12 Tips for a Happy Retirement | Torrance Memorial

Published on May 01, 2022

12 Tips for a Happy Retirement

happy senior couple with their dog on the couch

Written by Jill Biggins Gerbracht

Success in retirement can be defined as waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night and doing exactly what you want in between. The key to achieving an active, satisfying and happy retirement involves more than just having adequate savings. It also entails interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, and mental and physical well-being.

Retiring from the workforce can be a chance to reconnect with your greatest passions and most important goals—it all depends on what you choose to do in your retirement. You can try new experiences, develop new skills and devote more time to the people and hobbies you love. It’s all up to you.

We’ve got some great tips to help you make the most of your newfound freedom:

  1. Write down exactly what you want your life to look like during retirement. Develop a plan to make it happen. Retirement planning often has more to do with “what you’ll be doing” than “how much you’ll have to do it with.” Writing down your goals will help you focus on what you want to achieve.
  2. Get your finances in order. Organize your money so you know what you will have to live on. Gradually reducing spending leading up to retirement will make it easier to adjust.
  3. Wind down gently. By easing into retirement, you will be able to adjust to this new way of life with a smoother transition.
  4. Prepare for ups and downs. Remember, in life anything can happen, and the same holds true for retirement. If health or changes in your relationships arise, learn to accept them and develop a backup plan of action.
  5. Keep physically active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week (see pages 12–13 for Torrance Memorial classes).
  6. Develop a routine. A routine provides a sense of normalcy. Going to bed and getting up at the same time—combined with regular activities like exercise, volunteer work and hobbies—will give you a sense of purpose.
  7. Seek social support. For many people, work contributes to a large part of their social life. So it is common to feel a bit lonely outside that environment. Fill the gaps by joining clubs and groups.
  8. Go for a health check. An annual visit with your primary care physician is a preventive type of care and will keep health issues from progressing. If you get regular checkups, your doctor will notice any differences or health changes you might not be aware of.
  9. Pamper yourself. After all that hard work, you are due for some “me time.” A spa day or small pleasure like dining out or going to an afternoon movie will serve as a fun outlet and way to treat yourself to something special.
  10. Volunteer. The benefits of volunteering speak volumes, and there are plenty of opportunities to give back to the local community. Torrance Memorial’s Auxiliary volunteer program is one way to get involved.
  11. Travel more. Whether it’s a longer European vacation or a weekend getaway to the desert, you can finally make those long-dreamed-of plans a reality. Even days out to places you’ve never visited are good for the soul.
  12. Try something new. Map your family tree, learn to paint, plant a vegetable garden, start a new hobby. The list goes on, but now is the time you can do what you’ve always wanted to!  

According to a Merrill Lynch survey, here is what retired respondents were looking to accomplish through their everyday activities:

Retirement Survey