Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Retirement is Bad for Your Health

People like to think that if they could retire early and relax, they would live longer. "The stress of my job is killing me," they think. But for most people this is not so. On average, the earlier people retire, the earlier they die. This is partly because sick people tend to retire earlier than healthy people, but studies that have tried to take this effect into account still find that working longer makes you live longer. A study of thousands of Shell Oil Company employees who retired from the company between 1973 and 2003
found that those who retired at 55 died younger, on average, than those who retired at 65. The effect held even for those who retired at 55 but were still alive at 65, making it somewhat less likely that they retired early because of failing health. Likewise, a study of more than 16,000 Greeks published in 2007 found that retirees were 51 percent more likely to die during the follow-up period than employed people of the same age. It excluded those who had been previously diagnosed with serious illnesses.
Of course some people live for a long time while retired, but they are mostly the ones who find something else to do instead of just playing golf and napping.

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