It’s Time To Rethink The Bucket-List Retirement

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article talking about how one has much better odds of happiness in retirement if the focus is less on extravagant globe-trotting adventures and more on strengthening bonds with family, friends, and the community.  Enjoy an excerpt below and click here for the full article!

What’s not to love about a life of dream vacations and big thrills?

Unfortunately, quite a bit.

As a therapist, I’ve talked to numerous seniors as both patients and colleagues. Rather than feeling exhilarated by a life of bucket-list adventures, they often end up feeling depressed and disconnected.

As they travel the world to soak up experiences, too many seniors inevitably lose track of what really matters—their connections to family, friends and community. They feel like strangers in their own homes. Eventually, the bucket list becomes something of an addiction: The high from an adventure doesn’t last, so seniors find themselves piling on experiences to keep the thrills coming, further alienating them from real life back home.

There’s a way out of this trap. Retirees should think about using all of the advantages that make a bucket list possible, such as wealth and vigor, to build something much deeper and more meaningful. Instead of taking a dream vacation to chase fleeting thrills, they should use their time to create something more lasting instead—whether that means building bonds with family or their community or reimagining travel adventures as an opportunity to share experiences and wisdom with grandchildren.