The average retiree spends 43.5 hours per week watching television

The average retiree spends 43.5 hours per week watching television. (Age Wave, 2012)

Identify your values in life and discuss with others how your vision of retirement should be. Pleasure is external (eg. TV), while Happiness is intrinsic (eg. fulfilling activities aligned with your Values). Diarise your time with these Values including family time, friends, socialising, mini-break holidays, hobby or courses.

Researchers in Australia recently released a study that found watching TV or videos for an average of six hours a day could shorten a viewer’s life expectancy by almost five years. The researchers extrapolated these figures to estimate that every hour spent watching TV shortened a viewer’s life by almost 22 minutes. If you suspended your TV watching and instead spent the same amount of time planning for your retirement, it would only take you a month or two to do the job right.

If you don’t properly plan for retirement, the consequences can be unpleasant. You might run out of money before you die, or get wiped out by high bills for medical or long-term care expenses. Do the job right, and you’ll increase the odds of living a long, prosperous life!

But it’s not the TV watching itself that shortens lifespans, researchers say; it’s the dangers associated with the lack of exercise that’s often a direct result of prolonged periods in front of the television. Numerous other studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity — the very conditions that are expensive and debilitating for people in retirement, and the ones that can lead to an earlier-than-average death.

If you believe the results of this study, then it’s easy to see that watching too much TV will shorten your retirement and create an increased risk of chronic disease that can drain your retirement savings and impair your enjoyment of life.

There’s one more critical way that TV can ruin your retirement.

The statistics from the A.C. Nielsen Company also show that in a 65-year life, a person will have spent nine years in front of the TV! For me, that’s a wasted opportunity. I’d much rather spend time, with my family and friends, pursuing my hobbies and interests, exercising, and giving back to my community.


“Retirement is much, much more than reaching a target of accumulated cash”.


David Reed
- Retirement Adviser at The Retirement Advice Centre.

AFA 2015 Adviser of the Year, Certified Retirement Coach,

Co-Author “So you think you are ready to retire?”,

Authorised Representative (ASIC No.263557). The Retirement Advice Centre is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Millennium3 Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 61 094 529 987.
Australian Financial Services Licensee Number 244252. Unit 7, 50 Borthwick Avenue Murarrie Qld 4172
The information contained in this document is general in nature and may not be relevant to your individual circumstances. You should refrain from doing anything in reliance on this information without first obtaining suitable professional advice. The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of Millennium3 Financial Service’s position, and are not to be attributed to Millennium3. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.