4 Tiny Tricks To Being Happy In Retirement, According To Experts

Set up your future self for success.

Woman creating a vision board of happiness cottonbro studio | Pexels, Pressmaster | Canva

Retirement and happiness, oh my! Planning for an uncertain future in an unstable economy is enough to cause a person to shut down. However, planning for your emotional well-being in retirement is possible.

Here are 4 tiny tricks to being happy in retirement, according to YourTango experts:

1. Create quality relationships

The most important thing you can do in retirement is to sustain and create quality relationships. The strongest predictor of early death is loneliness. This can be prevented by maintaining close relationships. Research shows that married couples tend to live longer than unmarried ones. Even without marriage, connection with others in intimate ways can prolong life and happiness as well.


Of course, other things help as well. Such as Daily exercise, good nutrition, adequate sleep, and meditation. An attitude of positivity and letting go of negativity is also critical. Life is too short!!

Phyllis Koch-Sheras, Clinical Psychologist and Co-founder of Couples Coaching Couples

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2. Be useful

Happiness in retirement often hinges on a simple principle: Be useful. This means finding ways to contribute to the world around you, whether it’s acts of kindness, sharing your talents, or lending a helping hand. Be useful to people you care about in your life or your community. Consider caring for your grandchildren, volunteering for your condo board, or planting a garden at a local senior’s residence. By doing things to create satisfaction and meaning or supporting the needs of those you care about, you’ll ensure a greater sense of fulfillment in your post-employment years.


Lisa Petsinis, Career & Life Coach



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3. Find fulfillment now

Our life is meant to feel happy and fulfilled now until our last dying breath. I don’t believe in a retirement where you plan for someday in the future when you have time and space to do what you finally enjoy that feels fulfilling. Follow what brings you joy and fulfillment now, in the present. And let go of what does not in your career, relationships, and health so that when your retirement arrives, you already know how to continue to be. If you can’t find this now, you won’t find it in retirement.


Carolyn Hidalgo, Executive Soul Coach

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two elderly men hugPhoto: Diego Cervo via Shutterstock

4. Make plans for the future

As a therapist, I've observed that people who don't make a few concrete plans for how to live after retiring tend to get depressed. They miss their jobs, and work friends, and even get nostalgic about the parts they didn't like at the time. Having some plans, whether it's to finally get around to what you never had time for or visit that place on your bucket list, start planning activities, hobbies, or adventures to keep busy with life. Stay as active as possible as long as you're alive. Not only will it ward off depression, but it will also keep you healthier in body and mind.


Dr. Gloria Brame, Therapist and Author

woman thinks about retirement plans while looking out windowPhoto: fizkes via Shutterstock

The economic impact on retirement is out of our control. However, we can work to plan the present to help our future. By staying active, finding ways to contribute to others, nurturing relationships, and spending time focused on self-care, we can create habits of happiness and fulfillment to last into our retirement.


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Will Curtis is a writer and editor for YourTango. He's been featured on the Good Men Project and taught English abroad for ten years.