I appreciate the message contained in a recent article published on the AARP site. It lists five financial secrets to a happy retirement. Money, not surprisingly, is not one of those secrets.
1. Wealth without health is meaningless. This secret tells me that more time should be spent exercising, sleeping and generally taking care of your aging body. Where does that time come from? From working for the money.
If your only relaxation and other healthy activity occurs on the weekend, it’s time to make a change.
2. Less is often more. I continue to be surprised by how motivated I am to get rid of stuff. Every day I am looking in my closet, my office, or my workroom for things that just take up space. I always find something in that category and then get rid of it. Very liberating.
3. Experiences – not things – enrich your life. There is lots of research on this point: Money can buy happiness if you spend it on experiences – vacations, family activities, and the like. For the same reason, trading money for time can be an excellent trade on the life satisfaction scale. I am learning this as well. It is not the way a lot of us were brought up.
4. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. We have done well financially but I know plenty of folks who have done better. It will always be that way, no matter what your wealth. Who cares? We shouldn’t.
5. Living your passion is priceless. This is a secret that I have yet to fully explore. But it’s at the top of the list.
Here is a link to the complete article. I encourage you to read it slowly and then think.