7 Non-Financial Ways to Improve Your Retirement

Money isn’t the only necessity for a happy retirement.

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Compound interest is one of the major reasons you need to start saving for retirement early. Given enough time, even a small nest egg will grow enough in value to be an asset that can fund a comfortable retirement. But saving money isn't the only thing we need to do to prepare for retirement. Here are some non-financial ways to improve your retirement security.

[See 10 Essential Sources of Retirement Income.]

Stay in shape. You don't necessarily have to join a gym immediately. But the vast majority of Americans should consider eating less, eating healthier, and exercising more. Staying in shape takes effort, but it is well worth the time and energy. You won’t be able to enjoy your retirement years if you don’t take steps to maintain good health.

Be close to your family. Your job might have you traveling to far away places, but I assure you that you will want to be with your family eventually. This either means starting your own family or moving to a place where many of your existing family members reside. You might not be able to make the move right away, but you may want to move closer to relatives before or shortly after you retire.

Improve your family relationships. A family member will only improve your quality of life if you actually have a good relationship with them. If there are friends and relatives out there who you haven't talked to in ages, then it's time to reach out.

[See 6 Reasons to Tone Down Your Inflation Worries.]

Work at least part-time. Feeling like you belong and having a goal each week is a good way to prolong your life. Obviously, retirees may not want a difficult job that challenges your physical capability every day. But a part-time job in a field that you are interested in will definitely be beneficial. Consider it mental exercise, with the added benefit of making side income. While you are working, you might want to learn some skills or look for opportunities that will help you develop extra income during your retirement years.

Learn a hobby. Some people also stay mentally active by taking up a hobby. For instance, my wife is really interested in clipping coupons, which ultimately led to us starting Coupon Shoebox, an online coupons site that we could work on well into our retirement. But a hobby doesn’t have to be profitable to be effective. Any hobby that you enjoy will be good for your quality of life.

Find friends. It's nice to read through everything that's happening to your friends on social media sites like Facebook. But nothing beats sitting down with a bunch of your friends and asking them what they are up to yourself.

[See 8 Last-Minute Ways to Stretch Your Nest Egg.]

Be content. Outside forces that are beyond your control will impact how happy you are in retirement. But a large portion of your happiness also comes from within yourself. The main reason individuals are happy in retirement is because they are optimistic people to begin with.

While you need to make an effort to encourage yourself to save every month, an adequate nest egg isn’t the only thing you need for a secure retirement. You should also take non-financial steps to prepare yourself for a fulfilling retirement.

David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.