4 Positive Feelings People Associate With Retirement

Happy couple hiking
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When you think about retirement, how does it make you feel?

Everybody has their own reaction to the question. But as it turns out, many of us share the same positive emotions when we think about our golden years.

Recently, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) — in partnership with American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. and Eagle Life Insurance Company — asked 2,000 retirees and near-retirees to look over a list of words and choose those that most closely correlated with the respondents’ vision of retirement. Survey respondents all reported having at least $100,000 in retirement savings, not including any real estate.

Here are the four positive emotions respondents associated with retirement most often.

4. Hopefulness

Seniors happy and relaxed in retirement
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Respondents who associate this word with retirement: 34%

Some people associate the last part of life with sadness and limitation. But fortunately, a large chunk of retirees and near-retirees see retirement as a new beginning, not an end.

If you see the glass as half-full — and want to keep it that way — check out “6 Secrets to a Happy Retirement.”

3. Purpose

Senior volunteer
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Respondents who associate this word with retirement: 35%

Perhaps you had a great career that you loved. Or, maybe you had to grind it out for decades in a job that didn’t move you.

Either way, the slate is clean now. Retirement can be a time to pursue things that are nearer and dearer to your heart, from volunteering for a great cause to helping your grandchildren get a solid start in life.

Not sure where to start? Read “6 Ways to Find Meaning and Purpose in Retirement.”

2. Adventure

Couple retiring overseas and standing on the beach
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Respondents who associate this word with retirement: 57%

Former President George H.W. Bush famously went skydiving on his 90th birthday.

Even if your idea of adventure is a bit tamer — such as finally visiting the South of France after decades of dreaming about it — retirement is a time to try all the things you never had time to do when you were working.

1. Fulfillment

Senior woman learning to paint
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Respondents who associate this word with retirement: 61%

If “purpose” is the notion of giving back to others, “fulfillment’ is closer to the idea of exploring the passions that make you feel alive deep down inside. With work out of the way, fulfillment can take pride of place in your list of retirement priorities.

To find out what makes other retirees tick, check out “8 of the Greatest Sources of Fulfillment for Retirees.”

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