Work Heals, Retirement Kills

Work to stay healthy

Retirement Kills

Retirement Kills

What common sense tells us has finally been confirmed by a national study: Don’t retire if you want to stay healthy. Research conducted at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a think tank from the United Kingdom, reaffirms that retiring has a negative effect on one’s mental and physical health. Although the ebullience of retirement creates short-term health improvement initially, in the long run it causes a “drastic decline in health.”

The study, published with the Age Endeavour Fellowship, compared retirees with nonretirees and found that, “Working longer will not only be an economic necessity, it will also help people live healthier lives.” Edward Datnow, chairman of the Age Endeavour Fellowship, said: “There should be no ‘normal’ retirement age in the future.”

People in retirement are 40 percent less likely to say they are in very good or excellent health, and are 40 percent more likely to suffer from clinical depression. Retirement was also found to increase the risk of having one or more diagnosed physical conditions by 60 percent. Economist Josef Zweimuller at the University of Zurich looked at two groups of blue-collar workers in Austria. One retired up to three and a half years earlier than the other. Zweimuller found early retirement resulted in more deaths. For every extra year of early retirement, one loses two months of life expectancy. Mo Wang, a psychologist at the University of Florida, told an interviewer, “Working actually gives you a way to structure life and that’s very important. It’s interesting that you see people travel right after they retire, but then after one or two years, people just sit at home watching TV.”

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