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secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-27-2005, 06:12 PM   #1
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secrets to happy retirement

Today's Wall Street Journal weekly Clements' article is about improving odds of a happy retirement. He has seven pointers gleaned from "happiness research" by economists (?). Some are common sense, some are debatable, but to summarize:

1. Value your time. Clements says that people become more and more unhappy as they get older, with unhappiness peaking in the 40s, and then people get happier. The theory is you are happiest when you have more time and more freedom and control over your daily life.

2. Think ahead. Clements says those who plan their retirement are usually happier than those pushed out of the workforce.

3. Expect less. Clements says researchers have found that greater income and wealth lead to greater happiness, but what is most important is relative wealth, including your wealth relative to your expectations. What matters is the gap between what you have and what you think you ought to have.

4. Pick your neighbors. People care about how their standard of living compares to their neighbors, so don't move to a neighborhood you can barely afford.

5. Buy yourself income. Retirees who receive traditional company pensions are happier than those with only their own savings plans, like 401(k) plans, probably because of the sense of security which comes with a guaranteed, predictable income. Clements suggest using some of your assets to buy an immediate annuity if you are in good health to provide a "guaranteed" stream of income.

6. Work at retirement. One economist found that working in retirement seems to increase satisfaction. However, retirees are less satisfied is they aren't working, but their spouse is.

7. Invest in friendship. Research suggests that seeing good friends will make you happier than having material things.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-27-2005, 07:17 PM   #2
 
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

I wonder if any of the economists that did the study are retired.

This seems a lot like the Catholic Priest doing Marriage Counseling.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-27-2005, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

I like that one!

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh.

I don't think Clements is retired.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

It is interesting the part about the one spouse working makes the other spouse less happy. In a way it would seem good for the non-working spouse just to have some alone time. But I guess if the work interfers with making travel plans, etc (like DH still working right now) I can totally see the point.

Maybe if the working spouse had a part-time, flexible job it wouldn't be as bad.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 12:03 PM   #5
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by shiney
It is interesting the part about the one spouse working makes the other spouse less happy. In a way it would seem good for the non-working spouse just to have some alone time. But I guess if the work interfers with making travel plans, etc (like DH still working right now) I can totally see the point.

Maybe if the working spouse had a part-time, flexible job it wouldn't be as bad.
Being a selfless individual, I'm more than willing to share the pain and become the non-working spouse for a while...hey, it might work?
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Right! I shouldn't be unhappy at all to be the non-working spouse.

In fact I am SO happy not to have to wear panty-hose this summer! That in itself should make for a happy retirement.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha


5.* Buy yourself income.* Retirees who receive traditional company pensions are happier than those with only their own savings plans, like 401(k) plans, probably because of the sense of security which comes with a guaranteed, predictable income.* Clements suggest using some of your assets to buy an immediate annuity if you are in good health to provide a "guaranteed" stream of income.
I wonder how many that post here have purchased and immediate annuity or plan to do so?
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 03:05 PM   #8
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Have not and no plan to do so. My pensions may be the equivalent anyway.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 03:55 PM   #9
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

DOG50,
I considered using part of my 401k to buy an immediate annuity, but the Vanguard person said not to buy it. I'm too young (58); said wait until I'm at least 65 to even consider such a thing.
That's why I like Vanguard - they don't push you into bad investments !
Ray
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 05:23 PM   #10
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Also, the interest rates are low right now. You would be locking in very low rates for life if you bought now.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-28-2005, 05:28 PM   #11
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
Also, the interest rates are low right now.* You would be locking in very low rates for life if you bought now.
True! Many overlook the importance of this.

JG
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-29-2005, 09:34 PM   #12
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

The state of mind for sucess in any venture, including retirement, includes optimism tempered by good judgement derived from experience.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-29-2005, 10:41 PM   #13
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

To summarize...

"And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine"

Life is only as good as you make it - do not neglet the vices!!!
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 12:15 AM   #14
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash


"And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine"

I'll be willin'
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 01:07 AM   #15
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
DOG50,
I considered using part of my 401k to buy an immediate annuity, but the Vanguard person said not to buy it.* *I'm too young (58);* said wait until I'm at least 65 to even consider such a thing.
That's why I like Vanguard - they don't push you into bad investments !
Ray
R U kidding, VG makes more if you don't do the annuity - that's a low fee overall for them since it's fixed.

I think they got you good on that one.

They did push the bad investment... I think
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 05:01 AM   #16
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash
To summarize...

"And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine"

Life is only as good as you make it - do not neglet the vices!!!
Good advice! Maybe Beststash can run as "Vice" Pres. on the 2008
ticket with Unclemick

JG
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 08:14 AM   #17
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

A little New Orlean's advice:

Never plan to party - party now - but never burn yourself out - so's you can plan on being in shape for the next party.

Bon Temps Rolliere - let the good times roll.
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 08:25 AM   #18
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash
To summarize...

"And if you give me: weed, whites, and wine"

Life is only as good as you make it - do not neglet the vices!!!
Whites? - speed?
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 09:07 AM   #19
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

Just a song that came to mind during my "Happy Hour".

Not sure about the whites - probably speed (legacy drug) - I am not sure they even make that stuff anymore....probably nowdays there is some exotic prescription??

Seriously though, I think the secret to a happy retirement is to never forget you are on "permanent vacation".
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Re: secrets to happy retirement
Old 07-30-2005, 10:50 AM   #20
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Re: secrets to happy retirement

I like the New Orleans advice.......Let the good times roll.
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