We use British panel data to investigate whether and to what extent individuals anticipate their retirement and adjust to it over time. We show that retirement increases satisfaction with life and the health and leisure domains of life up to three years prior to retiring. Once retired, individuals reported higher satisfaction overall and becoming more satisfied with their health, income and leisure. For health and leisure the well being boosts did not dissipate over time, but for income satisfaction adaptation was almost complete. Our findings provide new empirical evidence on the well-being dynamics in the years leading to and following retirement.