The Baby Boomer generation -- all 70 million strong -- is rapidly approaching retirement. In fact, by 2020 most in this group will be 60 or over and either be retired or thinking about it. While some face these 'golden years' with a smile as they imagine the relaxation they've earned from years in the workforce, others face it with chagrin.

"Fear of death, loneliness and disease are the most common robbers of happiness for people as they age and retire," says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates. "Most people pretend that death and illness do not exist as best they can until they reach a certain age. Then as they see it happening around them they often can think of almost nothing else."

Indeed, these negative emotions impact not only your ability to be happy in retirement but also your financial stability when you get there.

According to Prudential Financial's 'Behavioral Risk in the Retirement Red Zone' report, which examined the link between emotions and financial decisions among people approaching, or in, the five-year window before their retirement:
  • 76 percent are affected by their emotions to a moderate or high degree
  • Emotions can influence investors to react in ways that may not be in their best interest


Of course, your finances are not the only thing that needs looking after in retirement. Just as important, or perhaps even more so, is attention to your emotional health.

Six Types of Retirees

Counseling psychologist Nancy K. Schlossberg, EdD conducted a study of 100 retirees and found six ways in which most people approach retirement:

1. Continuers who continued using existing skills and interests
2. Adventurers who start entirely new endeavors
3. Searchers who explore new options through trial and error
4. Easy Gliders who enjoy unscheduled time letting each day unfold
5. Involved Spectators who care deeply about the world, but engage in less active ways
6. Retreaters who take time out or disengage from life

Which approach is best?

Well according to research by Michigan State University psychology professor Norman Abeles, PhD, people most happy in retirement are those who enjoy and engage in a variety of activities, such as volunteer work, exercise, continuing education and so on.

How to Make Your Retirement a Happy One

Clearly, staying active in activities you enjoy is a key part of a happy retirement. All too often, retirees find themselves socially isolated, alone and at risk of depression, which is why staying engaged (and even “unretiring” and getting a fun part-time job) is so important.

This includes, of course, staying physically active in an exercise program you enjoy.

But that is far from all. From an emotional standpoint, your mindset can easily make or break your retirement.

“There are three great ways to support yourself in being happy when you retire,” Dwoskin says. “Allow yourself to focus on and enjoy what is actually here now as opposed to your dread of what may happen and your regrets from the past. If regret or dread does arise remember they are not feelings, facts or you, and you can let them go with The Sedona Method.”

The Sedona Method is a unique, elegant, simple-to-master and very powerful tool that enables you to uncover your natural ability to 'let go' of painful, unwanted, counterproductive feelings in the moment before the negative feelings can do their damage to your inner peace and happiness.

“Simply allow yourself to let go as best you can. By letting go you will start to uncover the happiness that needs no excuse and is always here now,” Dwoskin says.

“The last thing you can do to support your happiness is to allow yourself to look for what you love or feel grateful for in what is actually in your experience now,” he continues. “The more you focus on love and gratitude the more you will uncover the natural happiness that you are.”

Learning how to use The Sedona Method in your life, and doing so NOW, even before you retire, is truly the key to gaining the lasting happiness that you desire. And in your retirement, a time when you truly deserve to reap all the rewards that life has to offer, this is the greatest gift you can give to yourself.