This Is the No. 1 Thing Retirees Miss About Their Work Life

Older and younger workers
Photo by fizkes /

When people retire, it is not the paycheck that they miss most.

Instead, 41% of retirees say the thing they miss most about work is not seeing people and having social stimulation, according to a recent Edward Jones study dubbed “The Four Pillars of the New Retirement.”

By contrast, just 20% say their top lament is the lack of a paycheck and benefits. An additional 6% say they miss having goals and projects.

Retirees long for social interaction so much that many do not stay retired for long, according to the study:

“The loss of social connection can lead to harmful isolation. More and more retirees are filling part of the void by continuing to work, typically part time, in retirement.”

Others simply do not retire in the first place. In fact, the survey found that 9% of respondents who are still working said they plan to never stop.

One potential source of socialization — volunteer work — remains underutilized, the study found. Just one-quarter of retirees who have been retired for at least five years have volunteered in their communities.

So, what are they doing instead? Watching a lot of TV. The average retiree views 48 hours of programming each week, according to the study.

Unfortunately, that could be bad news for another aspect of their retirement: their mobility.

As we detail in “Want a Healthy Retirement? Turn This Device Off,” an eight-year study out of George Washington University found that seniors who watch more than five hours of TV each day — and who are active just three hours or less each week — have more than three times the risk of developing difficulty walking.

How to make the most of retirement

Retirement can be the perfect time to turn to projects and activities that are near and dear to your heart. But if you want a joyous retirement, you’re going to have to work for it.

A little planning is the first step. Create a retirement “wish list” and figure out how you are going to fund those dreams. We have tips for how to do this — and suggestions for other important factors you should weigh — in “5 Simple Steps to an Awesome Retirement.”

It’s hard to have a happy retirement if you are always pinching pennies and worrying about money. Fortunately, it’s never too late to begin putting money away for retirement.

Need a little help? If you want to take a DIY approach to your retirement planning, consider enrolling in the Money Talks News’ retirement course, The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need.

This 14-week boot camp is intended for those who are 45 or older. It maps everything you need to know about retiring, including Social Security “secrets” and how to invest in a manner that will make your golden years gleam.

If you prefer to seek out professional help, stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center. There, you can search for a great financial adviser who will partner with you in making your retirement dreams a reality.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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