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Could early retirement kill you?
Old 10-17-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
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Could early retirement kill you?

I picked up an article from the following URL

Could early retirement kill you? - Telegraph

It is amazing how the researchers could have derived the following conclusions

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A new study shows that people who give up work completely are less healthy than those who carry on in a part time job.


It found they experience fewer serious diseases and are able to function better day-to-day than those who stop working altogether.



Those staying on in part-time jobs related to their previous career are also likely to fare better mentally than those who drop everything.
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Any comments from those who have been FIRE?

Thanks

HPPH
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Not My Experience
Old 10-17-2009, 05:33 AM   #2
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Not My Experience

I retired six months ago. I used to sit on my butt in the office. I now kayak, hike, garden and fish. I am eating fresh garden vegetables and have lost thirty pounds.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:30 AM   #3
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I have noticed that those people who retire and quit w*rking only live another 20-30 years while most w*rkers (particularly those just starting out) live much longer. They are, generally, much happier, however, even with this mortality knowledge.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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There are many examples of people who work until 65 and then die in a couple of years. People that are downsized fare less well than those who retire early as part of their life plans.

The secret to success in early retirement is to have so many pursuits that are not getting the time they deserve because work gets in the way.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:02 AM   #5
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The article is not very informative. It doesn't explain whether there were any controls. I would expect that the average early retiree dies sooner than people who don't retire until later given almost any definition of "early retiree." We are unusual early retirees -- we choose it. Many, if not most, early retirees are forced into retirement by job loss or health problems. Of course those with health problems die sooner. And it is common sense that people forced into ER by job loss before they want to retire would have higher mortality.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:27 AM   #6
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Donheff is right on the money. All of these types of studies conveniently ignore the #1 reason the average person retires, or gives up a part time job; health reasons. It is illogical to conclude that one thing causes another simply because they are regularly associated without considering the possibility that a third cause might be the cause of both.
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Old 10-17-2009, 08:37 AM   #7
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I'll go out on a limb here and say the article the OP links to is probably correct overall. While not the case for folks like hellbender, unfortunately the majority of retirees (early or not) don't stay physically and mentally active, so it may well shorten their lifespan. It would be easy to spend far too much time watching TV and drinking to excess in retirement, and it does happen more than we probably care to acknowledge. Face it, even folks who are still working tend to be less physically and mentally active than generations past. Everything I've read would tell me the hierarchy is:
  1. Longest lived - retirees who keep physically and mentally active
  2. Second longest lived - people who continue to work longer (vs option 3)
  3. Least longest lived - retirees who do not keep physically and mentally active.
Unfortunately, more retirees probably fall into category 3 than category 1, providing a legitmate basis for the article. IMO, having 'something to retire to' is essential. It's not enough to make the leap based solely on 'something to retire from.'

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Old 10-17-2009, 09:29 AM   #8
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Regardless of what I do, I am going to die one day. I'd rather give up the ghost in retirement than the w*rkplace.
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I'll go out on a limb here and say the article the OP links to is probably correct overall. While not the case for folks like hellbender, unfortunately the majority of retirees (early or not) don't stay physically and mentally active, so it may well shorten their lifespan. It would be easy to spend far too much time watching TV and drinking to excess in retirement, and it does happen more than we probably care to acknowledge. Everything I've read would tell me the hierarchy is:
  1. Longest lived - retirees who keep physically and mentally active
  2. Second longest lived - people who continue to work longer (vs option 3)
  3. Least longest lived - retirees who do not keep physically and mentally active.
Unfortunately, more retirees probably fall into category 3 than category 1. IMO, having 'something to retire to' is essential. It's not enough to make the leap based solely on 'something to retire from.'

Flame away.
Yep, this is what I've observed- you've got to stay physically and mentally active.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:03 AM   #10
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Aside from extreme risky activities, I am a real believer in that you live the time alloted to you. If the sure-proof guaranty of a long and peaceful life would reside in all those healthy and active things....
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
Regardless of what I do, I am going to die one day. I'd rather give up the ghost in retirement than the w*rkplace.
There's a good possibility I would have died at my desk if I had tried to stick it out to full retirement.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #12
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I'm thinking some people likely don't take care of themselves after they retire because they just don't have enough money--they eat less healthy but cheaper food, don't go to the doctor to save on the copayments, cut back on medications, keep the heat and lights turned down, can't afford social outings.
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #13
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I'm thinking some people likely don't take care of themselves after they retire because they just don't have enough money--they eat less healthy but cheaper food, don't go to the doctor to save on the copayments, cut back on medications, keep the heat and lights turned down, can't afford social outings.
With all the "perfect storm" events coming together and making retirement more and more of a challenge these days, I fear that this may be the fate of many in my generation. It is really sad. I know that I will be OK individually, but I also hope that (as a group) we can conquer the problems that this phase in our lives presents.
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HPPH View Post
Any comments from those who have been FIRE?
"Survivor bias".

I think more people are killed by working than by ER. But the study only looked at those who'd survived the workplace...
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #15
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... don't care ... I'M NOT GOING BACK!
... that would certainly kill me
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #16
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... don't care ... I'M NOT GOING BACK!
... that would certainly kill me
One of the reasons why I am taking all my vacation time as I approach retirement, is that w*rk was killing me due to excessive stress and enforced cubicle sloth. I don't need any more of that. I do not think I would have been able to work much longer. Maybe a year, maybe two.

I am working on losing weight and getting more fit, to combat the downwards slide in my health in recent months. I may not be able to reclaim my youth, but I can reclaim my life and I expect to enjoy many more decades to come.
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:57 AM   #17
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Do many people retire/not retire because they think that they may die soon? It was a non-factor for me.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:00 PM   #18
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:02 PM   #19
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Having read the article it certainly doesn't affect my plans for RE at all since although I plan to give up my j*b, I fully intend to continue working even though it won't be paid work. The raw data behind the study probably supports their findings because most retirees don't spend time actually planning an active retirement.

I'm in the mindset that believes you need to stay physically and mentally active for a healthy life - that comes from thousands of years of evolution, and our bodies are still wired to need to survive in the wild outdoors.

While in England recently I met a lot of old (80+) friends and relatives of my wife's family and was very impressed at how active and long lived they were. My FIL (85) is still very active in a bowling club and walks to and from the local shopping precinct a mile away and drives only when he needs to. An 85 year old Aunt-in-law (?) still tends a large garden, walks everywhere, is a member of a hill-walking club, goes sequence dancing every week etc. I could go and list many more. I was really encouraged to see so many defying the normal expectation of the long slow health decline once retired from their Mon-Fri jobs.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
Do many people retire/not retire because they think that they may die soon? It was a non-factor for me.
Even if someone could 'prove' it was likely to kill me within 10 or so years, I would have taken the ER.
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