couple happy

A couple of weeks ago I came across a Retirement Happiness Index.  This index, launched by Challenger on 4 April 2024 makes for interesting reading. It indicates Australian retirees have plenty to keep us busy and engaged, we feel mentally healthy, but we are a bit worried about our physical health and don’t feel financially secure.  Why not add your own insights to our version of this survey here.

The index was based on research conducted with over 1000 Australians aged over 60.  It identified six key areas which affect happiness in retirement.  

They are: 

  • Physical health – “I consider myself to be healthy physically”
  • Mental health – “I consider myself  to be healthy mentally”
  • Activities – “I have activities, hobbies and interests that I enjoy doing”
  • Purpose – “I have a clear sense of purpose and meaning in life”
  • People – “I have good social connections and relationships”
  • Money – “I feel secure financially”

The overall score on this index was 70.  That looks Ok doesn’t it?  But without comparisons it’s hard to know.  What is interesting is which categories performed better than 70 and which were worse.  Here’s a summary of how each of the categories scored.  :

  • Activities (including hobbies): 79.5
  • Mental health: 78
  • A sense of purpose: 74
  • People and social connections: 70
  • Physical health: 62
  • Financial stability and security: 56

Source: Challenger Retirement Happiness Index

Lots of this makes sense.  Most retirees I meet have plenty to keep them occupied, feel they are still contributing and love the connections they have in life.  And it’s not surprising that physical health is marked down a little as even the best of us aren’t likely to be as physically robust and healthy as we were in our 20s.  

Financial stability and security was rock bottom among all the happiness factors.  Cost of living was identified as a factor in this by two out of every three people in the survey. What concerned me most, though, was that for many people something can be done about it. Keeping yourself informed is really important.  Of those aged 60+ 77% indicated education about their financial options in retirement would have a positive affect on their happiness.  At Retirement Essentials we can help address this in a number of ways.  

  • Firstly we send out this newsletter every week to help keep you informed.  We listen to your feedback and comments each week. Please keep adding them.   
  • We also conduct our own Retirement Pulse research to learn more about what you want.  So please help us out by answering our 3 minute survey and tell us what you think

And our advisers are available to talk to you about your retirement finances and help ease some of your concerns.  Here are some of the appointments you might find valuable.  

And to finish it off I looked up some famous quotes defining happiness.  We all have our biases and the one I picked reflects mine.  It’s from the Peanuts comic strip…”Happiness is a warm puppy”.