Should one give up the comforts of home in exchange for more leisure opportunities or a desirable climate? The present research examined the anticipated and actual levels of happiness among non-retirees and retirees in the US and Korea. Both American and Korean non-retirees overestimated the importance of novelty factors (e.g. climate recreational opportunities) in making a retirement prediction compared with retirees’ reports. Non-retirees believed that a place with nice weather and plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities would make them happy in their retirement. However the actual retirees who placed importance on the novelty factor when they made the retirement location decision were not happier than those who placed less importance on this factor. Instead the retirees who placed more importance on the practicality factor (e.g. easy access to medical services daily convenience) felt happier and more peaceful than other retirees.
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