Retirement is full of risks and hurdles, as it can span 30 or 40 years for many Americans. Certain risks are well known: running out of money, long-term care, health care and investment risks. Within these broad categories lie hidden or overlooked sub-risks. For instance, within investment risks is sequence-of-returns risk or liquidity concerns. Within long-term care is public policy risk if Medicaid is cut back.
One often overlooked sub-risk of health care is senior depression. It’s not well-documented or understood by the financial services industry. And it’s usually underdiagnosed, under planned for and underrecognized — even though it affects millions of Americans.
Happiness in retirement is complex, though. Some research shows that many retirees are happier than they were before retirement, and, as a whole, are happier than any other group. But at the same time, retirees can suffer from depression at rates higher than the average person. It becomes a tale of two cities: increased happiness for some retirees and increased depression among others.