How to Be Happy (Not Bored!) in Retirement – Starting Today

Here are 12 ways to prepare now for retirement so that you’ll be happy, active, fulfilled and never, ever bored.

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7,300 days.

175,200 hours.

10,512,000 minutes.

That is the amount of time you can expect to have in retirement, considering the average length of retirement is approximately 20 years, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (opens in new tab).

How will you spend all of that newfound free time?

Without a sense of purpose, the risk of dissatisfaction increases, and what should be a meaningful time becomes an anxious or uninspiring one. The average retiree in Britain grew bored after just one year, according to a U.K. survey (opens in new tab). And one-third of retirees eventually give up on retirement and return to the workforce, according to a 2016 Federal Reserve study (opens in new tab).

The notion of retirement as a time of leisure is outdated. Most older adults want a similar level of engagement and meaning as in their working years. This is as it should be. From traveling the world to helping people in need, there are a variety of activities that can give you meaning and joy in retirement (opens in new tab).

To get a leg up on a happy retirement, start in the years before leaving your job by exploring the interests you want to pursue later in life. You can even use those interests to create a more personalized financial plan (opens in new tab). Then you’ll be fully prepared to hit the ground running (literally, if that’s your thing!).

Need some inspiration? Here are 12 ideas.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Jacob Schroeder, Manager of Investor Education
Manager of Investor Education, Advance Capital Management

Jacob Schroeder is the Manager of Investor Education at Advance Capital Management (www.acadviser.com/ (opens in new tab)). He is also the creator of the personal finance newsletter The Root of All (https://rootofall.substack.com/ (opens in new tab)), exploring how money shapes our lives. His goal is to help people make more informed financial decisions and live happier lives. His writing has been featured in publications such as Yahoo Finance, Wealth Management magazine, The Detroit News and, as a short-story writer, in various literary journals.