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5 years ago I wrote about what makes for a happy retirement I think it is a good time to highlight, whether you are looking forward or in retirement. I mentioned a new book “You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think” by Wes Moss. His main point is to detail all the factors that affect our happiness. So here are 7 major factors that his survey identifies based upon answers received from over 1,200 retirees and soon to be retirees.
Retirees’ happiness hit a wall once they reach $500,000 in savings. Happiness skyrocketed for those who saved $500,000 vs. those who saved only $100,000. A similar plateau occurs for those who spend over $4,500 per month.
Happy retirees fill their time with 3 or 4 core pursuits. On average, happy retirees participated in almost twice as many core pursuits than their unhappy counterparts (3.6 vs. 1.9).
Happy retirees pay off their mortgage early. Now is an even better time to consider this.
Happy retirees have at least 2 to 3 sources of income in retirement (Social Security, pension, investment, real estate and part-time work). Unhappy retirees have between 1 and 2 income streams.
Happy retirees are “masters of the middle” in that they live off of $53,000 a year, which is close to the average national household income. Happy retirees shopping tastes were modest. “They aren’t super, uber frugal, but they aren’t shopping at thrift stores either”.
Happy retirees spend at least 5 hours a year planning for retirement. Nearly half of unhappy retirees said they weren’t satisfied with how much thought they put into retirement.
Happy retirees are more likely to be married. 76% of happy retirees were married vs. less than half for unhappy retirees. This agrees well with other surveys about happiness of married and single people. This also agrees well with my own experience (but your results could vary).
Don’t trust your search for information to a Google™ robot! The following references and informative links have been previewed and selected personally by Comprehensive Financial Planning, Inc.
NAPFA Personal Finance Blog Information from other fee-only advisors
Kiplinger.com Great personal finance magazine
ConsumerFed.org Consumer Federation of America
Consumer.gov Lots of info on ID theft, do not call registry, etc.
Experian.com Obtain your credit report
ConsumerReports.org Consumer Reports magazine
HSAColorado Health Savings Account providers in Colorado
BankRate.com Rates for CDs, loans, etc.
ICFE.info Lots of info for parents and children, credit repair
SavingForCollege.com 529 college savings plans
EFC Plus Our partner for college planning services
CollegeBoard.com SAT sponsors information
FinAid.com Financial aid for college with calculator to determine aid qualifications
FastWeb.Monster.com Free scholarship database
StudentAid.Ed.gov Apply here for federal aid (don't have to be poor)
Morningstar.com Info on funds and stocks
Finance.Yahoo.com Lots of data on historical prices
NAREIT.com National Association of Real Estate Trusts
PublicDebt.Treas.gov Buy U. S. savings bonds
CFP.net Certified Financial Planner Board
NAFPA.org National Association of Personal Financial Planners
Dora.State.CO.us Colorado State Division of Securities- Check my registration
SEC.gov Securities and Exchange Commission
IRS.gov Internal Revenue Service
SSA.gov Social Security Administration
TaxColorado.com Colorado tax authority
Livingto100.com Best life expectancy calculator-try it out
AARP.org American Association of Retired Persons – Anyone over 50 can join
Medicare.gov Find out about benefits and your eligibility
Money Saving tips for Seniors All kids of information on saving money.
BenefitsCheckup.org Information on government programs to help seniors
COBar.org Colorado Bar Association: Info on estate planning, probate costs in Colorado
AgingLifecare.org Find a caregiver at the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers
CaseyLynchCPA.com Casey Lynch, CPA for individuals, business owners and non-profits
ryan-insurance.net John Ryan offers Life, disability and Long-term Care Insurance.