Personal Finance FAQ

Hull Financial Planning Personal Finance FAQ Series: How Do I Stay Engaged in Retirement?

Recent research screamed out the headlines that retirement leads to early death. Bollocks. If you do nothing but sit on the porch and watch traffic roll by, it will. The key is to stay engaged. Just how should you stay engaged in retirement?

Take a look at the video below and find out what I think.

How Do I Stay Engaged in Retirement?

The transcript follows.

If your vision of retirement is sitting on the porch watching the traffic go by, you’re going to quickly find that your brain is eating itself. You’re going to be bored to tears and idle hands… Therefore, it’s important that you find something which is meaningful to you which you can actively engage in during retirement.

I think the most important part of staying engaged in retirement is finding a social group of people who are like you. This isn’t so that you’re in an echo chamber all the time, but, rather to find people with your same interests so that you have activities to do with these people. Humans are social creatures; indulge in this socialization.

The second key is to find meaning in your life and center your activities around that meaning. Want to work more for the church? Go for it! Like to garden? Make the people at Victory Garden jealous!

Tim Ferriss did a study of people who had retired extremely early – in their 20s and 30s, and found that the people who were the happiest were ones who found fulfillment through two avenues:

  1. They kept learning. They never lost their thirst to learn, and they kept doing so. That may mean enrolling in some community college classes or just taking on new hobbies, but keep your mind active.
  2. They gave back. We’re intrinsically altruistic, counter to the claims of economists that we’re only rationally self-serving. By giving back, you’ll get more than you give.

Find the activities which provide meaning in your life and go do them! You want to be one of those people who, in retirement, wonders how you ever had time to work.


Jason Hull, CFP®, was the co-founder of Broadtree Partners, a firm that acquires $1-5MM EBITDA companies. He also was the co-founder of open source search consultancy OpenSource Connections, a premier Solr and ElasticSearch firm. He and his wife FIREd (financial independence retire early) at 46 and 45, respectively. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business.

You can read more about him in the About Page.

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