It seems more Americans are concerned about having adequate savings once they’ve stopped working. But while owning a big nest egg can make us feel better, it isn’t the only key to a happy retirement, notes AARP.

Some older Americans are stressing themselves by taking on second jobs and worrying about their finances. Yet that can cause their health to suffer, AARP adds.

Learning to enjoy life within our means can be more helpful than taking drastic measures to improve our wealth. One growing trend is for seniors to sell their homes in order to move into a smaller space.

Living in a house for decades typically provides a buildup of equity that lets you sell for a nice profit. You then can buy a more-modest home, and have money left over to live on. Some people accomplish this by sharing living space with family or long-time friends.

You’ll also spend less each month on utilities, insurance, and maintenance while living in a smaller place. “Many people have concluded that having large homes and all the material goods they once thought were so important simply don’t make them any more satisfied in life,” explains AARP.

Simplifying our life makes it easier to focus on what’s important. Moving also can allow us to be closer to what we value – and our priorities may shift as we age.

Arrange your retirement living circumstances to provide the opportunities you want. That may include taking classes, pursuing hobbies, working part-time, or volunteering.


AARP reminds us that “experiences, not things, enrich your life.” We are more likely to look back fondly on what we’ve done, rather than what we’ve purchased.

One way of achieving this lifestyle is by resisting the temptation to compare how well off we are with others, adds AARP.

Reducing our living costs can go a long way to helping us be financially secure. Financial planners also note that you don’t have to leave your children a big inheritance. Dipping into your retirement principal – rather than just living on dividends – will provide extra funds.

A part-time job can offer both a paycheck and the opportunity to do something interesting. You’d need to have a large amount invested in bonds to replace the income you’ll receive by working a few days each week.

Having a plan which sees the importance of both finances and life experiences helps us approach retirement confidently. Best of all, there’s plenty of reasons to be upbeat about our senior years.

A recent study from the Stanford Center on Longevity concludes that “as we grow older, we tend to become more emotionally stable. And that translates into longer, more productive lives that offer more benefits than problems.”