You don’t have to be beyond your 40s to begin plotting a direction for your retirement years. Most younger Sebastopol residents know this full well but (truth be told) do precious little about it. For most of us, we’re all so busy tending to career and daily living concerns that most of the time it seems like self-indulgent wool-gathering to go daydreaming about retirement plans. Besides—who has extra cash to be doing more than the bare minimum about financing retirement? It’s so far off in the future…
That may be the 21st-century reality for most Sebastopol adults who aren’t close to retirement age, but in fact, some of the real estate decisions we make early on can set the stage for satisfaction in later years. That’s one of the takeaways from the brains at Age Wave, a think tank who consult on all things retirement-related. They recently co-authored (with Merrill Lynch) a study on the subject of satisfaction among the retired. It turns out that money is not the major determinant of happiness in retirement that everyone assumes.
Sebastopol elders will probably already be interested, but youngsters: listen up! As the country and western lyrics tell us, You can’t get to where you’re going/If you ain’t got a map! The key findings spell out some things most of us would assume—but some we wouldn’t.
- Pre-retirement, most working Americans take fewer vacation days than in other nations (and 83% of us do at least some work even when we’re on vacation!
- Working folks feel stressed during leisure time because it’s so fragmented
- When retirement comes, it can take years before they can adjust
- Once retirees adjust to their new schedule of free time, gradually they come to value experiences over things
- Another change is to elevate the import of social connections and bonds with family and friends (that we could guess!)
The researchers at Age Wave came up with a catchy key phrase that helps summarize where their findings lead: it’s “Time Affluence.” Sure—the security of financial independence is valuable in retirement, but it doesn’t seem to be the single all-important element that investment house commercials would lead us to believe. It’s easy to find fun, inexpensive leisure activities according to 86% of retirees—and 95% prefer experiences of all kinds over “buying more things.” A huge majority say they are happier after retirement than before.
For Sebastopol real estate planning purposes, the ultimate takeaway boils down to the familiar real estate watchwords: location, location, location! Planning to settle in a residence that’s close to friends and family might just be a key element in bringing satisfaction in later years. It follows that planning for a home base that fills the bill can begin long before “time affluence” becomes a daily reality. For that and all Sebastopol real estate strategic planning, we are here to offer our professional, no-obligation advice and guidance.