At Fit-To-Retire, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what will make our clients be happy in retirement. After all, who is more deserving of happiness than people who have spent their entire adult lives toiling to provide for themselves and others?
There are a few assumptions we make going in:
Money cannot buy happiness.
Happiness is a choice.
The enemies of happiness are pain and boredom.
And, most importantly, if you weren’t happy before retirement, you won’t automatically be happy afterward without a little effort.
That’s why it’s critical to work on your happiness quotient before Day 1 of retirement. Train yourself to practice happiness by incorporating what a neuroscience researcher calls ‘happiness rituals.’ It’s an awesome list of four easy things to do on a daily basis: Be grateful. Give your negative emotions a name. Make “good enough” decisions. Touch and be touched (in appropriate ways, of course.)
In the soon-to-be retired client, those daily rituals might sound something like this:
“I am grateful for my father who taught me to save, allowing me to retire early.”
“I’m feeling a lot of anxiety about withdrawing those savings, even though that’s what I’ve planned to do for 40 years.”
“Let’s drive to the Grand Canyon for our first trip, then work up to the big Mediterranean cruise next year.”
“Hi, Joey. Give Grandpa a hug!”
We’re willing to bet that if you establish those four easy rituals, fill your days with stimulating activities and passions (including work, if you like) and do your best to stay healthy and free from pain, you’ll enjoy a retirement filled with the greatest happiness you’ve ever known.
Start practicing and planning today. Take our free readiness assessment and discover how prepared and enthusiastic you are in the five key areas of retirement success.