7 Facts About Retirement You Didn't Know

By Markets Fool.com

Image source: Getty Images

Continue Reading Below

Ahh... retirement. We daydream about it and know that we're looking forward to finally reading that pile of books or finally taking that trip to Europe. But there's a lot that most of us don't realize about retirement, some of which would be rather useful. Here are seven facts about retirement that you may want to know.

Image source: Pixabay

Many people are bored in retirement

Work isn't always fun, but it does typically give us a routine and does keep us busy. Once you're no longer working, though, you'll need to find ways to keep yourself busy. It can be smart to think now about how you'll do so, perhaps picking up a new hobby or interest before you even retire. Look into volunteer opportunities, too, as they're great for helping you feel good about yourself and keeping you connected.

Many people see their health improve in retirement

Continue Reading Below

Studies have found that many people experience aninitial increase in health once they retire. It won't last forever, as we get older and develop conditions and diseases, but it can be an initial benefit of retiring. The increase in health makes sense, because once you're not working, you'll have time to exercise more and perhaps cook healthier meals for yourself, as well. It will be easier to find time to go to doctor appointments, too.

Image source: Getty Images

Many people become depressed during retirement

According to astudyfrom the Institute of Economic Affairs, "Retirement increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by about 40%." Why? Well, many people have their identities and senses of self tied up in their jobs. You may have spent 30 years as a respected teacher or a beloved manager or a successful mechanic. Once you're no longer working, you'll likely have less of a routine, fewer social interactions, and a new and different kind of identity. That can be a rough transition for some people. Relationships can become strained during retirement, too. If you and your partner are used to being apart during the day while one or both of you are away at work, it can be a challenge to suddenly be together for most of most days.

Many die sooner due to social isolation

Losing your social circles can be hazardous to your health. Researchers such as Harvard's Dr. Lisa Berkman have linkedsocial isolation to deteriorating health and shorter lifespans. You might combat this by establishing new social groups, such as by joining a gardening club or a weekly poker night. You might even plan to work part-time in retirement, for the first few years.

Many people have saved far less than they need

The 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey revealedthat among those aged 50 or older, 30% had saved $250,000 or more for retirement, while fully 27% had saved less than $10,000! Even $250,000 isn't going to last many people too long in retirement. If you apply the broad 4% rule, which suggests withdrawing 4% of your nest egg in your first year of retirement and then adjusting for inflation in subsequent years, you'll start with an annual stipend of $10,000 -- hardly a princely sum. If you think you may have under-saved, take some time to crunch numbers, and consider working a few more years, if you can.

Image source: Getty Images

Healthcare often costs far more than expected

We all know that healthcare is a major budget item, but we don't always appreciate just how much. Fidelity Investments releases an annual estimate of how much a 65-year-old couple will spend out of pocket in retirement on healthcare, and their latest number is $260,000! You may end up spending less, of course, but you might also face even steeper costs. Be sure to keep healthcare expenses in mind as you plan for retirement.

Many people don't receive as much money from Social Security as they expected

Unless you go to the trouble of checking, you may be living with a misconception about how much to expect from Social Security. For example, the average Social Security benefit was recently $1,350per month, or about $16,000 per year. And the maximumbenefit for those retiring at their full retirement age was recently $2,639 -- or about $32,000 for the whole year. You can get a realistic idea of how much you can expect by setting up a "my Social Security" account at the Social Security website, www.SSA.gov. Be sure to look into strategies that can boost how much you get from the program, too.

Don't let retirement surprise you in any unwelcome ways. Know what to expect and plan for it.

The $15,834 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
If you're like most Americans, you're a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known "Social Security secrets" could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $15,834 more... each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we're all after.Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.

Longtime Fool specialistSelena Maranjian, whom you can follow on Twitter, owns no shares of any company mentioned in this article.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.