People who thrive in their retirement usually adopt these 9 daily habits

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Most human beings are creatures of habit, and those who’ve reached retirement age are normally even more so than most.

That’s because they’ve had an entire lifetime to develop habits, and that’s true both for the positives and the negatives.

Of course, those who focus on building up the positive habits and ditching the negative ones are those who are the most likely to thrive when they reach retirement age.

But what exactly are the best habits for people to adopt if they want to thrive in their retirement?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Let’s take a look.

1) They get up early

They say the early bird catches the worm, and that’s certainly true for most retirees.

Research has shown that as we get older, we naturally tend to wake up earlier. If we double down on what nature is already telling us, we set ourselves up with the best possible start for the day ahead.

I haven’t retired yet, and I belong to a generation that’s increasingly looking unlikely to ever do so. However, I have noticed that when I get up early, I tend to get a lot more done.

Part of that is because when you get up early, you get the world to yourself while everyone is still in bed. There’s a lot to like!

2) They drink plenty of water

Most of us know that we should be drinking more water, but it can start to feel like a chore.

People who thrive in their retirement usually drink a lot of water without even needing to put an effort in. They drink plenty of water because they listen to their body, which wants it.

Of course, water isn’t all they drink, and there are plenty of flourishing retirees who also drink tea and coffee or mix their water with cordial. But as a general rule, the important thing is that they drink plenty of fluids.

Oh, and it should go without saying that they only drink alcohol in moderation.

3) They get regular exercise

When I say that people in their retirement tend to get regular exercise, I’m not saying that they run marathons or lift weights (although some of them do).

The important thing for people of any age is to get moving and to avoid living a sedentary lifestyle. Ironically, retirees might be better placed for this than people who are still in work, and for a simple reason.

A lot of people who work full-time work in offices, and that means they live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. The only exception to this is if they have a standing desk.

Most of the retirees that I know like to take walks, and simply doing this on a regular basis can be enough to help them to stay strong and healthy.

4) They take care of their mental health

We’ve talked about physical health, and so now let’s take a look at mental health.

Retirees are fully aware of the importance of looking after their mental health, often because they’ve struggled with it throughout their life. Fortunately, they’re usually also equipped by this time with the tools and techniques that they need to make their mental health a priority.

Interestingly, many of the habits that we’re talking about today will all have the effect of improving mental health, from getting regular exercise to drinking plenty of water.

Still, healthy and thriving retirees often go above and beyond to take care of their mental health, and it shows.

5) They have strong social groups

This point might be the most important of all of the points we’re going to talk about today.

I’ve noticed that the retirees who are the happiest and who live their lives to the fullest are those who have the most active social lives and the strongest social groups.

This can be a particular challenge when the person in question has lost a partner, especially after many years or decades together. When these people are able to thrive, it’s almost exclusively because they’ve found a new community to spend time with.

Luckily, there are a lot of social groups out there that are designed to help retirees to make new friends.

6) They’re careful with their money

Retirees have to be careful with their money because they know that they won’t have any more coming in.

The retirees who thrive the most are usually those who have a decent amount of money saved up going into their retirement and who are then careful about how they spend it. If they’re not careful with their money, they’ll soon run out.

Part of this also comes down to looking towards the future, even when you hit your seventies and eighties.

Luckily, those who thrive in retirement generally thrive because they’re making long-term plans. And being careful with their money is a sure sign that they’re doing just that.

7) They take up new hobbies

I’ve always said that the day I stop learning new things will be the day I die, and there are plenty of retirees that seem to think the same.

Because of that, I’ve noticed that people who thrive in their retirement often take up new hobbies so that they have something to fill their time with.

The great thing about hobbies is that as well as helping to keep the mind active and to ensure that you’re learning new skills, they can also help you to meet new people and to broaden your network.

For example, if you decide to take up painting, you can join art classes and befriend other painters, and that will help you to live a more comfortable and enjoyable retirement.

8) They keep learning

This builds on what we looked at in the last point and is a reminder that the people who thrive are those who keep on learning.

For me, when retirees are no longer interested in learning new things, it’s a warning sign that they’re ready for death and that they don’t see a future.

Conversely, it’s super inspiring when older people learn new skills and become masters of them.

It’s said that when the world’s foremost cellist, Pablo Casals, was asked why he still practiced four or five hours each day, he said it was because he thought he was making progress. He was in his eighties at the time.

If Casals could still make progress in his eighties after a lifetime of practice, you can learn new things in your retirement.

9) They spend time in nature

Even if there wasn’t a ton of research out there to show that spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental wellbeing, it’s self-evident.

When we spend time in nature, we feel better. This is true at all ages, but it’s particularly true when we reach retirement and we have more time to stop and smell the metaphorical roses.

On top of that, if a retiree is fit and well enough to go out and walk in their local park or to find some other way to enjoy nature, it’s a good sign that they’re doing pretty well, especially as they continue to get older.

And so it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that the retirees who thrive the most tend to be those who are able to regularly spend time out in nature.


Now that you know the nine daily habits that people who thrive in retirement tend to display, you’re in a much better place to take advantage of them yourself.

The good news is that it’s never too early to start practicing these habits. On top of that, the people who thrive in their retirement often adopt these nine daily habits before they retire. Then they become second nature.

Here’s wishing you a happy retirement.

Dane Cobain

Dane Cobain is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

If a man displays these 7 behaviors, he’s quietly struggling in life

16 daily habits of people who don’t have a purpose in life