Retire Happy: How I Plan to Retire Happy by Including These 6 Things

How I Plan to Retire Happy by Including These 6 Things

As a millennial, I certainly have a few years (this is an understatement) before I officially ‘retire’ but when it happens, I intend to retire happy.  Here are six things I plan to include in my daily retirement life in hopes of having a happy retirement.  When you plan to retire early, you sure hope that you will retire happy, because retirement years may outnumber working years!

How to Retire Happy

First off, it goes without saying that retiring happy means not having to worry about your finances in retirement.  To do this, I plan to never touch the principal (versus the 4% safe withdrawal rate).  I hope to have enough funds in retirement in order to have live-in care if needed for the last few years of my life (live in care these days can range from $7000 and up… that’s per month).  I can’t imagine what the price might be adjusted for inflation by the time I may need it.

Here are some non-financial aspects of financial independence and early retirement that I plan to incorporate into my daily life to have a happy retirement.

Are you retiring soon? Thinking about what to do when you retire? The early retirement lifestyle is officially here and you're wondering what to do. Check this pin out for 6 things you must do if you want to retire happy. Places to go, things to see, the world is your oyster. #retirement #happiness #selfcare #purpose

Retiring soon? Thinking about what to do when you retire? The early retirement lifestyle is officially here and you're wondering what to do. Check this pin out for 6 things you must do if you want to retire happy. Places to go, things to see, the world is your oyster. #retirement #happiness #selfcare #purpose

Have Purpose And Meaning to Retire Happy

People in the Blue Zones (think Okinawa in Japan, Icaria in Greece, Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica) live exceptionally long lives with high quality of life. According to Healthline, people from the Blue Zones have a life purpose “ikigai” in Okinawa and this influences mortality on a positive scale.


To me, success is being able to achieve what you set forth in achieving and being able to follow through.  Success means having integrity (with yourself).  I wouldn’t want to be a retiree who is bored or finds life boring.  That would be my nightmare.  However, I think the chances of thoughts of boredom happening are quite slim.  I have so much I want to do and see and accomplish, work gets in the way!

Even if the purpose of the day is to read 30 minutes (or I hope more, since I’ll have more time), it will give me great pleasure to be able to spend my time reading and learning.

Even if that purpose is to continue saving money through travel hacking or finding the best deal I can find for a trip I plan to take.

This is also why I plan to have a phased retire plan and work part-time.

Incorporate Exercise and Eat Well to Retire Happy

Even with all the money in the world that will fund a retirement (and then some), money doesn’t buy you health.  I plan to exercise at least three to four times weekly, doing bodyweight exercises and getting my cardio by going for a brisk walk or hike or run or bike.  Also, with the extra time not doing the 9-5 grind, I plan to eat well.  I eat well right now (we cook most of our meals) but I do have the occasional (okay, not occasional) stress snacking of chocolate and chips.

Warren Buffett has a great quote about his thoughts on health and gives the analogy of receiving one car as a gift, and only one car to last the rest of your life:

“You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just life the car would be.

It’s what you do right now, today, that determines how your mind and body will operate ten, twenty, and thirty years from now.”

—- Warren Buffett

Meditate Daily and Focus on the Present

Currently, I meditate a few times a week and only for 10 minutes at a time.  In retirement, I hope to be able to meditate for at least 30 minutes a day.  I am sold on the virtues of meditation- and I even liken it to investing.  It takes discipline to incorporate meditation into your daily life, but the benefits are great for the mind and soul.  Meditation can actually change the brain according to Forbes, it preserves the aging brain, reduces social anxiety, and increases attention and focus.

Spend Time Cultivating Relationships

Relationships are the bedrock of life.  On your deathbed, you want to be surrounded by those you love, not the material items you possess.  As I get older, I find it more difficult to cultivate my current relationships, including some strained relationships with my siblings.  I hope to spend time with my parents and mother in law and take them on trips if they are able to travel.

As a new mom, I’ve been feeling guilty about spending less time with my friends because it’s so busy with a young child at home.  In retirement, I hope to have a lot more time to spend with my friends (provided that my children are older and can take care of themselves by this time).

When you get older, the people in your lives start leaving you, from cancer, from brain aneurysms, from heart attacks, from strokes.  We don’t know how much time we have left but we have to make the most of the time we have- to spend time with those that matter in our lives.

On my birthday, a perfect day would be to continue collecting birthday freebies with my loved ones.

Strike off My Bucket List

My bucket list is mainly focused on travel.  There are a lot of places that I want to go see, even if I had a million dollar retirement portfolio.  One of the trips I could take in retirement if I were not able to walk as well as I used to is to go on a cruise that is a multi-week cruise.

My colleague (who is now retired) went in a 20+day cruise to Easter Island in Chile (definitely one of my bucket list items, it is so far off) and other islands in the Pacific Ocean.  I’ll have to figure out what to do about my vertigo on cruise ships though, as I was pretty dizzy for a few days after a mere 7 day cruise to Alaska a few years back.

Let Go of Fear to Retire Happy

Finally, something that is easier said than done is to let go of fear in retirement.  I’m not simply talking about the fear of retirement, but I’m talking more about the fear of death or the fear of my mortality.

I want to spend my retirement living my best life but not letting my life be ruled by fear.  I don’t want to be taking 20 supplements of turmeric or omega 3 capsules other concoctions in hopes of extending my life by another 1.25 years.  However, I’m sure that’s easier said than done and it’s easier to say this now that I am relatively young and healthy.  I don’t know how I will be when I get diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes (it runs in my family)- I might start taking turmeric supplements at that time, who knows.

Having sufficient funds in retirement is important too, and this Retirement Projections Service would be pretty helpful to give you the confidence to retire happy.

Thanks for reading my six things I am planning to add to my retirement to retire happy.  Now, off to work on the saving for the retirement part.

Here is how Tom from Dividends Diversify, my best blog buddy, goes about retiring happy.

You may also be interested in:

How do you plan to retire happy?  What do you envision your retirement to look like?

Retiring soon? Thinking about what to do when you retire? The early retirement lifestyle is officially here and you're wondering what to do. Check this pin out for 6 things you must do if you want to retire happy. Places to go, things to see, the world is your oyster. #retirement #happiness #selfcare #purpose

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23 thoughts on “Retire Happy: How I Plan to Retire Happy by Including These 6 Things”

  1. Very, very interesting GYM. This is pretty thoughtful and realistic stuff to deal with. It’s almost like you were transported into your older self. Speaking from my experience, 3, 4 and 6 have been pretty challenging for me. I could improve on 2, but that’s always the case I think and I’ve knocked off a few things on 5. Now that I think of it, this is a pretty good check list. I should have the bullet points on a wall where I look at them every day. And now it’s time to crack the whip. 6 inches of snow on our drive. Pictures to follow. :)Tom

    • @Tom- Well, I may be actually 72 years old and already retired, who knows with the Internet! 🙂 I think 6 is difficult for a lot of people. Awe I’m glad you like this list! Pictures of Mrs. DD shoveling snow to follow?

  2. Well said -and agree with (almost) everything I haven’t tried meditation…and I REALLY need to start eating better…I keep telling myself I will…but they just make it SOOO easy to eat the “other” stuff (ordering food, frozen foods, etc)

    • @Jordan- I haven’t been so good at eating well either (I just had some Kettle Chips tonight, though they were low sodium, haha), ordering take out is just too delicious. All in moderation, that’s what I tell myself. Our lives are always a work in progress.

  3. I like your list and hope to accomplish most of them too.
    Turmeric is supposed to help with many things including dementia. So you’d better learn to add turmeric to your cooking. 🙂
    I should add meditation to my routine.

    • @Joe- Haha 🙂 I sometimes make curry and add turmeric to it. I don’t mind adding things to cooking, it’s just the supplements. I guess I’m being tongue in cheek as my mom and dad both take 20 supplements a day, one of which is a turmeric capsule!

  4. Great list but you can certainly start working on all of them without being retired. 😉

    Turmeric is really good for you, we mix turmeric powder regularly in meals. Eating well is something you should start doing now. We’ve been eating more and more veggies and less and less meat lately. And we’ve been eating less wheat-based products.

    • @Tawcan- That’s true, but it’s harder when you don’t have the time or energy after working a full 8 hours at work Monday to Friday and slogging through traffic on the commute home in the pouring Vancouver rain. LOL.

  5. This is a nice list you have for planning out your retirement and could work even if you’re not retired. We all want to do these currently and into the future especially letting go of fear. Like you said it’s easier said than done but hopefully we all can focus on the present day and try our hardest to live our best life. With that type of mindset, we hope that takes away the fear of death because if we keep thinking about it we will not strive to be our best selves and instead worry about death.
    We also went on an Alaskan cruise a few years and MwC was experiencing dizziness too the first few days of the cruise. Fortunately she wore some type of sea-band wristband and she was fine for the rest of the cruise.

    • @Kris- Good to know! I was just looking into another cruise tonight (just a 3 day one) so I’ll look into the seaband wristband. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about fear- it’s tough stuff to consider your own mortality, we all don’t like to go there.

  6. This is a great list GYM, and as the others have mentioned I think many of these are things we can / should begin pursuing even before reaching retirement. These all resonate with me but unfortunately I would say at the present time I am not doing as well as I should on most of them. I haven’t done much meditation but went through a few month period this year where I went for acupuncture once a week and that time was heavenly.

    • @DivvyDad- I just went for acupuncture yesterday, loved it! Do you fall asleep during the session too? I haven’t been great on the meditation either, I end up falling asleep lately. I will have to work on that too.

      • I usually do fall asleep–it is so darn relaxing that it is hard not too! Last night I downloaded an app called Slumber to try at bedtime, as I usually lie awake far too long with my mind racing about a variety of topics. While it was only one night, I found it to be helpful and relaxing.

        • @DivvyDad- Nice! I have no trouble sleeping it’s almost instantaneous, I will definitely keep Slumber in mind if I ever have trouble sleeping though. Glad it’s working for you.

  7. Hi GYM, you got an excellent list. I love all of them, and like to work on all. Fear is an invisible beast, and has to be under control: fear of the uncertainty, fear of disease, fear of death, etc. Many people are handicapped by fear, and are not able to enjoy the life fully. Thanks for sharing.

    • @Helen- Thanks Helen for visiting. Fear is very difficult to face- especially when it comes to our most important thing- our health.

  8. i don’t know exactly what retirement will look like. i hope there will be some dog training/fostering involved. mostly though, i want to have local friends who also have time on their hands to hang out and have a bunch of laughs. i’m thankful not to have that mortality fear. i’m also hoping not to shovel snow when i leave this job and northern climate. we just can’t decide where to go to strike just the right goldilocks balance.

    • @freddy smidlap- Dog fostering that sounds very rewarding and purposeful. I think retirement will look different for everyone, your retirement future sounds lovely- friends to hang out and laugh with.

  9. “As a new mom, I’ve been feeling guilty about spending less time with my friends because it’s so busy with a young child at home.”

    ==> I think you’re prioritizing well! Besides, if you spent more time with your friends at the expense of spending time of your child, I think you’d feel worse!

    • @Johnny Elle- That’s true 🙂 I have definitely said no to a lot of things with my friends, but hanging out once a month is still good for me and feels sufficient.


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