Retirement is Boring

Hard to believe, but retirement can be boring – as in not interesting and tedious. Nationwide Retirement Institute conducted a survey in 2020 and found that 28% of recent retirees said life was worse in retirement compared to when they were working!

How can that be?  Isn’t retirement the promised land, the holy grail, one of the things that is earnestly and hotly pursued or sought after? Turns out that for about one-fourth of retirees it’s not. It’s a time of isolation and a loss of direction.

Off the top of my head, here are some of the reasons retirement might be boring:

  • Not enough friends/losing friends
  • Loss of identity
  • Stress about money constrains activities/travel
  • Not making money
  • Not learning anything new
  • No new adventures
  • Activities that once provided a break are now repetitious and not stimulating
  • No routine
  • Not enough stress
  • Too much free time
  • Television over-load
  • Declining health

Hmmm. So, if these are some of what makes retirement boring, what can you do about it? If you’re nearing retired (or if you’re already retired and are bored or starting to get sinking feeling) here are five things you can do to make retirement sure retirement is NOT boring.

  1. Get your finances in order. Money doesn’t buy happiness but having confidence in your finances will free you up to do things and experience new adventures.
  2. Invest in relationships and experiences. I have long preached to our retiring clients that happiness in retirement is at the junction of doing things you like with people you like.
  3. Set some retirement goals. Make a list of goals you want to accomplish and then start working towards them. For example, learn a new skill, take a class, take up a new sport, learn a new language, dictate your family history, travel to all the light houses in your state, etc.
  4. Have a purpose. I’ve written about this before, and I can’t emphasize this one enough. We are meant to have purpose outside ourselves. This need doesn’t stop in retirement. One of the best articles on living a life of purpose after retirement is from Kiplinger magazine. Check it out.
  5. Get healthy.  Exercise has many benefits including snapping us out of our lethargy. Plus, when we’re healthy, we have more energy to do things we like.

There are many articles on the Internet about how to be happy in retirement. I received an astounding 18,700,000 results by googling the key words “how not to get bored in retirement.” Try it and see what you can come up with.