Most retirement planning focuses on one thing: money. How much will you have once the music stops and is that going to be enough to last you for the rest of your life ― especially since no one knows how long that will be?
The bulk of your thinking probably goes like this: Is it smart to pay off the mortgage? What will I do if the stock market crashes again? Will either of these two presidential candidates eventually get around to even mentioning Social Security ― even just for one news cycle, pretty please? It’s all financial-based concerns.
But what gets a whole lot less thought is this: How will you actually spend your time once you no longer have a job to go to?
When it comes to retirement, boredom can be a four-letter word.
One small British study found that the joy of retirement wears off after around 10 months. About half of the 787 people surveyed by the Skipton Building Society noted that they missed the social aspects of their work life ― the camaraderie that went hand-in-hand with their job. Four out of 10 said the novelty of staying at home wore off, their mind was no longer being pushed, and they were bored.
Boredom is retirement’s buzzkill for sure. A Pew Research Center study titled “Growing Old In America: Expectations Vs. Reality” found that 70 percent of people 65 and older saw spending more time with family as one of the top benefits of growing older. But that assumes that you have family ― and family that has time to spend with you.
Advisors suggest, if possible, to ease into retirement by working fewer hours at first ― and to think about how to fill those hours when you aren’t in the office. Busy people, busy minds.