If you want to be truly happy in retirement, say goodbye to these 12 habits

Graeme Richards by Graeme Richards | April 4, 2024, 10:24 am

Retirement is the reward for all those years of hard work. But to truly enjoy this time, it’s not just about having enough savings or being close to family.

It’s also about getting rid of some habits that might be stopping you from being fully happy.

So, get comfortable and let’s go over the 12 habits you need to wave goodbye to for a happy retirement.

Ready? This could make your retired life even better!

1. Spending without a budget

Retirement means you’ve got a lot of free time on your hands. And often, free time translates into more spending – be it on hobbies, travel, or just indulging in retail therapy.

But remember, in retirement, you’re working with a fixed income.

Spending without a budget can quickly drain your retirement savings. It’s crucial to create and stick to a budget that caters to your necessities and a few luxuries, without breaking the bank.

So, make friends with budgeting and say goodbye to reckless spending. Your retired self will definitely thank you for this.

2. Ignoring your health

Health is wealth – and this saying becomes even more relevant during retirement. With age, your body needs more care and attention. Ignoring your health now can lead to problems later.

Regular check-ups, a balanced diet, and daily exercise are not just good habits but necessary ones. They help keep health issues at bay and boost your overall quality of life.

So, stash away that habit of neglecting your health. Instead, embrace a healthier lifestyle for a happier retirement. Trust me – it’s worth it!

3. Staying stuck in the past

Retirement is a new chapter in your life. But sometimes, we get so caught up in what was that we forget to enjoy what is.

I remember when I first retired, I spent a lot of time reminiscing about my work days, missing the hustle and bustle, the deadlines, and even the stress!

However, I soon realized that living in the past was preventing me from fully enjoying my present. I was retired – it was time for me to explore new hobbies, travel, spend time with my loved ones, and just relax!

Don’t let your yesterdays take up too much of your today. Say goodbye to dwelling in the past and welcome your retirement with open arms and an open heart.

4. Isolating yourself

Retirement can sometimes feel a little lonely, especially if you’re used to a busy work environment. But isolating yourself isn’t the answer.

In fact, did you know that according to research, social isolation can lead to both physical and mental health issues?

It’s important to stay connected with friends, family, and the community. Join clubs, volunteer, or just catch up with old friends over a cup of tea.

Your body and mind will thank you for it!

5. Not expressing your feelings

During our working years, we often put our emotions on the back burner. We’re so caught up in the professional world that we forget to express our feelings to those who matter the most.

But now, in retirement, you have the time and the opportunity to truly connect with your loved ones. Tell your spouse how much you appreciate them.

Let your children and grandchildren know how proud you are of them. Apologize, if need be, and forgive where you can.

Retirement is a time for healing, loving, and embracing emotions. 

6. Resisting technology

Let’s face it – technology can be intimidating, especially if you’re trying to catch up after a lifetime of staying on the sidelines. I recall feeling a bit overwhelmed when I first tried to navigate my smartphone, tablet, and this thing called “social media”.

But here’s the thing – technology can be a wonderful tool in retirement. It keeps you connected, informed, and even entertained.

Once I got the hang of it, I found myself video calling my grandkids, streaming my favorite shows, and even ordering groceries online!

So, from personal experience, I urge you not to shy away from technology. Embrace it instead.

It might take a little getting used to, but the convenience it offers is worth every bit of effort. 

7. Ignoring the world

Retirement doesn’t mean you get to shut the world out. It’s important to stay informed about what’s happening around you.

It might seem easier to just disconnect and live in your own bubble, but that’s not really living, is it?

Staying aware of current events keeps you engaged, stimulates your mind, and gives you plenty to talk about with friends and family.

Pick up that newspaper, watch the news, or browse the internet. Stay in touch with the world, because it sure hasn’t stopped turning just because you’ve retired.

8. Skipping breakfast

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but did you know that skipping breakfast can increase your risk of heart disease?

During retirement, it may feel tempting to sleep in and skip breakfast, or replace it with a cup of coffee. But a nutritious breakfast kick-starts your metabolism and gives you the energy you need to enjoy your day.

So, say goodbye to skipping breakfast and hello to starting your day right. Your body will surely thank you for it.

9. Staying indoors

When I first retired, I have to admit, I enjoyed the idea of staying indoors, reading my favorite books, and watching TV shows.

But soon, I realized I was missing out on the beauty of the world outside my window.

Getting outside, soaking up the sun, breathing in fresh air – it brings a sense of peace and happiness that no indoor activity can match. Now, I make it a point to go for a walk every day, or just sit in my backyard, sipping tea and watching birds.

So, get off that couch and step outside. Trust me, it’s worth every moment.

10. Putting off travel plans

How many times have you said, “I’ll travel when I retire”? Well, guess what? You’re retired now. There’s no more waiting for the ‘right time’.

If you keep putting off your travel plans, soon you might find yourself unable to enjoy them due to health issues or other constraints.

Let’s be honest here. It’s time to pack those bags, book that ticket and explore the world. Say goodbye to procrastination and hello to new adventures.

11. Fearing change

Change can be scary, especially when you’ve spent a lifetime following a certain routine. But change is also inevitable. And sometimes, it’s for the better.

Retirement is a big change. It’s a shift from a hectic work life to a more relaxed pace of life. It might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s also an opportunity to explore new things, learn new skills and grow as a person.

So, let’s face the truth – fearing change will only hold you back. Say goodbye to fear and welcome change with an open mind.

Trust me, it can lead to some amazing experiences in your retirement.

12. Being too hard on yourself

Finally, one of the most harmful habits is being overly critical of oneself. You’ve worked hard all your life. You’ve done your best. Now it’s time to give yourself some credit.

Retirement is not the time for self-criticism. It’s the time for self-celebration! So let go of harsh self-judgments. Instead, embrace self-love and self-compassion.

Let’s get real and raw here – it’s time to say goodbye to being hard on yourself and hello to appreciating yourself more.

After all, you’ve earned it!