You should retire (if you’re able to) rather than continue working because retirement is much better for your health; working is linked to many diseases.
It’s not unheard of for mental health experts to endorse the idea of senior citizens continuing to work full time in the name of “staying young,” “keeping the mind active,” “having something to do,” and “feeling valuable,” etc.
Even when someone is middle age but in a financial position to retire, they are often urged to “find a new career.”
There are two groups of people here: 1) Those who HAVE to work, who are unable to retire due to their financial situation, and 2) Those who CHOOSE to work—and full-time at that.
It’s the No. 2 group that this article pertains to.
University of Sydney researchers announced that retiring means becoming more active, sleeping better and cutting down on sitting time (sitting is “the new smoking”).
Excessive sitting is a risk factor for heart disease. It stands to reason that less sitting time has a beneficial effect on the risk of heart disease.
A report in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine says that the lifestyle behaviors of 25,000 older Australians was followed for a study.
“Our research revealed that retirement was associated with positive lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Melody Ding, lead researcher.
People who were retired were more physically active (which is always better), spent less time sitting, were less likely to engage in smoking, and had better sleep.
It’s truly flabbergasting that a significant number of older people actually fear retirement; they have anxiety over how they are going to adjust.
In the report, Dr. Ding acknowledges that retirement is “a major life change,” but she also adds that it “creates a great window of opportunity” to make beneficial lifestyle changes, a chance to do away with “bad routines and engineer new, healthier behaviors.” In fact, the study revealed that half the female smokers quit.
Working brings all sorts of disadvantages, including loss of privacy.
Suppose you must take off a month for surgery, then come back with a scar. You can bet that coworkers will be swarming you with questions.
If you must take funeral leave, all your coworkers learn of your family member’s death—something that many people want to keep private. And daily commutes in rush hour traffic certainly can’t be good for mental health.
Dr. Ding was inspired to conduct this study when her mother, who still lives in China where women are mandated to retire at age 55, turned 55 and expressed she would not be “valuable” as a non-working person.
“She now spends her days enjoying so many hobbies,” says Dr. Ding, “she can’t remember how she had time to work.”
My father, retired for many years, has made the same comment: “I don’t know how I had time to work.”
He has filled his days with golf, bowling, bridge, reading news and science magazines, watching action movies with my mother, cooking pancakes and waffles (he’d skip breakfast during his morning rush to get ready for work), spending time at the computer, doing household projects, taking trips, and much more.
Isn’t it really odd that when a younger person plans on retirement, they are frequently asked, “What will you do all day?” even though a younger body can do more than an elderly one?
But when an elderly person with limited mobility retires, the question of “What ever will you do all day?” doesn’t come up as often? Bizarre!