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.
(For the rest of the article, click the link.)