Do you know the secret to a successful retirement?

Do you know what it takes to have a happy and healthy retirement? If the answers you think of are eating healthy and keeping active, you’re partially correct, but still missing a key ingredient.

As reported by USA Today, the secret to a successful retirement can be found in research from Harvard University, published in 1940, which found that, surprisingly, recent retirees had significantly higher risks of heart attacks than their peers who continued working, and their peers who had been retired for longer periods of time.

The reason, researchers found, was because recent retirees, who had left their jobs and found themselves with significant amounts of free time, didn’t know what to do with themselves. As a result, health problems often ensued.

“When you no longer have a job, you need to find a new mission,” 65 year-old former lawyer Jake Chesson told the newspaper.

The Virginia retiree, who had always been physically active throughout his adult life, decided to continue moving after his career ended, but slowed down and enjoyed exercise at his own pace.

Some of the longest-living residents, including many who live in assisted living communities, share three similarities, the Harvard study found:

1.    They make new friends
2.    They keep their brains active
3.    They find purpose and meaning in everyday life

How do you plan on spending your retirement years? Tell us about it in the comment section below: