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Do people who retire early live longer?
Old 07-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #1
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Do people who retire early live longer?

BBC News - Do those who retire early live longer?

After reading this article...I am MORE confused about statistics. I would think IMO that people who retire early, away from the stress/demands of work SHOULD theoretically live longer. I'm retiring early based on that assumption.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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Or they retire early because they have medical problems and can't work any more. I thought that was one of the major problems of planning to work until you were 65.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Some people that retire early have problems replacing the mental and physical stimulations that they had when they were working - that will shorten their life span. Retiring and becoming a couch potato will not lengthen your life span... (LOL)...
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Many people retire early because of health problems. That would skew the statistics and makes it look like ER kills you.

And as the article pointed out, many late workers live long because their jobs are low-stress. That would make working appear to help longevity.

But whether ER prolongs life or shortens it, people here say that it's the quality of life that matters. Also, they claim that early retirees die with a smile on their face. So, take your pick.
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:41 PM   #5
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Here's some anecdotal 'evidence'.

My GF retired at 81, he was a farmer, died at 85. His BIL was a lawyer, retired at 96, died at 97. My DF (also a farmer) 'retired' due to health at 51, died at 54.

Clearly it pays (in longevity) to work longer.

BTW, I'm 63, retired at 58.

Can't attribute the quotes but:
  • there are lies, damn lies and statistics
  • figures don't lie, but liars do figure
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:23 AM   #6
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+1 to the health hypothesis. Lets face it, most people can't afford to retire early. Undoubtedly a large proportion of those that do are forced to by unemployment and bad health. Of course they die early. Conversely, people who works until 80 or 85 are undoubtedly in good health until those lofty ages. Of course they die later than average, the average people are already dead or dieing by the time these healthy people retire.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:27 AM   #7
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I retire early to get better quality in life and indeed I am experiencing better quality. As to whether my ER impacts quantity, I guess I will never know but do believe that as long as I keep active with diverse interest and with more time to focus on my health, there's a high chance of a longer life.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:37 AM   #8
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There was a http://www.iew.uzh.ch/wp/iewwp499.pdf]recent study of Austrian retirees which came to the conclusion that retirement = early mortality. However, the study failed to identify the causation/correlation difference which showed that most of the early mortality was also tied to people who retired early for health reasons or had involuntary retirement. Both of those causes are significant life shocks.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:32 AM   #9
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I retire early to get better quality in life and indeed I am experiencing better quality. As to whether my ER impacts quantity, I guess I will never know but do believe that as long as I keep active with diverse interest and with more time to focus on my health, there's a high chance of a longer life.
+1 Obviously it's what you do with you life after retirement that counts. ER gives you more control over you time. What you do wih that time is up to you.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:35 AM   #10
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I retired early because I was sick.............of working and the commute .

Does that count?
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:57 AM   #11
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The article does have an interesting chart

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Old 07-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #12
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That chart seems to have a very small standard deviation.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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Ah, money does not buy happiness, nor does it buy much more life. I would not want to swap place with Steve Jobs.

In some previous threads, we also discussed how doctors and nurses did not have much longer lifespan than the non-medical population. Their knowledge of prevention might help a bit, but may not be that much.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:16 PM   #14
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Supposedly IBM retirees in the old days didn't live too long, and the theory was that they had such a sense of place and purpose within the company that upon retirement they missed it and apparently kind of lost the will to live.

Doc Eifrig- This could be Doc Eifrig's most surprising retirement advice refers to it, but I haven't found any actual statistics to back up my claim or that of the article.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:56 PM   #15
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That chart seems to have a very small standard deviation.
These numbers appear to be averages. How did you determine the SD?
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #16
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The article does have an interesting chart

If you're a man and want to live longer irrespective of your profession, become a woman.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:53 AM   #17
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These numbers appear to be averages. How did you determine the SD?
Poor choice of wording on my part.
I just meant that the difference between lowest and highest on the chart is only 2-3 years for men, 3-4 years for women. I'm not at all sure that tells us much.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:14 AM   #18
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Surely it does. It tells me that socioeconomic status, read money, buys one just a few more years of life. And I am curious to know how many of those few extra years are spent with a low quality of life, pursuing expensive and futile treatments.
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...the difference between lowest and highest on the chart is only 2-3 years for men, 3-4 years for women. I'm not at all sure that tells us much.
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Old 07-26-2012, 10:04 AM   #19
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This question has come up before, and it's a textbook example of "correlation does not equal causation". There's no way I'm aware of to normalize it for one's current health on the day they retire, given that some retirements are triggered by medical problems.
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #20
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In a thread about our limited time on earth, how did I fail to flog a favorite song of mine?

I shall immediately remedy that. It's a bit gloomy, but life is not always rosy.

"Just another drop in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
...
Nothing lasts forever except the earth and sky
It slips away
All your money won't another minute buy"

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