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Four Ways To Cash In On Retirement Happiness Today

by Chris Poindexter

It would probably surprise no one to find out that retirees are overall happier in retirement than they were during their working years. According to multiple studies, roughly 77 percent of people are happier in retirement and fewer are reporting major lifestyle changes since the economy recovered. Very few, less than 10 percent, seek to return to the working world and nearly half wish they had retired sooner.

That’s great if you’re retirement age but, if you’re still working, the tyranny of the alarm clock and road rage of your morning commute are still grinding away at the enjoyment of your working years. All is not lost. There may be things you can do right now that will make your current situation more enjoyable and less of a drudge.

Work At Home

There are many careers that are work at home and more are offering some type of split between working at home and working at the office. If you can find a way to make a living at home, you’ve automatically eliminated many factors that make working in an office a chore. Getting ready, driving to work and getting to your job add up to a lot of effort and uncompensated time. Work clothes are expensive and frequently require dry cleaning. That’s more uncompensated time running around doing errands that support your day job instead of relaxing and having some fun.

Move Closer To The Office

Commutes tend to be one of the most stress inducing aspects of your day and the time you spend driving to and from work is a double hit of uncompensated time and it’s an expense in terms of insurance, vehicle maintenance and gasoline. Anything you can do to shorten or eliminate your daily commute is money in your pocket and lowers your stress level.


Most people buy way more house than they really need and end up spending a lot of time and money taking care of it. Too many people spend all day at work, face a stressful drive home and then have to start work as an uncompensated groundskeeper, housecleaner and home maintenance professional. Why put yourself through that? Downsize your house and that automatically frees up more time for relaxing and having some fun. You’ll also save a huge amount of money.

Avoid Debt

When you’re in debt, you’re not working for yourself, you’re working for the company holding your debt. You’re also on the wrong end of the debt economy. Debt service is like a stealth tax that robs the nation of valuable productivity. In the event of unexpected expenses, even small debt can become a big problem. Some people finance their home, their car and have a load of credit card debt on top of that. That is a crazy way to live. Get out from under that debt and adapt a pay as you go lifestyle. You’ll save more money and be less stressed in the event of a job loss, illness or accident.

These small changes may not give you the joy of retirement, but they can give you more time for leisure activities, more money for travel and greater peace of mind today. You may not be able to retire until you get older but, in the meantime, you can take your retirement in installments.

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