The New Model of Retirement
January 5, 2017
Recently, a research study was released by Age Wave, a firm specializing in understanding issues related to our country’s maturing population, on new models of leisure in retirement. With millions of baby boomers now retiring annually, it is vital for that population—as well as our country—to understand what to expect from the rest of their lives.
The study’s findings should inspire everyone who is looking forward to retirement, as well as those who may fear retirement.
Retirees Enjoy Time Affluence
One of the big changes in retirement is the move away from experiencing time as constrained, with limited leisure hours and days, towards a wealth of leisure time. In the coming decades, people of ages 65 and older will enjoy significant leisure time, vastly more than younger populations.
To take full advantage of this new freedom, it is vital to sever our work addiction. Many of us feel that our identity is bound up in our jobs and career paths, and consequently, in our work environment, including our colleagues. Perhaps it is not surprising that the Americans enjoy many fewer paid vacation days than European countries and Canada. So, it is understandable why many Americans become workaholics and find it difficult to stop working, even on vacation.
The Happiness of Retirees
The big transition to retirement is making the best use of our leisure time—which means changing how we think about that time. Our identity becomes anchored in what we choose to do, rather than what we have to do. The transition in the move from work identity, defined for you, to retirement identity, defined by you, can be both scary and exhilarating.
What is amazing about this next stage of life is that fun and emotional well-being peak in the retirement years, contrary to popular belief. As we age, our anxiety seems to diminish and our positive feelings rise, perhaps because we endure less stress and enjoy more leisure time and freedom. While young age is wonderful for lots of reasons, retirement years are, in fact, much closer to a halcyon existence.
This research study also reveals that money isn’t essential for happiness and well-being in retirement. Retirees at different financial levels enjoy their leisure time and freedom. Above all, what is critical is that retirees make the right adjustments to enjoy this new stage of life, doing what they want to do, and not worrying about whether it is exactly what they imagined themselves doing in retirement. Continuing to enjoy vital experiences is what makes the biggest difference in the lives of retirees.
Planning how you live, so that you can maximize your leisure time and minimize life stressors will help ensure your pleasure in retirement. You may want to consider retiring in Delaware, to one of its 55 and older communities, where you can escape the annoying minutia of life and focus on what you want to get out of life.