A Simple Math Formula for Retirement Happiness

WILLIAM BERNSTEIN: The biggest mistake retirees make is not having a clear idea of exactly what useful and productive things they’re going to do with their time; “golf” is not a plan. Here’s my formula:

Retirement Happiness = [How Much You Dislike Your Job] X [How Badly You Want to Do Something Else]

So if you still enjoy your job or if you don’t have an alternative in mind, one of those terms is zero, so don’t quit. The happiest retiree I know is a burned-out physician who finally got to do the two things he wanted most: work in his wood shop and take tango lessons with his wife.

William Bernstein is a retired neurologist and co-founder of Efficient Frontier Advisors, an investment management firm.



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