The Sheer Happiness of Retirement

At least there is something to look forward to – the best years of your life.

A British survey of people over the age of 70 finds two thirds say they’ve never been happier in their lives.

Carol Zernial says she hears the same sentiment from many of the retirees in the San Antonio area she works with.  Zernial is Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Charitable Foundation at WellMed Medical Management, and says by and large most report a higher level of contentment than they found in early adulthood.  “If you were to ask older people if they want to go back to their 20’s and 30’s, I suspect most of them would say no,” she tells KTRH News.

For some advancing years brings the vagaries of ill-health and that can have a direct impact of perceived quality of life, however Zernial says she’s known plenty of older handicapped people who still find a particular joy in fewer worries, abundant time to pursue personal interests, and no longer giving a hoot about what other people think.  It is the inability to remember that concerns many.  “People talk about mental acuity, but the one thing you can do for your brain is exercise.”

And that’s the key Zernial says.  “That combination of socialization and exercise plays a key role in lifting depression, making people feel connected and being happy.”  The survey by the Royal Voluntary Service in the U.K. found in their survey that 63% of people over the age of 70 say they feel more content than they did at any other period of their lives.

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