The 2018 Retirement Survey

I’m excited about today’s post.  It reflects a “First” for The Retirement Manifesto.  A collaborative project with a good friend of mine, Ted Carr of Retirement Journeys.  Ted and I have done a few podcasts together on his show, and we’ve hit it off.

A month ago, Ted approached me with a proposal.  How would I like to work with him on a joint 2018 Retirement Survey?  I jumped on the idea, and the project was launched.  Together, Ted and I developed a 10 question survey, which we sent out to our readers and listeners.

Today, we’re excited to present the results!

To continue the collaborative theme, Ted and I have co-written this post, through an enjoyable process of sharing this draft post back and forth numerous times over the past two weeks.  We created a dialogue, of sorts, regarding our thoughts on the survey results.  You’ll see our exchange below.

Ted addresses the responses from the perspective of one already retired, while I look at things through the eyes of someone still in the workforce (but nearing retirement).  We co-edited this blog post, and we divided up the compilation of data in the results we present below.

Collaborative, indeed!

After this post is jointly published, we’re planning a podcast to discuss the survey results.  I’ll send you a link to the episode when it’s published.

It’s been a fun project, and I hope you enjoy the result of our joint work.

The 2018 Retirement Survey

In early February 2018 a 10-question survey was sent to readers/listeners of the blogging/podcasting community.  We were pleased to have 195 folks respond to the survey.  The results shed some interesting light on what’s on the mind of retirees.  While the results may not be statistically representative of the retirement population as a whole, they are likely directionally correct, and give us some good areas to explore as we seek to answer….

“What’s On Your Mind?”

The survey was comprised of 10 questions.  Below, we’ll address each question in a back-and-forth manner, and provide our thoughts on the results.  First, here’s a summary of the age of the individuals who participated in the survey:

It’s interesting to note that we have some very early retirees in the survey (Hi Steve and Jillian!).  Those two are young (& retired) blogging friends of mine, and we joked on Twitter that they’d be identifiable by their early age.  However, a more typical 87% of the respondents were between the ages of 50-69, so the results below are likely indicative of most folks in retirement age.

The average age of survey respondents is 58. and the median age is 60. Only 2% of respondents are between 30-39 (Hi Steve & Jillian); 10% are between 40 – 49; while 38% are between 50 – 59; and a majority of 49% are between 60 – 69.  Finally,  2% are between 70 -79.

Q1:  How Many Years Have You Been Retired?

Ted: 75% of survey respondents have been retired less than 5 years which places them in the early stages of retirement. I have learned that retirement is not a uniform end state – it is a journey that requires constant adjustment. According to The 6 Stages of Retirement the goal is to achieve a comfortable retirement routine.  It took me several years to get there and hopefully by sharing my experience I can help others get there too.

Fritz:  Retirement’s not a uniform end state, Ted?  Man, I have a lot to learn from those who have walked ahead of me.  With less than 100 days until my retirement, I appreciate your experience with the transition into retirement, and am currently focusing on keeping myself flexible and open to “constant adjustment”.  I suspect retirement has a lot of unexpected surprises, and I’m preparing for that.  Thanks for sharing your experience.  You’re helping me, and many others, on our journeys.

Q2:  Did You Retire On Your Own Terms?

  • Yes, I controlled when and under what terms      83%
  • No, I really didn’t have a choice                                 9%
  • It just happened by default over time                      7%

Fritz:  I was actually surprised by these results.  In my post titled “Will You Be Forced To Retire”, I cited a major study that 60% of Americans are forced to retire sooner than they’d hoped.  I’m pleased to see our participants had a better “success rate”, but I’d encourage pre-retirees to not get too comfortable.  I suspect the reality is worse than reflected in our “small sample size” poll.

Ted:  Fritz, I agree with you that many people are forced into retirement. One of the reasons that matters is because studies have shown that people who control the circumstances of their retirement are happier and less stressed than those forced to retire. Another control issue is the timing of when a working couple retires: do you retire together or at different times?  In my case, both my wife and I voluntarily retired at the same time in 2010. Whether this is desirable or not depends on circumstances and on the couple’s relationship. It turned out to be the right decision for us.

Fritz, sharing your run-up to retirement serves as a great example and inspiration to all who follow you. You are definitely on the right trajectory for a happy and successful retirement! References: 9 Secrets of Retirement by Emily Brandon of US News &World Report; notes from my interview with retired psychology professor Jill Steinberg of MyRetirementWorks; and from the WSJ Should Couples Retire at the Same Time?

Fritz Again: You are definitely on the right trajectory”, coming from you, Ted, means a lot to me.  Thanks for your encouragement.  I really enjoy how folks in our online community are so supportive of each other.  You just saw an example of that in action, folks. 

Thanks again, Ted.

Q3:  Please Rank Your Concerns

The results of the leading concerns, in descending order:

  1. Unexpected Health Crisis
  2. Outliving Savings / Inflation
  3. Costs of Long Term Care
  4. A Stock Market Crash
  5. Not Having Enough To Do
  6. Isolation / Loneliness
  7. Relationship Challenges / Marital

Ted: I have read articles and heard from my podcast guests that outliving your savings is the number one fear of retirees. But in our survey, it comes in second. I suspect that’s because most respondents to our survey have a financial plan that shows sufficient cash flow to last throughout their lives. So if you are in a good place financially what could jeopardize your retirement?

The obvious answer is an unexpected health crisis. We have friends who have had the misfortune of losing a spouse (one at age 53 hardly old). Not only did the surviving spouse have to adjust to the loss of their partner but also to the loss of their retirement dreams. References:  Older People Fear This More Than Death .

Fritz:  Ted, thanks for the link, I just read the story on “Older People”.  Fascinating stuff. The quote from the article that supports your point about “outliving savings” is below:

Older Americans’ No. 1 fear about their retirement is that they won’t have enough money to afford retirement - MarketWatch Share on X

I agree with your thought, Ted, that our survey population is not representative of the retirement population at large.  In our survey population, “Health Crisis” ranks #1 vs. “Money” for the average retiree. Our result is likely, as you surmise,  due to the likelihood that our readers are in better shape with their money than the general population. In my personal case, I would certainly rank “Health Crisis” as my biggest concern at this point.

One of my greatest fears is losing my spouse at a young age (50’s is still young, right?), so I can empathize with our survey results.  A true crisis like your friends faced is a real earthquake in life, disrupting everything you’d been planning for your life.  As I said, my greatest fear.

I think about retirement as realizing there are many things outside my control, but I’m best served by focusing my efforts on the things I can control.  I consider taking care of my body something I can control, so I’m focusing on getting in great shape as part of my retirement plan.  My wife and I share that goal, and it’s something we’re enjoying doing together.

While we can’t avoid a “Crisis”, we can certainly improve our odds for a healthy life.

Q4:  What Is Your Strategy When It Comes To Aging?

  • Downsize to a more manageable house/condo            31%
  • Age in place                                                                          28%
  • Let events play out and deal w things as they come     28%
  • Proactively move into assisted care or CCRC                   9%
  • Have not thought about it                                                     4%
  • Move in with children                                                             0%

Fritz:  My wife and I decided to make our downsize move prior to retirement and recently moved into our “Good To Great Retirement Cabin” in the mountains.  We’ve intentionally purchased a home that will allow “one-floor living” if we need to go that route in the future.  With my mother-in-law living in a nursing home, this topic has been top of mind for us as we approach retirement.  While many would prefer to “age in place”, I suspect some will have difficult choices to make as they “deal with things as they come”.

Ted: I am impressed that nearly 2/3 of survey respondents indicate that they have thought about the subject.  It comes as no surprise that most people want to continue to live in their own home whether it is their current house or a smaller one.  

Up until recently my wife and I fell into the “proactively move into a CCRC”. The number one reason is to avoid the potential isolation that a surviving spouse may experience while remaining in their own home. However, we’re in the process of reconsidering that strategy because more options (e.g. retirement communities) are becoming available along with the very high cost of buying into a CCRC. The good news is that (assuming good health); we have time to consider our options. So our new default strategy is “age in place” – for now. Reference: AARP research.

Fritz Again:  Wow, Ted.  Your point about “avoid the potential isolation that a surviving spouse may experience” hit me pretty hard.  I hadn’t thought about that potential aspect of retirement lifestyle decisions (I’m still young, remember!).  It certainly shows I have things to learn from “The Masters” who have gone before me, like you!  (BTW, I like this collaborative approach to writing. It’s fun, right?).  It appears to me that defining your “Aging Strategy” is something that continues well into retirement, and we’re keeping our options open.   We’ve established our 10 Commandments For Retirement, and #VII is to remain Flexible To Change. Seems applicable to this aspect of retirement planning.

Q5:  What Are Your Income Sources?

Ted:  Clearly investment income and Social Security lead the way. But what surprises me is how many are fortunate enough to have a pension. I interviewed Emily Brandon of US News & World Report about her book “Pensionless: the 10 Step Solution for a Stress-Free Retirement”. Emily points out that pension plans have been declining since the 1980s which places more responsibility on us. According to research conducted by Jill Steinberg, people who have pensions feel more secure and optimistic about retirement. So good news for all of you who have pensions!

My wife and I have relatives and friends who receive pensions and none of them have ever expressed any anxiety over money. Plus, and this may be even more significant, they also get health insurance. After we retired we went from a world of having the best health insurance to a world of uncertainty and worse insurance. 

Fritz:  Hearing what you say, Ted, I count my lucky stars that I’m one of the last of the dinosaurs who will get a solid pension, and it’s certainly played a major role in us being able to retire early (I’ll be 55 Yrs old when we retire in June).  We won’t have retiree medical coverage, but we’ve budgeted $24k/yr for private pay insurance in our retirement cash flow.

I wonder (with concern) what % of workers under the age of 50 have a pension. I suspect it's a small minority. Share on X

For those reading this who are years away from retirement, you’ve got a burden to develop a “self-funded” retirement.   Savings rates will have to be significantly higher for younger folks to make up for the loss of this valuable benefit.  I’m thankful for having a pension, but I do worry about younger generations.  Please, please, please.  If you’re under the age of 50, work to achieve a minimum 20% savings rate.  You’ll need it.  You need to replace that pension.

Q6:  What Are Your Favorite Activities?

Fritz:  I’m a bit surprised by these results, with less than 30% of recent retirees involved in “Outdoors, sports & fitness, and less than 15% pursuing travel.  My stereotype of retirement was that more folks spend time traveling and enjoying the out of doors.  I also find it a bit depressing that less than 5% of folks volunteer.  It makes me wonder what retirees are doing with all of their time, and I hope they’re not wasting their most valuable years parked in a recliner in front of a T.V.  Maybe I’m naïve, but I envision a much more active retirement.  Time will tell.

Ted:  Fritz, I am fascinated by the results. They show just how many different ways there are to enjoy retirement.  I’m also a bit surprised by the low volunteer rate. Perhaps it can be explained by how many are relatively new to retirement and are busy following one of the three retirement paths (honeymoon, immediate retirement routine, and rest/relaxation). Then there’s the difference between leading a happy life and a meaningful life. I think it takes time to reach the point where giving back is seen as a way to enhance retirement happiness. The case of my wife helps illustrate this point. Over the years I’ve suggested that she do some volunteer work but she’s never expressed interest – until now 8 years into retirement. As I mentioned at the beginning, retirement is not linear. We are constantly changing and growing. References: There’s More to Life Than Being Happy.

Fritz Again:  I hope to lead a meaningful life, and my wife and I are pursuing ways to give back to our community.  I hope others realize, sooner rather than later,  the value in “giving back as a way to enhance retirement happiness”.

Q7:  What Has Surprised You Most About Retirement?

Ted:  The good news is that nearly 2/3 (64%) were surprised in a good way while just 12% were surprised in a bad way. This suggests a couple of things to me: you all have done a great job in planning for both the financial and non-financial side of retirement; that you were ready to retire; and that you are enjoying retirement. 

Fritz:  Interesting way to aggregate the results, Ted, and I’m happy to see that our respondents were most often surprised in a good way.  I hope I can say the same after I retire in June!  I was also happy to see that 21% had an easy transition, and 19% said they were surprised by how busy they are.  Good signs!

Q8: What Gets You Out Of Bed In The Morning?


Fritz:  I’m pleased to see that only 12% of respondents are being driven out of bed by responsibilities.  After 33 years of an alarm clock, I want my retirement to be motivated by things that I choose to pursue.  With less than 100 days to retirement, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about what I what my motivations to be in retirement.  Finding a purpose is a key contributor to a great retirement, and I’m pleased to see that the majority of retirees seem to be finding things to motivate them after their “jobs” are behind them.

Ted: The intent of this question is to determine what motivates you in retirement (although some people interpreted this question more literally). I think that the first 5 categories are positive motivators. You are in control whereas with the last category, “Responsibilities; appointments; meetings” you are tied to things that you have to do and therefore have less control. It may also suggest that there’s simply not enough to do. I think these results correlate with the response to Question 10 How Do You Rate Your Overall Happiness?

Q9: How Do You Grade Yourself In The Following Areas?

Ted: The most frequent grade given across all categories is a B at 39% of all grades given. A’s were given 34% of the time, C’s 21%, D’s 5% and F’s only 1%. The highest category grade given is an A for Managing Personal Finances (61%). The lowest category grade given is an F for Family Interaction (0.5%). Overall I think that these grades indicate that you are doing a great job of “managing” retirement and that they correlate with the findings in Question 10. That all said, they also indicate that there is some room for improvement especially when it comes to Diet/Nutrition which is the category that has the greatest disparity between A’s and B’s (49% vs. 22%).

Fritz:  Ted, Interesting to see so many folks giving themselves an “A” for personal finances.  I suspect our sample has a bias towards those who care about personal finance, given that they’re reading and listening to our content!  It looks like we’re going to have to start adding some “healthy eating” content to our sites to help folks move their grade up to an A in that category.  What jumped out at me was the 33% of folks who rate themselves a “C” on Social Interaction.  Relationships are shown to be one of the highest factors in a great retirement, and it’s an area that retirees say they’re not doing too well in.  That’s concerning to me, and tells me I really need to focus on developing relationships post-work.

Q10: How Do You Rate Your Overall Happiness?

Fritz:  I’m pleasantly surprised by the 82% of folks who rate retirement happiness as “High” or “Very High”.  When I wrote “Will Retirement Be Depressing”, I was concerned by the fact that retirement increases the probability of depression by 40%.  Looks like we have an abnormally well-adjusted group of followers, Ted!

Ted:  I think this strong 82% “happy result” it is a credit to our survey respondents. You have taken responsibility for retirement planning, adjusting to retirement and starting a new chapter in your lives. And this result corroborates some interesting research on this topic. According to The U Curve of happiness, people get happier as they get older. That is great news, especially for those approaching retirement.

I can’t believe that it’s been 8 years since we retired. I went through a difficult and prolonged adjustment stage but have now settled into a comfortable retirement routine. In fact, I don’t think of myself as “retired” in the traditional sense. I’m just doing something different with my life now that I have financial freedom and time freedom. Labels and stereotypes don’t apply. I am responsible for my happiness. I am not dependent on others for validation.

Fritz Again:  I appreciate your transparency on the difficulties you had in the transition, Ted.  If I’m honest with myself, I have some trepidation, though the majority of my emotion is positive and excited about the next phase.  I’ve heard many stories from folks who had a tougher transition than they expected.  I’ve tried to do everything I can to prepare for this, and I take assurance in knowing that folks like you who had a tough transition have settled into an enjoyable “retirement”.

Financial Freedom does indeed bring freedom, but it also brings responsibilities for one’s happiness.  I hope to apply the lessons I’m learning from those who have gone before me on the journey, like you!



Ted:  Thank you, Fritz, for collaborating with me on the project! Your inputs, experience, perspectives, and audience have resulted in a much better result than I could do on my own. I also want to thank everyone who took the time to take our survey.

Here are my objectives for the survey and what I learned about each:

  1. Learn more about the audiences that Fritz and I interact with
  • Many of you retired relatively young and are in the early stages of retirement. 83% controlled the circumstances of your retirement with bodes well for your happiness.

2. Understand how people are doing with both the financial and non-financial sides of retirement.

  • When it comes to managing the financial side of things you’re on top of it (61% give yourselves an A). The non-financial side is more mixed. There’s room for improvement when it comes to health (diet, nutrition, and exercise); and family and social interaction – two areas that are vital.

3.  Discover what people have learned about retirement from their experience

  • It was great to learn that most of you are enjoying retirement, that you’re busy and not bored. You enjoy having control over your life. It was interesting to me that 11% of you said that nothing surprised you. You must have done an excellent job of preparing! Unfortunately, 12% of you do not appear to be enjoying retirement. I hope that you find some motivation and inspiration from this survey because as I said earlier retirement is not a uniform or permanent state. It will change and hopefully for the better.

4. Learn How People Are Spending Their Time

  • I learned that there is no one way that people chose to spend their time, i.e. what motivates them. There is a multitude of things! As the co-host of my Retire Hoppy podcast (Roy) likes to say: you don’t need to find something to do in retirement. You have to find many things.

5.  See How People View The Future

  • I was impressed that so many people are looking ahead. We live in an ageist society where we learn from a young age to fear growing old. Many live in denial or avoidance of this topic. I believe that it is a sign of strength and confidence to accept ourselves at whatever age we are. So kudos to all who have thought about how you want to live as you age. I hope that you have taken it one step further and have created an estate plan (and/or will) and health care directives. Strength and peace come from acceptance.

6.  In General, Are People Happy In Retirement?

  • It is clear that most of you are happy. I think the reasons for this are in your responses: you controlled the circumstances of your retirement; you are doing a good job of managing your finances (which can be a major stressor); you have a lot of interests; and I believe that you are open to continuously improving your life.

7. A Means To Share Information.

  • One way that we learn is by sharing our stories. So by your gracious act of responding to our survey, you have enabled Fritz and me to engage, inform and inspire others. I’d like to take this thought one step further. I encourage you to continue to share your stories, your journeys.
  • Here are several ways to do so: listen to and share podcasts (such as my Retire Hoppy podcast – shameless self-promotion I know); volunteer to be a guest on my podcast; read and share blog posts; become a guest blogger; engage in social media (believe it or not there is a lot of great information about retirement on Twitter – you can follow me @retirehoppy); or mentor a younger person to help them achieve financial literacy.

The design of questions 6, 7 and 8 is open-ended meaning that you were able to enter whatever you wanted. I grouped your answers into categories that I created which introduces some subjectivity. 

Fritz:  I’d like to thank Ted for reaching out to me as a partner in the 2018 Retirement Survey, and I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had working through this with him.  Almost more than the conclusions, the takeaway for me was the value of the process that Ted and I used to compile this post.  We’ve shared numerous emails and “draft versions” of this post together over the past 2 weeks, and It Was Fun.

The approach we used demonstrated a unique way that those of us in or near retirement can use new means and technology to build relationships in non-traditional ways.

Ted and I have had a meaningful exchange in the creation of this post.  You see it in our words above.  If more of us can find ways to create meaningful connections, especially connections which benefit others, we can all contribute to the objective of my blog…

…Helping People Achieve A Great Retirement








  1. Hey, what happened to our survey?

    One of the best answers is to Q7 where respondents say the transition was enjoyable, they’re not bored and they’re busy. Isn’t one of the main reasons retirees purportedly get sick and die soon after leaving the workforce that their lives lack purpose and meaning? That they can’t find things to do and feel useless? It’s great to see these figures poke holes in these old adages.

  2. Interesting results to your survey. One revelation that stood out to me was that only 5% are interested in Volunteering. Most Retirees have some knowledge or skill that they can pass on to others. I have found a lot of personal joy in doing so, and my volunteer activities have the added benefit of being outdoors, enjoying nature , being active physically and mentally. I continue to learn new things to improve my contribution. There is also the positive reinforcement I get each day from several people who say “Thank you for being here or teaching this”. I don’t do it for the accolades, but it does make me happy. Find something that you can do to help others and you might just find a larger purpose to your Retirement.

  3. This is super interesting (even to a millennial like me), as I am shifting into a coast-FI life over the next few years (not full-FIRE or retirement).
    I’m also watching my parents as they are planning on retiring in five years or so. As their kid that lives locally, I was super excited when they decided to downsize (and RENT! No need for us to come over and fix a roof down the road). They went from 2500 sq ft to a ranch home with just under 1000 sq ft. It was great to help them sift through the stuff and get some furniture they don’t use anymore to fill our mostly unfurnished home at the time. It helped my parents and me out!

  4. Was there any correlation on any of the metrics between age or years in retirement and some of the other metrics. Especially those like fears, sources, and activities?

    Interesting set of data

  5. Very interesting results. I am also surprised at the number of respondents who had a pension. It must be reflective of the age group. My early retirement has been nothing but spectacular and although not seamless in transition it wasn’t overly difficult to settle into a new way of life. I find that the way I would have answered these questions within the first 5 years of my retirement would be answered differently now that I have more years of retirement under my belt.

  6. It’s cool that 10% of the responses came from age 40-49. That shows something about your readers. Impressive. I was also taken by the fear of losing your spouse. That is a bigger fear than running out of money to me. It’s fun to see these statistics. And somewhere in there are my own answers. Thanks for taking on this project. I also enjoyed the back and forth and I look forward to your upcoming podcast.

  7. I’m not surprised by how few are volunteering. I think we all have great aspirations to do that sort of things when more of our time gets freed up, but I’ll bet the day goes by quickly with other activities planned, and as we know, many “retiree” are still “working,” but doing things that THEY want to do. Not saying this is good or bad..but I can see that.

  8. Nice aggregation of some retirement data. Even with a small sample size, it’s interesting reading. Like you I had some things I was surprised by and some things that seemed pretty spot on with what I would imagine in early retirement.

    Thanks for putting this together, it was a good read!

  9. Very interesting answers.
    I thought Costs of Long Term Care would be higher, but I guess the other 2 were more important. Many people probably underestimate the need for long term care.

    It’s really great to see so many people happy with their retirement. The sample size is probably too small for this one. Unhappy retirees probably won’t take the time to do this one.

  10. Interesting survey. January was my twentieth anniversary of early retirement at age 45. The money lasting was my biggest concern then, but eighteen months after my DH retirement our earthquake started and his ten month battle with Leukemia ended in widowhood. All of our together dreams and financial spreadsheets went out the window. So When I would fill out this survey would have dramatic differences.
    Fritz, thanks for all the insightful articles. As a Math Nerd, former researcher I really like your white board chart and had already recognize the new tax law would lower my taxes on conversions. I question your decision to delay your pension beyond a start date of Jan 1,2019 since your backdoor Roth in January 2017 and six months of wages already puts you in a high federal and probably 6% GA state tax.
    But Jan 2019 having no work income, the pension is a great floor, and if it is an employee contribution plan has some tax advantages. I am definitely a bird in hand person. IMHO, I think in your Envy of the FIRE community percentage in Roths you are planning to take too much of a tax bite to up your percentage in Roth’s, at the reduction of your assets and net worth. Especially since I think the chart you presented on what all asset classes will be growing is probably pretty accurate. What you are foregoing not taking the pension takes quite a long time to recover and may never come to pass with an early death. A lot of people envy US, old dinosaurs having pensions and the beauty of having them when we are younger we can play the low tax bracket game to do Roth conversions and still increase our net worth. In Georgia at age 62-64 your pension is excluded from state income tax. But At 63, your income will be looked at for Medicare premium surcharge. A double edge sword!
    Reading your blog, challenged me to tackle my own personal financial plans again.
    I spent all of Tuesday calculating if I want to increase what I convert to Roth? The answer is possibly. For those who pensions make Social Security 85% taxable it is a slippery slope with lots to consider. The RMDs at seventy half is only five years away for me. So, the Calculation I use to compare the benefits of doing more:
    1. for the first year Each $100,000 converted decreases my income by 100,000 divided by 27.4=$3649 (27.4 from the Chart on But at 85% Social Security taxation levels the RMD actually adds 1.85 times that to your income. Which equals the Phantom increase of income of $6750.
    For my case this brings my marginal tax rate from 15%, 0% state, to a marginal tax At 22% fed tax bracket, 3 % state.
    Qualified charitable donations could decrease my taxation but it still gone from my bottom line.
    So in 2018-2023, my plan is do conversions in three steps each year. When the market is down, transfer stock and mutual funds equal to what fills my 15% tax bracket, no state income tax, but can still do long term capital gains at Zero percent in my after tax bucket. Then figured out how much I could transfer still in the Fed 15%, but have an additional 3% state tax. In Late November, I do my taxes to see if There is anymore conversion I can do under the 25% tax rate I am looking at having at age seventy. Thanks again for getting me to work my numbers with your insights. Lara

    1. Hi again, where the Taxation Torpedo at RMD age gets much worst is how many $100,000 are left in the tax deferred account. Especially in the single tax bracket or when you lose your spouse. So you get into crazy increases in your taxes. Lara

  11. Fantastic post, Fritz (and Ted!) I’m encouraged by the results – especially the low percent of “bored” retirees. After my father in law confessed to boredom on a recent visit, I wondered if this was more pervasive among traditional retirees than I’d thought. Granted, your sample is taken from a different slice of the population pie, so to speak.
    I’m also curious about the diet and exercise habits of retirees. Not sure if you read or heard of the UK study, where they observed non-competitive cyclists in their 70s as having health markers of 30 years olds? Compelling stuff.

  12. I found this results interesting and have re-posted on my blog with some comments.
    You might want to do some further analysis by age group and time since retirement and then describe some cohorts.. the happy, the active, etc.

  13. In question 6 What are your favorite retirement activities – Can you only pick one answer? That would explain the low percentage for each answer. It looks the aggregate of the percentages equals 100%. Maybe 75% are volunteering, but only 5% selected it as the best answer.

  14. Interesting that your median age of 60 not much lower than average retirement age of 61 last reported by Gallup. (And for the decade prior Gallup polled an average retirement age of 60.) Especially considering all the widely reported handwringing over financial unpreparedness. Gallup also notes 40% retired before age 62, in contrast to the expected retirement age of 66 reported by those not yet retired.

    I managed to earn a small pension, but that was definitely the exception of just one of the eight companies I worked for. More by sheer dumb luck than any deliberate strategy.

  15. Those are great responses from the participants.
    I’d like to add by saying that more and more people nowadays especially the younger age are forced to retire early because of their ‘unhealthy’ work behaviors. When it comes to retirement happiness, those folks who retire on their own terms are seen to be happier than those who were forced to retire. Research shows that those forced to retire are unhappy because they get to go home before they accomplish their desires.

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