Medium shot of smiling senior woman exercising with spinning plastic hoops in backyard
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More than 40% of US adults have “bucket lists” of goals they want to achieve in retirement, including ones that they believe support their overall mental health, according to the results of a recent Forbes Health survey.

According to Forbes Health, bucket lists can help inspire activity as well as provide a sense of focus, momentum and fulfillment. A survey of 2,000 US adults conducted by OnePoll found that across all generations, survey respondents were most excited about finding a new hobby due to their bucket list (57%), along with travel (56%) and trying “extreme” sports (53%). 

But bucket list priorities shift over time for older adults nearing or navigating retirement, according to survey results. 

Respondents aged 59 to 77 years were most focused on spending more time with family and friends (55%), prioritizing their health and well-being (52%), traveling (46%) and spending more time outdoors (46%). 

Participants aged 78 or more years, however, were more excited about travel (87%), finding a new hobby (78%), focusing on their health and well-being (74%), seeing the world (74%) and trying a new sport (74%). Other popular bucket list items for those older adults included learning to play a musical instrument (70%) and trying more extreme sports (65%)

The online survey was conducted by market research company OnePoll between Aug. 11 and 16. 

A previous Forbes Health survey found that the older people get, the less they fear aging. That survey found that, overall, 53% of respondents weren’t afraid of growing old, although that fear differed among age groups. Adults aged 18 to 25 feared aging the most (56%), compared with adults aged 77 or more years (21%).

But many aspects of aging were cause for concern. According to the survey, 63% of US adults who said they fear aging said they worried most about potentially declining health as they aged, followed by losing loved ones (52%), financial concerns (38%), loneliness or isolation (30%), and lacking purpose (20%). 

When it came to health concerns, mobility issues, including arthritis and joint deterioration, topped the list (45%), followed closely by cancer (44%) and cognitive decline (44%), including all types of dementia. 

But even those health concerns varied by age. Members of Generation Z said they were most afraid of cognitive decline, whereas millennials feared cancer the most. Generation X and baby boomers also feared cognitive decline the most, but that concern increased sharply with age — 55% of respondents aged 66 to 76 cited cognitive decline to be their greatest fear in aging, whereas 88% of people 77 and older said they were concerned about it.