What the Happiest Retirees Know: Five Habits for a Healthy, Secure and Joyful Life


By Randal Locklier, President, Gulf Financial

Establish satisfying daily routines that allow you to interact with the community around you. Structure and routine can lead to a feeling of inclusion and well-being. Make plenty of friends with similar interests and your calendar will be as full as you like. Maintain a schedule, but not like before you retired. Think a daily walk along our white sand beaches, a weekly visit to the gym, a Sunday church service, regular lunch or coffee with friends, volunteer work, hobbies and activities, and virtually anything you enjoy. The choice is yours. Get involved, make friends and you will foster social connections (not Facebook, but Face to Face!) Social isolation has been linked to higher rates of heart disease, stroke, and increased risk of dementia, and shorter life span. Get out there!

Take your health seriously. Retirement is not a time to indulge unhealthy habits. Eat right, get plenty of regular moderate exercise, and you will feel great. Don’t let smoking, alcohol abuse, physical inactivity, or obesity wreck your retirement. Local senior centers are a great resource for information on healthy living and plenty of fun activities and events to keep you motivated and moving forward.

Invest for income, not for growth. One thing retirement should absolutely NOT be is a time of uncertain income. That problem will only add anxiety and discomfort to your life. Once we retire, we have exited the Accumulation Phase and entered the Distribution Phase of retirement. At this point risk reduction and income creation are paramount. This not only requires planning, but also someone (whether a Financial Advisor, friend, or yourself) that will keep tabs on your investments and knows to buy things that have income streams like CD’s, Dividend Stocks, Structured Income Notes, Annuities, I-Bonds, and Investment grade Corporate Bonds. Think of your retirement as a time to relax and live well off income, not a time to focus on expanding your portfolio. This mistake can expose you to Sequence of Returns Risk, the biggest retirement wrecker of all. That’s when you are spending at the same time the markets are falling. You would do well to emphasize low-risk income over growth in retirement and sleep peacefully.

Help Somebody. Did you know that study after study reveals that retirees are three TIMES more likely to say helping people in need brings them more happiness in retirement than spending money on themselves? I can promise you there is no shortage of people in need along the Florida Panhandle. Opportunities abound to work with churches, community groups, and charitable organizations focused on helping the less fortunate. Help somebody and help yourself to a joyful retirement as well.

Begin a Spiritual Journey. Reframe aging from a time of physical and mental decline ending in death to a spiritual transition from our earthly realm to the next. We can release our former indentities, transcend our ego, and move toward the fulfillment of God’s promise as children of the Most High. This promise is true, and for all:
John 3:16: “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.”

A Long and Happy Retirement. That’s the Gulf Financial Way. For help visit Gulffinancialgroup.com or call Sherri Campbell at (833) 403-4041