The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off. -Abe Lemons
The desire for a long and happy retirement is universal.
The freedom of enjoying the simple pleasures of life after years of hard work seems to be the bright light at the end of a long tunnel. However, it is becoming more and more common to see people continuing to work past the typical retirement mark. In many cases, it’s not even financially necessary. So why are they doing this?
Humans thrive off of mental and physical stimulation. We are staying healthier longer, therefore in better shape to continue working. Imagine how you feel after a long vacation: relaxed, happy, but ready to get the ball rolling again.
Later in life, we have a certain luxury of choice that we didn’t necessarily have while we were raising a family or committed to building a career. So while many people have the option of retirement, a lot of them are trying new and exciting work opportunities instead. It is never too late to pursue new passions, learn new skills, and develop new interests. In fact, it actually might help us live longer.
A study shows that retirement age has strong connections with mortality rates.
Research published in Pubmed shows that people who delay retirement are statistically living longer. Delaying retirement for as little as one year was shown to reduce the risk of mortality as much as 11%. Most people would look at that statistic and think, “well of course, because the healthy people are working longer, duh.” However, the study also proved that even those with health issues that kept working still had lower mortality rates.
Learning new skills prevents cognitive disease.
Our brain is one of the most important muscles in our bodies. It needs to be exercised and presented with new problems in order to stay fit. People who continue to work and challenge themselves later in life, put themselves at much lower risk for cognitive decline and diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. They feel higher levels of fulfillment, and in turn, benefit from greater emotional health.
The whole concept of retirement is being redefined by the entire baby boomer generation. Instead of being seen as the milestone for the end of self-development, it is now an opportune time to develop new skills, be productive, and explore talents you never even knew you had.