Most of today’s retirees and pre-retirees view retirement as a new chapter in life. Only 27% see it as a time for rest and relaxation. This comes from Edward Jones’ and Age Wave study of more than 11,000 North American adults.

Retirees enjoy a growing array of opportunities to stay engaged, possibly reinvent themselves and enjoy the freedoms of this next stage of life. This is definitely not their parents’ or grandparents’ retirement. According to the research, retirees who report better quality of life took more steps decades in advance to prepare.

Pre-retirees and those in early retirement can take several steps to make the most of their retirement. From saving early and consistently and developing healthy habits to communicating with close family and discovering passions and interests. Saving early really does make a difference to a person's retirement.

Retirees who didn't heed this advice when they were younger now have regrets. According to the study, retirees say they started saving at age 38, on average, but wish they had started saving nearly a decade earlier, at age 29. Those who started saving the earliest felt the most financially prepared for retirement.

People can prepare for retirement by taking care of their ongoing health and preventive care, discussing retirement plans and goals with family and friends, beginning or expanding volunteer activity and working with a financial advisor. While the research does not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship, the evidence is compelling.
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