Retiring Happy in 10 Steps

The Key to Retiring Happy in 10 Steps

10 steps that are the key to helping you map out what you might need, both financially and emotionally, to increase your chances retiring happy.

Key #1 Happy Retirees Manage their health. Of course, follow your doctor’s lead on tests and whatnot. And watch out for stealthier risks. Example: According to, Chronic liver disease is skyrocketing among older people and is often undiagnosed until too late. While booze-linked, it’s increasingly affecting non-drinkers, too. Don’t wait. Get screened.

Falling down is another big health concern for older folks. So don’t be afraid to talk about it. The Centers for Disease Control estimates one-third of retirement age adults fall annually, often incurring injury. For those over 80, half break a hip and half of those die from pneumonia — 25% fatal.  Yet few speak up, fearing they’ll lose independence. Without help they get more sedentary and weak, and that could mean even more falling. Don’t let that be you. Your doctor may diagnose why you fell, which helps prevent future stumbles. One great tactic: (Join exercise classes. Tai chi, yoga or any balance-oriented training can work wonders.) 

Happy Retirees Pick the right home.

This isn’t just a “to downsize, or not to downsize” quandary. Some folks buy their retirement dream home in the town they treasure, but in some isolated neighborhood they soon hate. That’s more annoying once you stop driving.

Retirement experts routinely recommend simple questions: How easily can you go for ice cream? Years from now, will you be able to afford drivers for all the little things? Or would you like life’s simple pleasures just blocks away, nearby your doctor and basic services?

Next: Apartment or house? Independent living or retirement community? Houses are roomier.  And some love gardening. But maintenance and upkeep sap elderly energy. Even changing light bulbs can require assistance late in life — one reason to minimize vaulted ceilings. Stairs, too. Sixty is the new 40, but stairs are hyper hazardous when truly elderly. Again, falling kills.  Retirement communities handle most of these concerns, but you may miss younger folks and their energy.

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