PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Want to be happy in your retirement? Plan ahead.

A new study from Northwestern Mutual shows that the more you plan for your golden years and the more financially disciplined you are in that planning, the happier you tend to be once you get there.

According to the company, only 18% of American adults consider themselves a “Highly Disciplined Financial Planner” – someone who has exact financial goals and rarely deviates from their plans to achieve them.

But that planning pays off: Seventy-percent of the most disciplined planners said they were “very financially secure,” while just 51% of disciplined planners said the same. And as for those who called themselves “informal planners,” the percentage was at 34%. Non-planners were the least likely to feel financially secure, at just 17%.

When it came to retired people, highly disciplined planners were also the happiest. Ninety-one-percent said they were happy in their retirement, compared to just 63% of non-planners.

According to Northwestern Mutual, the results of the research come from a survey of 2,100 American adults ages 18 and older.

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