More than one in four (26 per cent) of those who've retired in the past 10 years say they are fitter and healthier since they gave up work.
While nearly two thirds (63 per cent) say they are financially comfortable, according to new findings by the Prudential.
And for many, relationships with partners and family have improved as they have been able to devote more time to their loved ones.
In fact, almost nine out of 10 say that retirement has met their expectations or they are happy with how it has turned out.
Busier and more active
Far from winding down, nearly half of those who have retired since the height of the financial crisis (48 per cent) say they are busier and more active than they anticipated.
Through embracing the benefits of retirement and making the most of the new-found time, more than one in three (35 per cent) say they have more time to make their life more adventurous than they could have hoped while they were still at work.
Retirement boosts relationships
When asked how else their experience of retirement was exceeding their expectations, many of those who have become pensioners in the last 10 years pointed to improvements in their relationships.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) believe they now get on better with their partner while 25 per cent think that their relationship with their family is happier since stopping work. Meanwhile, just under one in four (23 per cent) say their social life has improved more than they expected.
The release of the new figures marks the 10th anniversary of Prudential’s annual Class of… research into the financial plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead.
Last of the final salary pensions
Many of those interviewed are from the last group of retirees where the majority will benefit from generous final salary pensions, reflected in the nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) who - described their financial situation as comfortable or well off.
Kirsty Anderson, a retirement expert at Prudential, said: “As people who plan to finish work in the next ten years begin to look forward to their retirement there’s plenty they can still do to make sure they are as comfortable as the people who have become pensioners over the last decade. Most importantly, in the face of changing pension rules, many people will benefit from a consultation with a professional financial adviser in the run up to retirement.
“Retirement will continue to change over the coming years but for many people the desire to make the most of their new-found free time will remain. Even for those planning to be a Class of 2027 retiree the best approach remains the same as it was for our pensioners who gave up work back in 2008 – save as much as possible for as long as possible during your working life.”
Reflecting on their retirement in general, the vast majority who gave up work in the last 10 years (86 per cent) said that it had met their expectations or they were happy with how it had panned out so far, while only one in eight (13 per cent) said that it has been a disappointment.
Nearly two in five (37 per cent) thought they would have missed work more than they have since retiring, and in fact one in four (26 per cent) wish they had retired earlier.
Meanwhile, on reflection, more than one in 10 (11 per cent) wish they had been more active or found a job in the early years of their retirement.