anxiety at bay
  • Makes you feel good
  • Helps you to get vitamin D
  • Boosts your creativity

Truly happy retirees already know how important it is and they make it their business to get outside in nature for a few minutes every day. They might go for a walk, meet a friend for a coffee, or simply take in some fresh air from the comfort of their porch. 

One thing’s for sure, they get their daily dose of fresh air. 

2) They stay connected socially

Unfortunately, loneliness in older adults is pretty common. Research suggests approximately 50% of individuals aged over 60 are at risk of social isolation and one-third will experience some degree of loneliness later in life.

It’s driven by various things including losing touch with their social circle after they stop working, the death of their spouse, and their wider family living far away and not being able to visit often. 

Humans are social creatures and studies show that spending time with others and being involved in social activities helps older adults feel better, healthier, and happier in retirement.

They do this by prioritizing time with loved ones whenever they can, using video calls when it’s not possible to visit regularly due to distance. They’re also active members of the community and maintain strong friendships with people in their area. 

Happily retired folks know that loneliness and isolation can lead to a lower quality of life so they make sure to stay connected socially

3) They pursue a new purpose 

I often ask my Mom when she’s going to quit working and enjoy her retirement. And she always gives me the same answer “What would get me out of bed in the morning if I retired?”.

What she’s really saying is that without work, she wouldn’t have a purpose. And human beings, crave purpose. It’s “a fundamental component of living a fulfilled life” as noted by psychologist and author Steve Taylor PhD.

One of the big challenges with retirement is that when people give up work, they lose their sense of purpose. People who are truly content in retirement, don’t fall into this trap. They know how vital purpose is and they find a new purpose to pursue during their golden years. 

Typically the happiest retirees view their retirement as a fresh start and continue to strive toward their goals. As noted by retirement coach Larry Jacobson “The happiest retirees I see are the ones living a life of true purpose.”

4) They stay active

We all know that the key to both physical and mental health and wellness is to stay active and that doesn’t magically change when you retire. In fact, it can be even more important at that stage of your life. 

People who are content in retirement have realized that this is the perfect time to make physical activity a part of their daily routine. They’ve got the time to do it and they can reap both the physical and mental benefits of staying active. 

At 73 years of age, Richard Branson is the poster boy for staying active in retirement years. As outlined by Men’s Health “Branson works out every day” engaging in various activities such as kite surfing, tennis, and biking. 

Whether they’re swimming, playing tennis, doing yoga or even just getting out for a walk every day, one thing is for sure, the people happiest in retirement stay active

5) They have a creative outlet

Retirement is the perfect time to embrace hobbies and passions that you’ve carried with you throughout your life but haven’t always had the time to truly focus on them.

My boyfriend’s Mom was a fantastic artist and throughout her retirement, she embraced this passion by taking art classes and creating beautiful paintings. They now proudly hang in her children’s homes as an eternal symbol of their wonderful Mom. 

Those who are most content in retirement embrace the opportunity to be creative. Some rekindle their passion for old hobbies and others pick up new passions that allow them to express themselves creatively. 

Maybe they attend art classes or learn to play the piano or take a keen interest in tending to their beautiful gardens. Regardless of the activity they choose, happy retirees know that having a creative outlet is important because it:

  • Keeps them sharp
  • Reduces stress
  • Facilitates social interaction

Studies have found that seniors who indulge their artistic side have fewer doctor’s visits, better physical health, and require less medication.

Practicing creativity every day is a great way to keep the brain engaged and to challenge yourself which is important in all stages of life, including retirement. 

6) They’re active members of the community

Being an active member of the community is a fantastic way to feel a sense of achievement, fulfillment, and connection all at the same time. It’s no wonder that the most content retirees actively participate in their communities as part of their daily routine. 

There are so many ways that retirees can get involved with the community. 

Some are active members of the church, maintaining the grounds or singing in the choir. Others volunteer to pick up trash, fundraise for local causes, or offer mentorship in their areas of expertise. 

By giving back to the community they’re not just helping others but they’re also enriching their own lives. The sense of community and belonging they experience contributes to their overall happiness during their retirement. 

7) They practice gratitude daily and have a positive outlook on life

Many young and middle-aged people assume that old age is an unhappy time but according to most of the research, the opposite is true.

According to aging expert Laura Carstensen, “research shows over and over that older people are happier than the twenty-somethings who are assumed to be in the prime of life.”

Being able to maintain a positive outlook on life has numerous benefits for seniors including: reduced anxiety and improved emotional well-being. 

The happiest people in retirement embrace a positive outlook on life and practice gratitude daily. 

Final thoughts

Just like in every other phase of life, the secret to happiness in retirement is not found in the big things but in the little everyday habits that on their own seem small and meaningless. But they all add up. 

By adopting these daily habits, retirees can find happiness and fulfillment later in life and ensure they truly are golden years that they can enjoy to the fullest.

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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