The Answer: Connections. A Harvard study followed some 724 people over their lifetimes to answer the question: What makes us happy? As the study’s participants entered their retirement years, more and more of them communicated the difficulty of forming new and meaningful relationships outside of work.
To maximize your happiness in retirement, I believe you need to not only have a plan for your money and finances but also be building “emotional capital” with relationships and connections. The question: “How will I find meaning and purpose in retirement?” is equally important of a question as “How will I pay my bills in retirement?” One is not greater than the other. And both need forethought and planning!
Read the overview of the study here (written by the study’s staff): https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/10/85-year-harvard-happiness-study-found-the-biggest-downside-of-retirement-that-no-one-talks-about.html
The Harvard study can be found here (includes several TED talks): https://www.adultdevelopmentstudy.org/