‹ View All Insights

How to Enjoy Retirement: 3 Keys to Deep Satisfaction

Published by Motley Fool Wealth Management on Wed, Dec 22, 2021
How to Enjoy Retirement: 3 Keys to Deep Satisfaction

Many retirement planning guides focus on finances, but we believe a satisfying retirement goes beyond how much money you have saved. It’s also about how you intend to use your savings.

The definition of retirement is evolving—it’s more than just “not working.” Many have goals beyond money that focus on enjoyment during retirement. For some, it might mean living in Latin America half of the year. For others, it’s moving across the country to be near grandchildren. Or maybe it revolves around an adrenaline-fueled hobby like rocket-paragliding!

The importance of retirement planning: Retire on your terms

How do you intend to spend your time? The simple fact is, the answer to this question informs the answer to the next: Is my retirement plan a good one?

We believe a good retirement plan will structure your finances in a way that enables you to live the life you want. An emerging body of research tells us there are commonalities shared by those who have found themselves living a deeply satisfying retirement. Our name for these key elements: The Prosperity Trifecta.

3 keys to retirement happiness: The Prosperity Trifecta

The three elements to a happy retirement have very little to do with how much money you have. You can think of them as your non-financial retirement checklist.

email-chart-prosperity_trifecta

1. Relationships

The most fascinating study in human well-being started in 1938 at Harvard University.1 Now, in its 83rd year, the findings on the keys to a good life are surprising. Income and career success– it turns out–don’t predict life satisfaction. Instead, close relationships are better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, IQ, genes, or even fame.

2. Core Pursuits

Pursuing happiness–instead of meaning and purpose–was in fact counterproductive; it literally makes people less happy. In fact, data show that countries with the highest rates of suicide were also the ones with the lowest rates of purpose and meaning. Additional research concludes that those who enjoyed retirement the most had an average of 3.6 core pursuits. Those who were the most miserable had about half that number (1.9). Simply put, activities that connect us with something larger than ourselves, and that give us purpose and meaning, are like oxygen to our souls. Without them, we simply cannot thrive.

3. Health

A 2014 study by Age Wave and Merrill Lynch found that 81% of retirees said that having good health was “the most important ingredient for a happy retirement.”2 Not surprisingly, there’s overlap with finances as well: In the same survey, retirees’ greatest money-related worry was “healthcare expenses.” But as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

It’s never too late to start adopting healthy habits. But the earlier you start, the better. And luckily, you can combine the first two parts of the Prosperity Trifecta with the third to kill several birds with one stone. Playing tennis, golf, hiking, or swimming can all double as both health-related activities and core pursuits. Do them with friends and family (relationships) and you’ve created a trifecta!

Retirement planning strategies for peace of mind

We believe knitting together the clarity the Prosperity Trifecta offers with a smart investment strategy can offer you peace of mind in the short term, and the potential for ongoing growth in the long term. It can take some of the stress out of short-term volatility and allow you to focus on the goals, relationships, and activities that are most important to you.


Footnotes

1https://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.7910/DVN/48WRX9

2https://agewave.com/what-we-do/landmark-research-and-consulting/research-studies/new-retirement-survey/

Disclosures

*Certain of our Personal Portfolio strategies may hold ETSY. The mention of ETSY does not constitute a recommendation by Motley Fool Wealth Management ("MFWM"). Rather, the discussion is solely intended to describe the desire of some consumers for one-of-a kind products.

**In addition to our AUM fee, clients pay transaction fees (e.g., brokerage commissions) and may pay to their custodian account fees and other miscellaneous charges. Client Personal Portfolios may invest in ETFs which are subject to separate fees and expenses that are passed along to clients. Depending on the strategy, these underlying fund fees and expenses may be significant. However, our focus on direct equity investments (whenever possible) can significantly reduce the impact of underlying fund fees and expenses.

The content in this article is provided for informational purposes only, reflects our general views on investing, and should not be relied upon as recommendations or financial planning advice. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues. While we can counsel on tax efficiency and general tax considerations, MFWM does not (and is not permitted to) provide tax or legal advice. Clients who need such advice should consult tax and legal professionals. These comments may not be relied upon as personalized financial planning or tax advice.

MFWM is an SEC-registered investment advisor with a fiduciary duty that requires it to act in the best interests of clients and to place the interests of clients before its own. HOWEVER, REGISTRATION AS AN INVESTMENT ADVISOR DOES NOT IMPLY ANY LEVEL OF SKILL OR TRAINING. Access to MFWM is only available to clients pursuant to an Investment Advisory Agreement and acceptance of MFWM's Client Relationship Summary (PDF) and Brochure (PDF - 204 KB). You are encouraged to read these documents carefully. All investments involve risk and may lose money. MFWM does not guarantee the results of any of its advice or account management. Clients should be aware that their individual account results may not exactly match the performance of any of our Model Portfolios. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Each Personal Portfolio is subject to an account minimum, which varies based on the strategies included in the portfolio. MFWM retains the right to revise or modify portfolios and strategies if it believes such modifications would be in the best interests of its clients.

MFWM, an affiliate of The Motley Fool LLC (“TMF”), is a separate legal entity, and all financial planning advice and discretionary asset management services for our clients are made independently by the financial planners and asset managers at MFWM. Neither of TMF co-founders, Tom Gardner and David Gardner, nor any other TMF analyst is involved in the investment decision-making or daily operations of MFWM. MFWM does not attempt to track any TMF services.

During discussions with our Wealth Advisors, they may provide advice with respect to 401(k) rollovers into accounts that are managed by MFWM. Such recommendations pose potential conflicts of interest in that rolling retirement savings into a MFWM managed account will generate ongoing asset-based fees for MFWM that it would not otherwise receive.