7 Reasons to Feel Grateful As a Retiree Around the Holidays

7 Reasons to Feel Grateful As a Retiree Around the Holidays

Whether you have saved enough money to feel secure about retirement or this is still a goal you are working towards,  there is still plenty to be thankful for this holiday season.
feel grateful for retirement
As you get older, studies have shown that your ability to feel grateful actually increases. Research indicates that as you age, gratitude and other positive feelings come more easily. This research might explain why older people experience more happiness than their younger counterparts.
The Globe and Mail reported that “Neuroscientists have suggested older people have a sunnier outlook because of the limbic system, particularly the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in emotional attention and memory, becomes less active in response to the negative information. At the same time, older individuals maintain or even increase their reactivity to positive information.”

Feeling Grateful Improves Your Health

The fact that our ability to feel grateful increases as we age is great news because feeling grateful actually improves your overall health and well-being.

Dr. Wendy Mendes of the University of California, San Francisco, has done extensive research on the topic of gratitude and your health. She has found that higher levels of gratitude generally predict that someone has:

  • Less anxiety and depression
  • More optimism
  • More social connectedness
  • Less anger
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Higher good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol
  • Better functioning kidneys and more

Ways to Increase Gratitude

Convinced that you want to feel more grateful?  There are proven ways to increase gratitude in your life. Here are four simple ways to get started right now.

Give Thanks

Your mother probably encouraged you to write thank you notes. It turns out that there is a good reason for this.  It turns out that not only does giving thanks make the other person feel good, it can also increase your own happiness.

Think About What Makes You Feel Grateful

Expressing thanks is great, however, you can reap the powerful effect of gratitude even if you don’t share your feelings with anyone.  Take a moment to just think about someone and why you are grateful for them.
Some people equate this expression of gratitude to meditation or prayer.

Keep a Journal

Some people take time every day to write in a gratitude journal.  Whether you write your thoughts in a notebook or a scrap of paper, the important thing is that you take the time to document your thoughts.

Announce Your Gratitude on Social Media

The “Gratitude Challenge,” typically observed on Facebook, asks participants to post a note of gratitude for 21 straight days. Users reported that the challenge helped them notice more beauty and to feel more optimistic.

Things to Be Grateful For Related to Retirement

Beyond things that you are personally thankful for, here are a few retirement-related concepts that may deserve your gratitude.

You Are Here

Let’s face it, not everyone makes it to retirement age. Medical advancements, improved food supply and more have made it possible for more of us to live long, healthy and happy lives.

You Have Options

Most of us have not saved adequately for a financially secure retirement. However, that does not mean that we are without options. Working a little longer, making compromises on a budget, and using home equity are just some of your options for making sure that you have the retirement you want.

Stock Market is at Record Highs

If you have retirement savings that are somehow invested in the financial markets, you have a real reason to give thanks.  The U.S. markets are higher than they have ever been.

However, it is important to note that many experts are calling these highs a “bubble,” meaning that they are predicting some type of crash.  As someone in (or near) retirement, be cautious and prudent about your exposure to the financial markets.

Inflation is Low

Inflation can really erode retirees’ buying power.  For example, if you have $100, you could buy a certain amount today. However, if the cost of goods and services went up by 5% (a 5% inflation rate), then you could only buy 95% of what you could originally purchase.

Low inflation is always something to feel grateful about (especially in retirement)!

Social Security and Medicare Remain Intact

Despite some degree of threat, these important programs prevail.

Retirement Planning is Easier Than Ever

Not sure how you are going to afford retirement? The good news is that retirement calculators are getting better and better.

The NewRetirement Retirement Planning Calculator will let you try out different scenarios and play with your options to let you discover ways to make retirement a viable and secure option.

Retirement is Your Time

Regardless of your financial status, now is the time to make the most of your life. Study after study has shown that having control over your time gives you more happiness than having money.  Looking for ideas for how to spend that time? Here are  41 tips for happiness, health, and wealth in retirement.

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