There’s more to preparing for retirement than financial planning. Important research has determined 15 factors that are key to retirement success.

What is retirement success? It’s a feeling really. A feeling of vitality, of purpose, of contentment. How we reach this sense of happiness in our next3rd differs from person to person. It may take a bit of self-study to understand just what we need to lead a fulfilling 3rd act in life. There’s help for that!

Dr. Richard Johnson, a leading expert on adult development and gerontology, and founder of Retirement Options has been studying retirement for several decades. His research has revealed that a retirement consisting of only rest and relaxation does not necessarily create a happy retirement. What does? Here are his 15 success factors in layman’s terms:

Fabulous 15
Manage the identity shift from ‘what you do’ to ‘who you are’
Positive attitude toward retirement
Ability to set your own course
How healthy you feel
How financially secure you feel
Current happiness
Expected happiness in retirement
Sense of purpose
Leisure interests
How much you live in the ‘now’
How dependent others are on you
Quality of your relationships
How young you feel
Ability to replace the benefits of work/career
Whew! That may seem like the mother load; don’t fret! You’ve probably got a good handle on some of these and other factors may be less important to you. Yes, the fabulous 15 may require you to pause and reflect. That’s good. The better you understand where you stand on these factors, the easier your decisions and the clearer your path to a happy next3rd.

I will explore each of these success factors in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned!

Ready to Retire? 15 Success Factors blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.