What are the most important things to work toward to stay happy in retirement? Certainly a critical question for locals in Costa Mesa who are planning for retirement now. A recent survey of more than 1,500 retirees conducted by TIAA[1] gives some helpful context to the question of how retirees are taking retirement emotionally. Here are two general principles taken from the survey.

Share the vision

There is a growing stereotype surrounding couples retiring—that of the retired couple struggling with more time together. To be sure, it is real—I’ve seen couples struggling through the transition. However, one heartening finding of the TIAA survey suggested the contrary: 95 percent of respondents reported that their relationships with their partner stayed the same or improved after retirement.

This is not to minimize the challenge that couples face in planning for retirement. Another finding harmonizes with the statistic above, and also points to what makes a couple successful in retirement: it’s important to have a similar outlook. Of respondents who said that they had an easy retirement, 85 percent stated that they shared a vision with their partner. Dramatically, of those who described their retirement transition as difficult, only 53 percent shared a vision with their partner.

The implications of this are obvious. Sharing planning information with your partner correlates with the success of your retirement plan.

Stay engaged

Much literature has been dedicated to helping retirees by recommending ways to stay active, with emphasis on staying engaged socially. Taking time with your family and branching out into community activities is a highly recommended way for retirees to add meaningful activity to their routine. And for good reason: in the wake of retirement from the work force, which is for most a highly extraverted environment driven by social interaction, retirement is by comparison an introverted period of your life. Spending time alone, the TIAA study found, is the number one way retirees spend their time, with 75 percent of respondents selecting it. While more extraverted activities such as volunteering, caring for others, and engaging in community service were also represented in the results, (50, 35, and 29%, respectively), the prevalence of alone time shouldn’t be ignored. One suggestion from these results is that, in addition to making an effort to fill one’s schedule with social appointments, effort should be made to dig in and find out what you enjoy doing when it’s just you.

If you’re planning for retirement in Costa Mesa, choose a retirement planner who understands where you’re at financially and emotionally. Reach out to Miramontes Capital today.

To view the full PDF version of the report click here.

[1] “Voices of Experience 2016: Insights on Life in Retirement.” Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America. TIAA.org. 2016.