Over my career so far I have seen lots of people go through the transition in retirement. Whilst thankfully most of these have been successful, some have been more so than others. When I think about the ones who have gone through the transition and are truly enjoying and happy, it probably comes down to a small number of things
Structure – Having some kind of regular routine from which to build the rest of your time around. This could be getting up at a similar time every day and going for a daily walk, right through to mealtimes and what activities you do on certain days.
Flexibility – Whilst I have said that having some structure is beneficial and can help, building in flexibility is also important. The whole point of being retired is the freedom to be able do things spontaneously and not tied down by a calendar and schedule all of the time.
Interests – Spending time doing the things which interest them and they have a real passion for. These can often be different – from art to music, to golf, to puzzles. Often it comes with some kind of mental stimulation and not just physical activity.
New experiences – As we get older our nature is to try fewer and fewer new things due to a history of more and more unsuccessful attempts at things. But those who seem happiest are those who are willing to try new things and go to new places.
Health – Those who make the effort to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle are often the ones who seem happiest. This could be anything from walking, to the gym, to golf, badminton or tennis. Getting the blood flowing releases the endorphins for happiness.
Friends and family – Those who spend time with the people that they love. Remember that life is short so spend it with the people you want to.
That’s not to say that you need all of these to be truly happy and successful in retirement, but hopefully this helps!