The 6 Biggest Joys Retirees Report During Their Golden Years

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Senior couple playing golf

Most of us dream of retiring someday. But it’s easy to wonder if the reality of your golden years will live up to the fantasy you have cherished for decades.

Fortunately, the answer appears to be “yes”: Today’s retirees report that many aspects of retirement bring them deep joy.

In particular, the following things make retirement happy, according to a survey of thousands of retirees by Age Wave and Edward Jones.

1. Becoming a grandparent

Retired senior couple running on the beach with grandkids
Monkey Business Images /

Retirees who have experienced this event and described it as extremely fulfilling: 79%

Arguably, most people find family to be the deepest source of joy in their lives. That was true when they were working, and it’s just as true in retirement. So, it’s no surprise that becoming a grandparent tops this list.

2. Taking a dream vacation

Happy senior couple at a beach
wavebreakmedia /

Retirees who have experienced this event and described it as extremely fulfilling: 76%

As long as the concept of retirement has existed, it has been closely tied to visions of traveling the world at a leisurely pace. That is still true today, with more than three-quarters of retirees saying a dream vacation brought them deep joy.

If you are planning your own dream getaway, stop by the Money Talks News Solutions Center and search for great travel deals.

3. Discovering a new or renewed purpose in life

Retired man painting at an easel
Dejan Dundjerski /

Retirees who have experienced this event and described it as extremely fulfilling: 64%

Whether you take up painting or volunteer for a favorite cause, a renewed sense of purpose can be one of the best aspects of quitting your 9-to-5 job.

For more tips on finding fulfillment, check out “6 Ways to Find Meaning and Purpose in Retirement.”

Other fulfilling events in retirement

Friends taking a selfie at a restaurant
Sabrina Bracher /

Three additional events that bring joy to retirees are:

  • Beginning a new romantic relationship: 59%
  • Making new friends: 54%
  • Receiving an inheritance or other financial gift: 42%

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