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Are You Considering These Aspects of a Happy Retirement?

By Joe Gross, CDFA®

You’ve worked hard for your entire career and have amassed enough resources to retire comfortably. The time is finally here!

But as a busy executive, you might find the empty hours to fill during retirement daunting. How will you fill 40, 50, or 60 hours of your week without work?

Here, we share some of the best ways to make the most out of your retirement years physically, mentally, and financially. Taking care of your body, mind, and passions during your golden years will ensure this will be the best phase of life yet.

1. Find Purpose

One of the most commonly suggested things to do in retirement is to find purpose in your new phase of life. As you transition out of the workforce, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning. Studies have shown that you can prevent this feeling by living a purpose-driven life and that individuals who feel fulfilled are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. (1) Not only that, they also live longer! (2) You can find purpose in retirement by:

  • Volunteering for a local nonprofit or church
  • Spending time with your grandchildren
  • Pursuing a newfound hobby
  • Working on home-improvement or DIY projects
  • Taking a class or learning a new skill
  • Traveling locally or abroad

Whatever you choose to do in retirement, doing it with a sense of purpose will help you make the most out of your time as opposed to just filling it.

2. Stay Healthy

Now that you’re in retirement, what better time to prioritize your health? Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you have to let your physical health decline. Many people are the healthiest they have been in their life when they enter retirement!

Sure, genetics will play a role in how healthy you will be as you age, but there are also things you can do to mitigate your risk. Exercise and diet are key to maintaining health and they can also be fulfilling ways to fill your time. Try participating in group workouts like kickboxing, yoga, or pilates, or join a gym if you prefer to exercise alone. Any form of exercise is better than nothing, and it can help decrease your risk of premature death by up to 30%. (3) Learning how to cook a new style of food can also be a fun way to pass the time while also improving your diet. 

3. Take Retirement in Phases

Adjusting to retirement is a huge transition! Going from working 40-plus hours a week for 30-plus years to suddenly having all the time in the world is a shock to the system, to say the least. It takes time to adjust, so don’t feel pressured to rush into retirement all at once. Instead, try working part time or using a phased approach to retirement.

It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to approach retirement in phases, slowly adjusting to reduced hours, part-time work, then eventually full retirement. And studies have shown that phased retirement can actually improve vitality and health among retirees. (4)

4. Prioritize Friendships

Retirees who build and maintain meaningful social relationships are often happier and healthier than those who spend their time alone. (5) Spend time connecting with your friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement. It can help prevent loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing that you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall level of happiness, and it can be a great way to fill your time, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.

Let’s Make the Most Out of Your Retirement

Are you nearing retirement and wondering how to spend your newfound free time? At JGP Wealth Management, we can help you navigate the next chapter of your life with confidence and find a fulfilling path to retirement. If you’d like to partner with a financial planner who understands your unique needs and inspires you to be more confident in your financial decisions, contact me today at 503-446-6450 or jgross@jgpwealth.com.

About Joe

Joe Gross is first vice president and senior financial advisor at JGP Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in Portland, Oregon. With over 25 years of experience under his belt, Joe is passionate about putting his clients first and helping them stay focused on their financial goals, inspiring confidence in their future. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional, he specializes in addressing the unique financial issues of divorce. Joe is known for his tenacity to keep clients on track toward their dreams and for his attention to detail, which is second to none! His clients know that nothing will slip through the cracks when working with Joe! 

Joe graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Outside of work, he enjoys being involved in the community and is actively involved with organizations close to his heart. Joe is a former president and current board member of the ALS Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington and a long-time member of The Multnomah Athletic Club. In his free time, he enjoys fly fishing, spending time with his family, and cheering on his alma mater, the University of Arizona. To learn more about Joe, connect with him on LinkedIn. You can also watch his latest webinar on How To Pick Up The Financial Pieces After Divorce.


(1) https://psychcentral.com/news/life-purpose-linked-to-better-brain-health

(2) https://hrs.isr.umich.edu/publications/biblio/11635

(3) https://www.healthline.com/health-news/staying-physically-active-may-lower-your-risk-of-death-by-30-percent

(4) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08959420.2022.2029270

(5) https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/healthy-aging/social-connections/