April 17, 2019

9 Simple Keys To A Satisfying Retirement

My time away from blogging gave me a new appreciation for keeping things simple. Retirement is not complicated, it is not difficult, it is not that tough to be satisfied most of the time. 

No great insight here...just a review of the basics, contributed by author Julia Valentine:

1. Aging brings wisdom, not decline

It has been said that what you think about, you bring about. Telling yourself you are going to flourish in retirement can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. At the very least, you might take slightly better care of yourself and, in turn, find your way into the virtuous circle of feeling better emotionally and physically, doing more interesting things, and ultimately enjoying yourself more. 

2. Age is just a number

Chronological age is merely the number of candles on your birthday cake, while psychological age is your perception of how vital and vibrant you feel. Since the latter is a subjectively experienced age, you have a great deal of latitude in constructing beliefs that will either help you or limit your ability to flourish after 50.

3. Creativity helps design your lifestyle

Discovering and exploring your everyday creativity is going to make a difference between boredom and the pure joy of being alive. Everyday creativity is invoked when the object of your creative efforts is your own life. It taps into our deepest need to feel useful and valuable. A creative life approach fosters flexibility and resourcefulness, helping you choose new pursuits, evolve with the changing times, and design a satisfying lifestyle.

4. Fulfilling true needs is essential 

Knowing what you want and, more importantly, what you need is difficult but critical. You cannot be happy without it. Research shows meeting one’s personal needs is essential for psychological health and, consequently, for more profound happiness, serenity, and a high quality of inner life. 

5. Know your motivation

Knowing why you do something is important because it will motivate you to go through with the action. Motivation is how we access the energy necessary to do anything, whether that means saving money, acquiring new skills, or staying fit to enjoy life after 50. Understanding your own intentions and desired result of any decision or activity will result in clarity, less frustration, more of what you want, and less guilt about foregoing what doesn’t meet your needs.

6. Fail to plan, plan to fail

Research proves that a successful, happy retirement is impossible without planning based on self-examination. People who plan end up with twice the wealth of people who do not. Beyond financial planning, it is imperative to take time to figure out what lifestyle needs must be fulfilled to make you happy, and then find specific ways to ensure those needs can be met. Retirement lifestyle design then becomes the driver for making good choices and building the foundation of physical, emotional, and financial health that ensures joy and fulfillment after 50.

7. Evolution beats fear 

Do not be dragged along by the changing times when you have the freedom to preside over the process. While evolution may not always mean improvement or progress, life’s progression is certainly an inevitability that should be embraced, not eschewed. Change should be revered, not feared, as with change comes new learning and growth experiences — new opportunities and ways to contribute, to be significant, and to create meaningful experiences for your self and for the people around you. 

8. Joy requires harmony

A joyful life can only be truly achieved if your inner and outer worlds are in harmony – the alignment of your life’s needs and direction (which you can set to Joy, Meaning, Abundance, Fulfillment, or anything else you desire) with your inner resources, like attitude, abilities, talents, skills, experience, and personality traits. People wholly integrated at this level are conscious of their needs, emotions, impulses, pleasures, and pains. They enjoy an amazing quality of life with frequent peak experiences, are more at peace, and are less split between an experiencing-self and an observing-self.

9. Quality of life requires more than money

It is easy to mistake comfort for quality of life. An astonishing quality of life encompasses both material comfort and joy. To live with joy, it is imperative to not only identify and understand your emotional needs, but to actively work to meet them. Do this and the second half of your life will be even better than the first.

Keeping it simple is usually the best choice.


  1. I have to disagree with you, Bob. I believe there is a LOT of great insight in this post! I kept going back to point #4. In today's society, those who are thoughtful and determined have the best shot at fulfilling their needs at a personal level. We are bombarded nearly every waking moment with messages about how to "improve" our lives. It can be difficult to hear yourself think (and determine what your heart and soul need) amid the din of social media, the product marketing that surrounds us and the good intentions of our family and friends. Blocking out the world, at least on occasion, engenders the peace and quiet that's conducive to introspection, making it easier to contemplate your own needs. That's so much better than believing what society says you can't live without.

    1. Tuning out the "noise" and clutter that is all around us is not easy. We must have a strong sense of self and a solid understanding of what is truly important to us to resist.

      I like point #9 and Julia's "it is easy to mistake comfort for quality of life." That quality really relates back to the point you identified: #4. Without knowing our true needs we don't really know what makes up a quality life for us.

      Thanks, Mary.

  2. Bob, I was reading articles on aging, sleep, and circadian rhythms this morning. Better health habits can contribute to quality of life and one’s “health span”, or length of healthy life. My take-away from the articles is that sleep is very important for a healthy life and the avoidance of chronic issues, including dementia. They recommend following a regular routine for going to bed and getting up, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night. In addition, they recommend eating most of your calories early in the day and within a 10-12 hour window. Also, they say to exercise as often as you can (walking every day). Same old stuff, but how many of us do it?


    1. How many of us do it? Not nearly enough. How many have lots of excuses? Most of us.

      I know that if I get less than 7.5 hours of sleep I perform less well during the day. If I get 8.5, same thing. Then I feel a step slower all day.


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