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Better physical health
There have been studies in the past decade showing many people who continue to work after age 65 enjoy better health.
A 2016 published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, suggested that "early retirement may be a risk factor for mortality and prolonged working life may provide survival benefits among US adults." The researchers found that working even one year beyond retirement age lowered the risk of dying during the study period by 9% to 11% regardless of health.
A 2015 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta suggested a strong association between employment and health status in older adults beyond what can be explained by socioeconomic factors or health behaviors.
According to the report: “Employed older adults had better health outcomes than unemployed older adults. Physically demanding occupations had the lowest risk of poor health outcomes, suggesting a stronger healthy worker effect.”
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Better mental health
If you’ve retired from a high-stress job or an occupation you didn’t enjoy all that much, then you’re probably quite happy now. But for people who enjoyed social interactions and friendships at work, retirement can lead to depression.
As Harvard Health Publishing wrote: "Mental stimulation and problem solving are good for maintaining thinking skills; social engagement is associated with staving off chronic disease; and staying physically active, even if it's just walking, can lead to both better health and sharper thinking skills."
Nicole Maestas, an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School who studies the economics of aging, health, and disability, told HHP you should continue working past age 65 if you can and want to.
"But be smart about what you're doing,” she said. “Don't stay in a job you hate. Try to find something that's meaningful and gives you purpose. If you're happy at work, that's one sign that work may be good for your health."
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