What Makes for a Happy Retirement?

Greetings all,

As financial planners, we at Bona Fide Finance spend a lot of time working with people to get them to retirement. We analyze current cash flows, we project future income, we optimize tax strategies, and do a myriad of other things chiefly centered around making sure you arrive at retirement with enough resources (aka, money) to get you through your retirement years without worrying about outliving your bank accounts. Something that can get lost in this focus on the arithmetic of retirement is the question of what makes a ‘good’ retirement. We believe it is equally important to focus not only on getting you to retirement with an appropriate nest egg, but also to help you realize what is going to make you happy in the retirement you’ve worked so hard to create.

Watch – 
If you haven’t noticed, we are big fans of a good TED talk and that’s where we lead off here. Watch Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, one of the world’s longest studies of adult life, address the topic, “What makes a good life?”. Perhaps unsurprisingly, creating a happy and well-lived life isn’t just about the amount of money you have (although it certainly doesn’t hurt), but more so about the amount and quality of relationships you have and how fulfilled you feel in your personal life. In his talk, Robert shares, “shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.” We hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we did. 

Read – 
If you enjoyed the above TED talk, you’ll surely want to read more in this article from the Harvard Gazette, “Good Genes Are Nice, But Joy is Better”. The article is full of wisdom such as, “The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80”, so if you feel like you’ve neglected some of your personal relationships in pursuit of your professional success, it might be time to reevaluate your priorities. Let’s say you are blessed with financial stability, great relationships, and long life, what then? There is a growing movement in financial planning toward taking care of the people who are spending more and more time in their retirement years. This increase in longevity requires special skills. This is an area we are acutely attuned to and Ben recently attained his RICP® (Retirement Income Certified Professional) which focuses on longevity planning among other topics. If you’ve got questions about how to prepare for your later years, we can help you.

Listen – 
In what appears to be one of our best finds in recent history, check out the Lifespan Podcast with David Sinclair, professor at Harvard Medical School. This podcast started just in December of 2021 and from what we’ve watched is of exceptional quality. With high production values, tons of good information, and a host that is extremely easy to listen to, this is one of the most engaging sources of information on the science of aging that we’ve found. If you are interested in living a healthier, happier, and longer life, then this is a great resource. 

Thank you so much for spending your time reading our newsletter. We hope you’ve found some value here. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. Share this with your friends and family and let us know if you have any topics you’d like us to cover. If you haven’t yet, take a listen to our podcast, The FI Entrepreneur. We’ve been doing it for a few months now and have gotten some good feedback. Ben and Andrew are set to record an episode about how to keep the ‘Freedom’ in ‘FI’ and how to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur, something both of them have plenty of experience with. Have a great month and we’ll see you next time!

Best wishes, 

The Bona Fide Family

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