Retirement Is Good for Your Health

There is evidence to suggest that for many Americans health improves after retirement, indeed for most of you that are contemplating retirement, retirement is good for your health. The lower stress on retirees and the additional emphasis as well as time time for proper health care are contributing factors.  Researchers point out that the health benefits of retirement may not be seen for a few years after retirement. Also know that healthier people simply live longer and are more likely to LIVE to retirement age.  Researchers also  note that there is a direct and distinct coloration to education level and longevity.

What does all this mean to you, the future retirees?

Firstly, the change to a retirement mode of life will help you live longer – but keep in mind that it is not the simple act or retiring, but the life style changes that come with it: Increased level of happiness, decreased level of stress, and more time to recreate and enjoy your self. Happy people live longer.
Secondly, living long should not be the goal , but living happier for the years that you do live is, and keeping that in mind will help you live longer.

In the Report by NBER, health improvements after retirement is confirmed but there is a catch. You have to be in good health when you retire.

For many folks, retirement can be a mixed blessing. Having more leisure time can spark new interests and hobbies and bring a reduction in mental and physical stress. For others, getting older may trigger worries about money and a whole host of health concerns. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research  (NBER) asks, “Does Retirement Improve Health and Life Satisfaction?”

The answer? Retirement Is Good for Your Health.

Retirement can offer real and measurable value in terms of positive outlook and health. “Our findings are consistent with the view that retirement is a good time in life that many people look forward to,” says Aspen Gorry, one of the study’s authors. The study found strong evidence that retirement can improve physical and mental health and life satisfaction – although it might take a few years for the health benefits to show.”

You may also be interested in reading this report about the other affect on health for older Americans:

“If there is nothing certain in life besides death and taxes, as Benjamin Franklin once wrote, the decline of health at older ages might be considered a close third. Yet quantifying how quickly health declines with age and exploring how this varies by education and racial group is not a simple task.

Researchers Florian Heiss, Steven Venti, and David Wise take on these questions in their recent paper “The Persistence and Heterogeneity of Health Among Older Americans” (NBER Working Paper No. 20306).

The authors begin by pointing out that a simple tabulation of average health by age will yield a misleading picture of how health evolves with age for a typical individual. The reason is that two things happen as people age. First, as expected, health declines. Second, people in better health are more likely to survive from one age to the next. The latter effect, on its own, leads to improvements in average health over time; ignoring this effect thus leads to an understatement of the age-related decline in health.”

From: NBER


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