9 Keys To A Happy Retirement

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Retirement plans may not be the only thing that guarantees a happy retirement plan. Live out the rest of your golden years in bliss.

Your retirement plan affords you a comfortable retirement, but do you have actual plans on what to do during the second half of your life? Continue scrolling to find out how to get your second wind.

RELATED: 7 Ways on How to Invest For Your Retirement

A Happy and Fulfilling Retirement – Easier Than You Think

1. Health

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Health is wealth and an absolute must in your retirement age.

Proper diet may help boost your mood, maintain your heart and brain health, and keep age-related conditions at bay.

Your body isn't like it was in its 20s, but if you care for it well, you might look like you are in your 50s at 70. Eat a variety of food and keep an eye out for some that you should avoid too.

See your doctor as often as you see your friends. In fact, as men hit their 40s, they should begin visiting their physician yearly for routine check-ups.

A healthy lifestyle may give you long, healthy, and fruitful golden years ahead.

2. Exercise for a Happy Retirement

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As you age, physical activity grows more and more consequential. It can keep you healthy and prevent conditions that come with age.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of exercise at moderate intensity per week for older adults. Or you may do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts a week. You can distribute your sessions throughout the week as long as you hit the target.


If a smelly gym isn't your cup of tea, maybe invite your partner to tango.

Dancing requires balance, rhythm, and coordination, which may help support the part of the brain in charge of planning and organization. The music and the social aspects of dancing combined could also make for a great hobby. One study shows that dancing may help improve the memory and thinking of older adults with mild cognitive issues.

Dancing could be a great exercise that benefits the mind and may even keep your social calendar full.

Water aerobics is also a safe option for older adults as water cushions your movements while still giving your muscles a workout.

3. Lifelong Learning

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Learning does not stop after your graduate, and nor does it end after retirement either. Take this opportunity to learn new skills and try out new things you didn't have time for. Learning new things could be good for personal growth and the mind.

Participating in mental activities may help maintain brain health and cognitive performance.

One study found that older adults that kept working showed better cognition than those that remained retired. This isn't to discourage retirement, but to encourage activities that require thinking to maintain brain health.

Learn to play the guitar, take up craft projects, or spend some time sprucing up your garden. As you learn new skills, you may even make new friends.

4. Social Circle

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You retire from your career, not from the friends you made along the way.

People are social creatures and thrive in connections with others. Research finds that loneliness and social isolation may be connected to depression, heart disease, and diabetes. Your mental health may also affect your physical health.

Coming from the workforce and active social life, the sudden change in pace may be jolting. Continue seeing your work friends or make up for lost time for old friends. The key to a happy retirement is spending it with the ones you love.

RELATED: Retirement Planning For The 21st Century

5. Motivation for a Happy Retirement

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Retirees may feel a jolt in the sudden change of pace, coming from a packed 9-5 schedule to a nonexistent one.

What do you do after you get out of bed in the morning? Do you have anything in store for you today?

Soldiers are known for their discipline and neat nature, but this isn't why they make their beds in the morning. For soldiers, their very first task in the morning is to fix their beds. This gives them a sense of accomplishment early in the day and sets the tone for the remainder of the waking hours.

With this mindset, you may find that you have the motivation to seek out more things to do and keep you productive. You may continue to find a sense of meaning and fulfillment in your daily life. But there may be something more fulfilling yet – purpose.

6. Volunteer

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Purpose gives us a reason to get up in the morning. Having purpose may also do wonders for self-esteem and self-worth.

For many, their careers are what gave their lives meaning and purpose. Many retirees find themselves doing volunteer work as this gives them a sense of purpose. One study found that volunteering improved life satisfaction and overall wellbeing in older adults.

Search for charity groups or non-profit organizations that could use a helping hand. Research finds that older adults that participate in activities that need human capital like volunteer work or working have high self-reported ratings of happiness.

Being of service to others may be more fulfilling than staying at home doing crosswords or spending the morning on the golf course.

7. Positive Outlook for a Happy Retirement

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and an optimistic mindset helps too.

A study found that a positive mindset may help keep heart risk and all-cause mortality at bay. While scientists aren't sure how the mechanism works, it pays nothing to keep a smile on your face.

Studies also find that whether your smile is genuine or not, it may make you feel happier and boost your mood. Gracing your lips with a smile may also be contagious, much like laughter.

Training your brain to think with a glass-half-full mindset begins with a smile. Not only will this leave you with a lighter, healthier heart, it may also spread joy among those around you. This simple exercise will help you lead a long and happy life – and it costs nothing.

8. Canine Companionship

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Your four-legged friend can make do more than roll over and shake hands. Did you know they can make you healthier?

Walking your dog is great for both pet and owner. Studies show that pet owners may have healthier hearts, exercise more, and may encourage weight loss. Another study suggests that homebound pet owners may have fewer depressive symptoms.

Older adults tend to be more stationary because of physical and lifestyle changes, and a dog may help reverse this. Little Rex may encourage you to take a walk with him after he fetches your morning paper.

Opt for adoption if you're committed to becoming a pet owner. But if you want to test the waters before taking the plunge, consider fostering a pet. It's a temporary setup, but the impact could be life-changing for both of you.

9. Appreciate the Little Things

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Log everything you did for the day, and list down all the things you were grateful for. Gratitude helps us feel more full and satisfied with our lives.

According to a study, counting your blessings may help improve the quality and amount of sleep, and were more satisfied with their lives. Showing some positive effects on physical health, some were reported to exercise more and fell ill less frequently.

With your life and heart feeling more full, there's less need to fill it with material possessions. Another study found that those with more gratitude were less materialistic. Not only is a positive mindset good for your mental health, but it's also savings-friendly.

Check out this short exercise video for older adults to keep you young and healthy:

Many things are not included in your retirement planning, like how to stay healthy and happy for the rest of your golden years. While your 401k plan, social security retirement savings, and other benefits give you sufficient funds to keep you afloat, you may find that there are non-monetary things that may bring you even more joy.

Retirement is not a complete halt to your life – rather a change in pace. This time around, you work on what makes you happy and fulfilled. This period is a chance to tick off things on your bucket list and focus on number one – you.

Are you retiring soon? How do you feel about it?

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