Weekend Reading: The 7 Habits That Lead to Happiness in Old Age

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading happiness habits old age Weekend reading happiness habits old age
Weekend Reading

If you’ve ever heard of the “U Curve of Happiness” theory, it states that our happiest chapters of life are in the beginning, then again around age 50, ultimately peaking near the end of life.


The U-Curve Split: However, amidst the individuals meant to reach peak satisfaction in their 50s and beyond, we also find those who experience unhappiness. This is where a shift begins; Those who save earlier in life and focus on their wellbeing (mental/physical) enjoy the fruits of their labor. And, those who don’t, have a higher likelihood of health issues and trouble supporting themselves.

Your portfolio of prosperity: As stated here, this can all be viewed as an accumulation of your “Happiness 401(k)”, where you invest (both financially and non-financially) toward the future happiness of your life, with the end-goal of making your final decades the most fulfilling yet. How? According to ongoing research at Harvard Medical School that began in 1938, there are seven factors (or big investment decisions) within your control that can help lend to living a life as full as possible in your later years. They include:

📌 Don’t smoke: The earlier you quit, the more your future self can reap the benefits.

📌 Watch your drinking: Much like smoking, alcohol abuse can take an equal toll on your health.

📌 Maintain a healthy body weight: Focus on eating a food palette rich in whole fruits and vegetables.

📌 Prioritize movement in your life by scheduling time for it every day and sticking to it: One way to do so? A daily walk.

📌 Practice coping mechanisms now: The earlier you find healthy ways to deal with negative situations, the better.

📌 Keep learning: Continued education keeps an active mind, whether that means reading a book, taking a class or trying out a new hobby.

📌 Do the work to cultivate stable, long-term relationships now: Finding people who can grow with you and support you throughout life is key.

A health and wealth focus: Your happiest retirement will require more than simple, financial investments. Health and finances go hand-in-hand.