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Caution: Retirees at Work

Retirement-Age Workers Live Longer than Retired Contemporaries

Retirees who continue working after retirement enjoy better physical and mental health than those who stop working completely.

Retirees who continue working after retirement enjoy better physical and mental health than those who stop working completely.

With social security funds lagging, the economy at a standstill, and retirees’ pension funds going up in smoke, millions of senior citizens are doing what they never thought they’d be doing when they were younger:  Still working.

Working well into our sixties sure doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun.  But as it turns out, over-the-hill 9 to 5’ers are healthier than retirees whose lives are taken up by golf clubs, television shows, and trips to the grocery store.

According to findings recently published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, people that hold temporary or part-time jobs in their later years suffer from fewer diseases, live longer, and have healthier brain function than people of the same age living the life of leisure.

The six-year study involved researchers interviewing over 12,000 participants between the ages of 51 and 61 every two years.  The questions mainly focused on what their employment status was, their overall health, and their financial situation.  A portion of the interview was also devoted to assessing the participants’ mental function to see whether or not it had declined in the intervening 24 months.

At the study’s conclusion, the researchers found that people who continued working suffered 20 percent fewer diseases, ranked an average of 31 percent higher on mental functioning scores, and were especially adept if they continued working in the same field they’d worked in prior to retirement age.

The University of Maryland researchers say the findings are significant, especially considering the number of retirees still working today.

The working trend is likely to continue tomorrow and beyond, as a recent Princeton Survey research poll shows that 75 percent of Americans plan on working into their later years.

When you stop and think about it, the researchers’ findings really makes intuitive sense.  Just as physical exercise strengthens our muscles and keeps us limber, the mental exercise that work provides increases brain power.

The best way to live a long and healthy life is to find a job that you love to do.  Because as the saying goes, do something that you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Sources:
msnbc.msn.com
philadelphia.bizjournals.com

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