Author Topic: the most impt thing in retirement  (Read 4445 times)


  • Bristles
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the most impt thing in retirement
« on: June 02, 2016, 06:01:56 AM »
an usa-today article that compares in surveys what people think they will miss after they retire vs what actual retirees actually experience.

In 2013, Merrill Lynch and Age Wave (MLAW) conducted a study asking pre-retirees what they would "miss most about work when they retire." Here's what they had to say:

    Reliable income: 38%
    Social connections: 17%
    Employer health insurance: 16%
    Having purpose and work goals: 16%
    Mental stimulation: 12%

Source: Merrill Lynch/Age Wave

So, by an enormous margin, "a reliable income" was the most popular answer.

Then MLAW followed up by asking a group of currently retired folks what they missed the most about work. While "reliable income" was still relevant, the responses were starkly different:

    Social connections: 34%
    Reliable income: 29%
    Having purpose and work goals: 19%
    Mental stimulation: 12%
    Employer health insurance: 7%

If we combine "social connections," "having purpose" and "mental stimulation," these softer variables account for 65% of the most pressing losses retirees face in their post-work lives. That tells us there's a glaring contrast between what we think is important in retirement while we're still working, and what's actually important once we reach that stage.

According to MLAW's latest study Leisure in Retirement: Beyond the Bucket List it could surprisingly be the latter. That's because the majority of retirees say their enjoyment depends more on who they do an activity with than what they are doing. If the choice is between golfing alone or cleaning up trash with your kids and grandkids most retirees will gladly throw on a pair of gloves and collect the garbage.

That's one aspect of what MLAW defines as "The New Social Security": "the value [that] social relationships [add] to mental and even physical health, [which] has been shown through numerous studies."

There were two other findings of significance for soon-to-be retirees regarding this "New Social Security" offered by one's friends and family.

First, if you are married, you're likely to get the most pleasure out of being with family including your kids and grandkids. Here is who retirees ages 50 and up report that they have the most enjoyable leisure experiences with:

    My spouse/partner: 82%
    My grandhild(ren): 45%
    My child(ren): 44%
    Myself: 20%
    My friend(s): 27%
    Pets: 17%
    My other family member(s): 14%

However and this is a key difference for those who were single, it is time with friends and time alone that is most valued. Here is who retirees ages 50 and up who are divorced, separated, widowed or never married  report that they have the most enjoyable leisure experiences with:

    My friends: 42%
    Myself: 30%
    My dhild(ren): 38%
    My grandchild(ren): 30%
    My other family member(s): 22%
    My siblings(s): 14%
    My parent(s): 5%

What does this mean for your finances?

If you take the advice of current retirees and learn from their experiences, you know that living near family and friends is vital to your physical and mental health in retirement. There are a number of steps you can take financially to help make this a reality.
how does this compare with your own experiences?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 06:09:14 AM by Reader »


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: the most impt thing in retirement
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 01:36:52 PM »
Missing social connections makes a lot of sense, since retirees have a lot of free time and all their friends are still busy working. But,, volunteer activities, clubs, sports teams, card groups, etc. can fill the gap, as can family members who are always willing to let you babysit :)


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: the most impt thing in retirement
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2016, 02:33:31 PM »
For me its more about Purpose. I always ran/owned companies etc... but as time goes on in being Fire'd I am adjusting more each day and finding new purpose.


  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: the most impt thing in retirement
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 01:21:32 PM »
I thought I would miss the social connections and having a purpose, but I really don't miss that.

I'm not sure how accurate the survey is. If I was given a list of things I expected to miss while I was still working and (later) a list of things I do miss, about work, I would probably put them it that sort of order. But my expectations while I was working were that the "missing" would cause problems, so they were high on my radar. Whereas now, I know I have fewer social connections and less sense of purpose, but neither matter, because I have enough.