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Year 2 of Retirement: The Killer

Posted on October 24, 2013

A May 2013 report published by the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs found that retirement increased the chances of suffering from depression by 40%, while it increased the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical ailment by about 60%. That impact was assessed after controlling for the usual age-related conditions.

Gabriel Sahlgren, director of research at the Centre for Market Reform of Education and author of the IEA report, was surprised by just how much retirement undermined health. He looked at 9,000 people across 11 European Union countries and found that, across borders people suffered in the same ways and to similar degrees.

In the first year of retirement, health actually improved — “It’s nice to get some rest from work,” he said — but two to three years later retirees’ mental and physical conditions began deteriorating.

Other studies have shown similar results. Between 1992 and 2005, Dhaval Dave, an associate professor of economics at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, looked at 12,000 Americans and found that, on average, people experience some sort of ailment within six years of retiring. Hypertension, heart disease, stroke and arthritis are common physical ailments, Dave said. He, too, found that depression increased after retirement.

Though retirement ages may differ from country to country — in China men retire at 60, in India people retire between 60 and 65 and in Norway it’s closer to 67 —studies done in other nations have produced comparable findings. Health problems, both physical and mental, are exacerbated by retirement, whether a retiree is 65 or 75.

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5 thoughts on “Year 2 of Retirement: The Killer

  1. Did it ever occur to these ding dongs that as you hit your late 60s your body is falling apart at a faster rate anyhow?

  2. Not a problem, because thanks to usurious taxation by government and investment destruction by market manipulators, I'll never be able to retire.

  3. That's what I've been saying for the past decade but now my health is fading and I won't be able to do my job much longer, (shrug).

  4. EnII see thatter text right her
    I see that as academic B.S, – – trying to group everyone together to create a theory and write a paper.
    I retired at 52, and now I'm 86.
    One must have other interests than sitting around a Senior Center playing czrds all day.
    That woud create depression for sure.

  5. Bob Marshall says:

    Lee, i totally agree. I didn't rock climb, sky dive, ice climb, take survival training in both Colorado and the Northern Cascades, climb five14er's, six of the highest peaks in the east, hiked the Ozark Highlands Trail, the Bartram Trail and the Foothills Trail four times just to name a few. At the age of 60 i had 13 hobbies. On Nov, 08 i will be hiking up and down Mt. Mitchell for the eighth time since Oct. 30, 2012. to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having had a total of eighteen surgeries in my lifetime i have lost a step or two but not my zest for living. I believe not exercising, watching our sugar intake, amount of saturated fat and trans fat we are putting into our bodies is responsible for so many in bad health today. One i am guilty of is not getting the right amount of sleep. Look at the number of obese adults and children in America today. Most people are capable for 30 minutes of at least taking a walk two or three times a week. I once read a report that mentioned the percentage of people that bought exercise equipment and after a short time they either sold it or just stopped using it. There are a lot of thing people can do to improve both their mental and physical health that doesn't require spending much money.