Why Early Retirement May Help You Live Longer

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Early retirement promises tremendous potential for new interests, second careers and more. The latest research points to an additional benefit – a longer life.

That’s right. Retiring early can lengthen your life, according to a 2017 study from the University of Amsterdam published in the journal of Health and Economics.

Dutch men aged 54 and older who secured early retirement from civil service were 42% less likely to die over the next five years. This is as compared with those who continued working at this age. There were not enough women who met early retirement eligibility requirements to be included.

Researchers note there are two potential reasons for greater longevity associated with early retirement.

– More free time during retirement means more of an opportunity to focus on health, whether that’s sleeping more, working out or visiting the doctor when problems arise.

– Work tends to be stressful, and early retirement gets rid of that stress.

The study isn’t the first to suggest such a positive effect of early retirement. One analysis in the United States found that seven years of retirement is equivalent to reducing the chance of getting a serious disease by 20%.

However, many still advocate for retirement later in life. Work can keep the mind sharp and the body active, according to a CNBC report. It also serves as a social outlet, which is crucial as adults get older, and provides a sense of purpose. All are factors that positively influence health outcomes.

Yet early retirees can meet their needs elsewhere and in different ways. Continuing education is an excellent example of doing just that, as is volunteering. Travel and different exercise programs are means of remaining active.

Of course, early retirement can come at a cost, since it means giving up a steady income. But as long as retirees plan ahead and spend their time wisely, this route may result in a longer life.