What Are the Habits of the Unhappiest Retirees?

How will you spend your time in retirement? These are some unhealthy habits to avoid that can lead to unhappiness in your golden years.

All happy and successful retirees tend to have a lot in common with each other, but unhappy retirees tend to also share habits amongst themselves that make their retirements painful. 

Having a great retirement is a mixture of doing the right things while also avoiding pitfalls. 

Habits of Unhappy Retirees

We’ll start with the bad habits of unhappy retirees. 

No Purpose/Structure

The happiest people have purpose and energy in their lives with strong reasons to get up in the morning.

While working, most jobs give the structure that most people need to feel productive, but when the built-in structure goes away in retirement then it is up to you to create it for yourself. 

The unhappiest retirees flounder, not able to find purpose and structure to give their days meaning. 

Little Socialization

It takes intentional effort to make/maintain friendships in retirement. With no job to create a base level of socializing every day, many struggle to build new relationships.

The happiest retirees prioritize finding/building new friendships while unhappy retirees don’t. 

Money Worries

The unhappiest retirees are constantly worried about money. This often stems from retiring without a strong plan and sense of what things are going to be in retirement. This uncertainty is annoying at the least and debilitating at the worst. 

Giving Away Too Much Money

Money concerns are compounded when kids/grandkids start to have financial problems and many retiree parents/grandparents feel the need to help. 

While I am not opposed to helping, I have seen many retirements severely stressed when retirees give more than they can afford. 

The Habits of Happy Retirees

On the brighter side, here are the habits of the happiest retirees. 

Happy Body, Happy Mind

Happy retirees stay active with their bodies and minds. They understand that whatever they don’t use they will lose.

Consequently, they have more energy which makes every other area of their life better. 

Something to Work On

Some people have hobbies, a side business, a charity to serve, or even grandkids to take care of. 

Regardless of exactly what it is, the happiest retirees have something to put their time and energy into. 

Novelty Wins

Learning/doing new things is what keeps the happiest retirees sharp and young. This could be traveling to new places or learning a new skill or language. 

Novel experiences keep the mind nimble and active.

Final Thoughts

Everyone has different preferences and interests, but there are overarching principles that lead to long happy retirements. It is up to you to find the specific activities/interests that will fire you up and keep you young and active. 

About the Author

Dallen Haws is a Financial Advisor who is dedicated to helping federal employees live their best life and plan an incredible retirement. He hosts a podcast and YouTube channel all about federal benefits and retirement. You can learn more about him at Haws Federal Advisors.