It's not how much free time you have in retirement, but how you spend it that determines how happy your golden years will be, new research suggests.
In a new study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, Wei-Ching Wang of the I-Shou University in Taiwan found that the key to a happy retirement years is effectively managing free time and leisure activities.
For the study, Wang and his team surveyed 454 Taiwanese retirees about their management of free time and their overall quality of life — including how they set goals, their general attitude toward them, and how they schedule and manage leisure activities.
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According to the findings, Wang said: "Quality of life is not affected as much by the amount of free time that a retiree has, but on how effectively the person manages this time on hand. Therefore it is important to educate people on how to use their free time more effectively to improve quality of life."
Wang said the findings are significant in light of projections that an increasingly aging population worldwide, tied to longer life expectancy, will mean the overall amount of spare time available to people is increasing.
Wang advises that governments, community centers, and service organizations to introduce of guidance programs or leisure education that teach people management techniques to help seniors make the most of their retirement life.
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