When I started planning my own retirement (though that’s a word I try to avoid; I’ll say more about that in another post) I started reading books on the subject of retirement planning. That made sense, I thought. Then I started to realise how many aspects there were to the subject.

One book that caught my eye was called “The Beginner’s Guide to Retirement” and subtitled “Taking Control of Your Future”; I thought that would do very nicely to start with. It’s by Michael Longhurst, an Australian psychologist who was responsible for designing and delivering a research project called “Retirement 200”; so-called because they interviewed 200 retirees at length; 100 men and 100 women.

Glancing inside the book, I saw this quote on the frontispiece:

“You are beginning a glorious opportunity to learn, to give new things a go, be prepared to use your talents, use all of your abilities to widen your lifestyle, try everything until you are satisfied”.

Yes, I thought, I want some of that.

Retirement Success Factors: a definitive list?

As a result of all those conversations with the 200 retirees, Longhurst came up with a list of factors that he calls “Retirement Success Factors”. As a way of starting this project that I’ve called “When I’m Sixty-four”, I want to flag up the Retirement 200 list, in order to get some feedback. In due course I’ll expand on what the book says about the significance of these items; and I’ll report on where I agree (and in some cases disagree) with this list.

For now, here is the list of “Retirement Success Factors”:

  • the ability to choose the point of departure
  • being 55 or younger at the point of retirement
  • having meaningful activities
  • being financially independent
  • being in good health: physically, mentally, psychologically
  • having planned one’s retirement
  • having emotional support
  • having access to education or coaching

What do you think? Whether you are planning your retirement (doesn’t matter if you are 40 or 64), or you’ve already retired and are happy and fulfilled, or already retired and bored, your comments would be welcomed!