A new book called The Happiness Curve says we get happier as we age. Satisfaction with your life tends to decline in your 20s and 30s before hitting a trough in your 40s. Then it rises all the way until your 80s.
In an interview with The Guardian, Happiness Curve author Jonathan Rauch says the dissatisfaction of your youth is a natural transition related simply to the passing of time. “It’s a self-eating spiral of discontent,” he says. “It’s not because there’s something wrong with your life or your marriage or your mind or your mental health.” Why are we happier as we age? Mr. Rauch says research shows older people feel less stress and regret, are better able to control their emotions and are not as status conscious.
These findings are relevant to retirement planning. The idea of the happiness curve suggests your retirement years could be the best period of your life if you plan properly.
Do you know whether you’re on track to retire in comfort? Forget luxury – you won’t need that to be happy, if The Happiness Curve is correct. All you need is to be able to sustain a reasonable lifestyle. Here’s an idea for a project for the second half of 2018: Find out how secure financially you’re going to be in retirement. Use a financial planner, or try these resources and tools:
- The Living Standard Replacement Ratio: A new way to tell if you’ve saved enough for retirement
- The Globe and Mail Retirement Readiness Calculator: Compare your income needs while working with the spending you’ll do when retired.
- The retirement cashflow spreadsheet: Developed by Dr. Ben Barkow, a behavioural psychologist who studies industrial design.
- The Canadian Retirement Income Calculator: A really useful tool developed by the federal government.
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Rob’s personal finance reading list…
Consider the mini-retirement
Instead of retiring at 65, consider taking multiple mini-retirements through your working life. Could resonate with millennials – many will be changing jobs from time to time and thus have the opportunity to take a mid-career break.
The Top 10 good-for-you foods
A list of accessible, affordable foods that nutritionists agree are great for you. Foundational stuff for people who control their grocery spending by planning meals.
How to buy clothes that will last
Thoughts on finding clothes that are stylish, durable and affordable.
Five mistakes first-time home buyers make
Some important points on this list by Sean Cooper, author of Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful path to Financial Freedom for Canadians.
Today’s featured financial tool
This post on the Retire Happy blog looks at how much income you might be able to generate from $100,000 in savings. At the bottom, you’ll find links to a couple of retirement withdrawal calculators.
Q: “I’m going to have to convert my RRSPs into a RRIF. Can you point to any source of info on doing this the best way?”
A: Try this: A practical guide to RRIFs.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.
What I’ve been writing about
- Is your bank shafting you on rates for mortgages, lines of credit?
- Pity the two-vehicle family with a mortgage up for renewal this spring
- ‘We are a little nervous about giving our savings to someone we don’t know – can you please advise?’ (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)
More Carrick and money coverage
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