Does spending time with family = happiness in retirement? Maybe not as much you might expect, according to a 2010 study from Britain. Many pre-retirees list “spending more time with family” as one of the top priorities for the retirement years. But according to the study’s author, Dr. Oliver Robinson, a strong social network turns out to be a major factor for retiree happiness.
Certainly family is a part of that social network, including adult kids and grandkids. But the study found that the implied burden of helping to raise/care for grandchildren somewhat limited retirees’ freedom. So as in all stages of life, finding the right balance between “being around” for the grandkids and providing taken-for-granted childcare is key.
Beyond family though, retirees with a robust social network of friends were 30% more satisfied with their lives. If you are age 50 or beyond and heading into retirement, are you consciously building your social network beyond just family members? If so, how are you doing this? Please feel free to comment by sharing your ideas for building your social network below. This is just one more way of maximizing your retirement readiness!