Retirement Happiness 

It is about happiness. 

Sometimes it’s hard for folks when they come to The 3rd Act workshop because they’re used to goal setting. I have no problem with goal setting, and we do have goals and action steps at the end of our work together, but this isn’t about goals. 

This is about having an experience of living that’s different than the second act. 

It is about happiness. 

It is about giving your life different kinds of meaning, perhaps in a different kind of purpose. That’s not to say that there isn’t a sense of accomplishment about it, but it isn’t about getting that next position in your job as you move up the rung. 

It isn’t about getting a bigger salary, not to say that people don’t want to have a salary or remuneration when they’re retired. Most people do want that. They do want to continue to work in some way, but it’s not goal setting. 

It’s like looking at what are the simple pleasures and being sure to put those into your plan. 

Retirement Connections

You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have connections, you will not have a happy and healthy retirement. 

Who are the positive relationships in your life and how do you build those? 

And it’s clear that connections are critical. Connections are fundamental in all the research that’s been done about successful and healthy and happy aging. 

You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have connections, you will not have a happy and healthy retirement. 

It’s scientifically proven in a long Harvard study by Gallop where they studied people for 70 years from the time they were little kids all the way up into their eighties. Phenomenal study. The major thing they found was connection is important. 

I tend to believe that it’s not only connection with others, but my experiences, you must be also connected to yourself as well. So it goes both ways.

Creating Structure in Retirement

If you’re not intentional about your time, things will just happen. 

One of the things that people often say when they come to my trainings in person or on Zoom is they are so grateful that they don’t have to get up at five in the morning or six in the morning to go to work, and that they have their own structure. 

They can get up at eight o’clock and have a cup of tea or a cup of coffee like I do, and kind of ease into their day. So that’s one side of this structure. 

The other is that people feel very lost. And one of the things that happens, if you’re not intentional about your time, things will just happen. 

You’ll find yourself doing this or that, but it has doesn’t have any focus. It doesn’t have any intentionality about it. 

So it’s very important to have meaning and purpose in your plan so that you have a sense of what’s significant to choose in your life. 

Now, not just go from this, to that in your life, somebody calls and you go out to coffee, somebody stops by and you sit down and you have a cup of tea and talk about things. 

I mean, there’s nothing wrong about that, but your whole life can fill up with that. And you’d find that you don’t have really a sense of meaning and purpose when things are just random. 

So intentionality is important, which is different than setting goals. It’s different and has a different quality.

Patricia

Patricia

The 3rd Act was founded and is led by Patricia Cavanaugh — a seasoned psychotherapist and licensed coach who has helped hundreds of retirees find their path and purpose in this phase of life.

Free Gift!

Get our Recommended Retirement Resources including our Best Reads Book List,
when you sign up to receive Patricia’s blog updates via email.

* indicates required


Your information will never be shared or misused.