If you're approaching retirement, you've probably already taken care of the financial aspects. But there's more to being happy during your retirement years than money.
Research suggests that people are more likely to be happy in their retirement if they plan ahead for the day to day and social aspects of their lives too. So we've come up with some happy retirement living tips to get the ball rolling.
Talk about it
If you're married or have a partner, it's important that you both want the same or similar things from life when you retire. For instance, if you're a man approaching retirement age and your dream is to spend all your spare time messing around on a boat, it's hardly a recipe for a successful retirement if your wife or partner dislikes being on the water. Ideally, start planning what you'd both like to do a few years before you retire, and try things out that you think you'll be interested in first. That way, if it doesn't turn out the way you thought it would, there's still time to come up with alternatives.
Build in structure
If you've worked hard all your life, it may seem tempting to laze around and do absolutely nothing when you first retire. But you'd be surprised how quickly you can get bored, especially if you've been used to being busy all of the time. So think about things you'll enjoy that you can do on an ongoing basis, such as evening classes that will help you learn a new hobby. Or if you have travel in mind, make a list of the places you want to visit and make a timetable for visiting them.
You may also find it useful to make plans to see friends and family on set days and at set times, so that there is some form of structure to your week.
Develop new friendships
An Australian study suggests that having a network of friends is more likely to increase longevity than having close family relationships. So it's important to keep making new friends as you get older. But if you're no longer working, where do you meet people?
The first thing to look for is community groups you can join. Find out what's happening where you live at your local library, or visit meetup to find all sorts of groups involved in any number of activities in your area.
You may also be able to meet new friends by spending some of your spare retirement time volunteering. To find out what volunteering opportunities are available in your area visit icaewvolunteers.com .
Keep your mind sharp
You may have read about how brain training exercises can help keep your mind agile as you get older. But there's more to keeping your brain active than just doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku. If you like reading, for instance, why not join a local book club? Find a club near you by searching on the My Bookclub website. And if there isn't a suitable club in your area, why not start your own?
On the other hand, if you've always wanted to play a musical instrument, it's never too late to start learning. Researchers believe that learning to play music helps tone the brain, whatever your age, with studies suggesting that musicians suffer less from age-related memory problems than non-musicians. Find a music teacher at musicteachers.co.uk .
Learning a new language may also keep your mind sharp – and it could come in handy if you're planning to travel abroad during your retirement. Visit the BBC's languages website for free lessons to get you started.
For lots more tips on adjusting to life as a retired person, visit our retirement information area .