New Study Suggests Retiring Later May Help Longevity

For many of us regardless of our age, retirement can seem like a concept in the far-off future. Certainly, attitudes and expectations around retirement have changed over the last few decades. Our careers are a major aspect of our overall lives, and they also impact our overall health.

 Ann Lukits penned an article for the Wall Street Journal titled, “Retiring After 65 May Help People Live Longer.” The basis for this statement has come from the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, which published findings from researchers at Oregon State University. Their sample consisted of 2,956 people starting in 1992 when they were employed and ending in 2010 when they were fully retired. According to Lukits, “Compared with retiring at age 65, workers who retired in good health at age 67 had a 21% lower risk of dying. By age 70, the risk was 44% lower, and at age 72 it was 56% lower.” Researchers found that the risk of dying was also lower if workers retired after age 65, with health issues. The retirement age of those studied ranged from 55 to 77 years old. Lukits also noted “The benefits of remaining in the workforce occurred irrespective of gender, lifestyle, education, income and occupation, the analysis showed.”

So might postponing retirement delay natural physical and cognitive decline? This study does conclude that among adults in the United States, prolonged work life can be beneficial. The authors of the study believe that the overall risk of chronic illness, which can be lengthy and debilitating to patients and families, could be reduced if retirement is postponed. To read Lukits’ article, follow this link:

The National Institute on Aging has also published The Health and Retirement Study (HRS) which takes a broader look at trends in work in chapter 2. Among the highlights of the chapter, there is a note that baby boomers are expected to work longer. “Compared with 1992, in 2004, a substantially larger proportion of people in their early to mid-50s expected to work after 65.” Authors of this study suggest that the striking difference in attitudes between the two polls could be correlated with the levels of education attained. People with some college or college degrees expected to work longer than those with a high school degree or less. Increased education could suggest a variety of things including “greater cognitive capacity to deal with complexity.” For more information on the HRS, visit

At Weatherby & Associates, PC, we work to support the values and goals of our clients. Decisions about retirement, both past and future, are of importance to us. And our multidisciplinary team is here to help with critical life transitions. For more information on our firm and how we can help you, contact us at 860-769-6938.



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