What's Your Path To Retirement Happiness?
(BPT) - Retirees have a message for people still working but wondering what life might be like once they retire: “Come on in, the water’s warm.” But they also say that it pays to plan, the earlier the better, because retirement might come sooner than you expect.
A recent study, sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), found that approximately eight in 10 retirees are enjoying themselves in retirement, seven in 10 can afford a comfortable lifestyle, and two-thirds feel financially secure. The survey also indicated that few retirees characterize themselves as being bored, lonely or anxious, and nearly half (45 percent) retired sooner than they expected.
The study, Hopes, Fears and Reality – What Workers Expect in Retirement and What Steps Help Them Achieve the Retirement They Want, polled more than 900 retirees one to 15 years into retirement and another 900 plus pre-retirees one to 15 years before retirement, all of whom had at least $50,000 in savings and investments.
The research paints a positive picture of retiree lifestyles and adaptability. More importantly, it provides insights into the most important steps to take in preparing for a happy retirement.
“The study provides Americans with a roadmap for enjoying a happy, secure and fulfilling retirement,” says Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual Retirement Services. “There was a clear distinction between what steps the happiest retirees took compared to those who were less fulfilled.”
Among the steps taken by the happiest retirees were the following:
* Calculated the best time to begin collecting Social Security benefits. The qualifying age for receiving full benefits is gradually moving to age 67, depending on your birthdate. The benefit is reduced for those who take it sooner. For those who wait, the benefit increases each year until age 70.
* Targeted how much money they would need to retire comfortably and estimated their medical and dental expenses in retirement. It was a prudent step as many people said their medical and dental expenses were higher in retirement than anticipated.
* Created a budget for their retirement income and expenses and made an effort to increase their savings at least five years before stopping work. The 2015 contribution limit for 401(k) plans and other employer-sponsored retirement plans is $18,000 plus an additional $6,000 for employees age 50 and older.
* Worked with a financial advisor. The overwhelming majority found their advisor to be helpful in preparing for retirement.
* Made new friends and/or re-connected with old friends before retiring. While it’s important for everyone to have a social network, it’s especially important for retirees.
* Focused on strengthening the relationship with their spouse or significant other. In many instances, pre-retirees find they need to re-establish their relationship with their significant other when children leave the nest.
* Developed a new hobby or cultivated new interests to make life more fulfilling.
“Whether retirement came as planned, late or early, the majority of today’s retirees will tell you that a happy, comfortable and secure retirement is an attainable goal,” Sarsynski says. “With common sense and planning, all of us can aspire to a fulfilling retirement reality.”
More PERSONAL FINANCE ...
- 10 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score
- Get Out of Debt with Help From the Web
- Worthy Personal Finance Apps
- Save Big With These Online Tax Programs
- Spend Less with These In-Store Apps
- Getting Started with Mobile Payment Apps
- Find the Right Loan to Realize Your Financial Goals
- How Women Can Plan For Their Financial Futures
- Tax Hints Every Investor Should Know
- Common Tax Return Blunders To Avoid
Tax Time Tips: How To Combat Tax Identity Theft Fraud
- How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Your Taxes
- How Obamacare May Affect Your Tax Refund
- How To Maximize Your Tax Refund and Cut Monthly Expenses
- Helpful Tips For Choosing DIY Tax Preparation Tools
- What's Your Path To Retirement Happiness?
- Hoping To Retire In 10, 20 Or 40 Years? Here's What You Need To Know Now
- This 30-Minute Check Could Increase Your Retirement Savings
- 5 Money Traps To Avoid Each Month
- 4 Things You Should Know About Choosing Your First Credit Card
- The 6 Smartest Money Moves Millennials Can Make
- Busting First-Time Homebuyer Myths
- Ways First-Time Homebuyers Can Make Themselves Mortgage-Ready
- 5 Tips To Slash Prescription Drug Costs
- Tips And Tricks For Filing Your Taxes Last Minute
- A Lesson in Tax Deductions
- 3 Smart Ways to Stretch Your Retirement Savings
- Why Paying Off Your Mortgage in Retirement May Not Be the Best Idea
- Wedding Costs Soar to New Highs
- 4 Ways to Pay Off Your Debt for Good
- Best Financial Move: Buy or Rent a House?
- What Is a Good Credit Score?
- How Much Home Can You Comfortably Afford?
- What Makes Up a Mortgage Payment
- What to Do When You Can't Pay Your Taxes
- The Retirement Lies We Tell Ourselves
- Obamacare and Your Tax Return
- Don't Miss These Money-Saving Tax Breaks
- 5 Deals We Shouldn't Fall For
- Apps That Will Help You Save Time and Money
- The Best Way to Teach Children About Money
- This Is Why You Talk About Money Before You Get Married
- The Top Money-Saving Shopping Apps
- Secrets to Saving at the Supermarket
- How to Stick to a Budget
- Becoming Financially Independent
- Budgeting for Baby
- Is a World Without Wallets Coming Soon?
- How to Cut the Cost of Daily Chores
- A Coupon Expert Cuts Your Grocery Bill in Half
- How to Play Catch-Up on Retirement Savings
- Best Dollar Store Deals
- 6 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
- The Money Conversation All Couples Should Have
- Why Seeking More Money Hurts Happiness
- 11 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Finances
- Parents: Stop Being So Awkward With Money
- How to Avoid Being a Financial Burden on Your Children
- Brainless Money Rules to Live By
- How to Break Up With Your Financial Adviser
- How to Help Family Members Without Hurting Your Own Finances
- The Key to Creating and Sticking to a Budget
- Ways to Donate to Charity on the Cheap
- What's the Best Way to Give Money to Charity?
- Why Money Really Can Buy Happiness
- How to Finance Life Until 100
- How to Calculate Your Retirement Number
- 10 Important Ages for Retirement Planning
- How to Save More Now With Savvy Budgeting
Article: "What's Your Path To Retirement Happiness?"