Have You Found Your Ikigai?

August 2018

Most want to retire earlier despite living longer than earlier generations.

Not everyone can afford to do so.  Company pensions, when they exist, are inadequate even when combined with government benefits.  Perhaps this is partially why the incidence of depression increases by 40% in the year people retire.

Japan, where some of the longest-living people live, offers a glimpse into the secret of a happy retirement.

In Japan the average lifespan is seven years longer than in North America.  There are more people 100 years old or older than anywhere else.

Yet in Japan retirement does not exist.  At no point do most stop working.

Ikigai, a Japanese concept roughly explained as “the reason people get out of bed each morning” was the focus of a Japanese study of 43,000 adults.  The study found those with an ikigai were educated, employed and married.  They had better health and a lower level of stress.

The Japanese believe that the secret to a long and happy life is to find your ikigai.

Have you found your ikigai?

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