Weekend Reading: An 85-Year Harvard Study on Happiness Found the No. 1 Retirement Challenge That ‘No One Talks About’

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.
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Weekend Reading

Your happiness in retirement doesn’t stem solely from financial stability. According to a Harvard Study originating in 1938, the main challenge people face in retirement is often the loss of social connections that work once provided.


A deeper impact: Beyond social interaction, the people you connect with provide a sense of purpose and meaning. The Harvard study suggests that hobbies alone might not fill the void left by relationships you leave at work. Your career is significant because it provides feelings of contribution to others, whether it's colleagues, customers, communities or families.

Consider your connections: Fostering meaningful connections is crucial not only in retirement, but also during your working years. To enhance your relationships (at work and throughout retirement), identify people who share your values, learn from diverse perspectives and make your interactions with others intentional.

If you felt a strong sense of meaning and purpose at work, consider what factors brought you that fulfillment and how you can carry them into retirement. Was it the social connections, the opportunities to learn and grow, the feeling of contributing to something bigger than yourself or all of the above?