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Old 02-22-2010, 08:46 PM   #21
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I do observe, however, that my health has generally improved after retirement. The biggest thing I notice is that both DH and I are much less prone to catch whatever sickness is going around.
It's also easier to eat better when you have time to prepare meals regularly. What we cook for ourselves is nearly always more healthful than anything we'll get out. But when you work a 12+ hour day you eat whatever you can get fast, and that is hardly ever good for you.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:14 PM   #22
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One more thing, I have an uncle that retired from the Bureau of Land Management at the age of 62 after 30 years of employment. he will turn 92 this year.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:18 PM   #23
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Well, he is obviously wrong. For many years the age of average retirement age has been somewhat lower than 65, while the life expectancy of a man at 65 is roughly 18 years, and a woman about 20 years.

Can't this "counselor" even subtract?

Ha
Since when did facts get in the way of an attention grabbing sound bite?
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:06 PM   #24
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It's also easier to eat better when you have time to prepare meals regularly. What we cook for ourselves is nearly always more healthful than anything we'll get out. But when you work a 12+ hour day you eat whatever you can get fast, and that is hardly ever good for you.
True.

But I think the biggest health issue is that retired you can pace yourself and you have a lot of control over your environment. Whereas working, you tend to get pushed to overextend yourself and you get run down (not to mention the chronic stress due to lack of control of your environment, etc.). At least that was the way it was for me - overwork, constant deadlines (other people's deadlines), chronic stress, not enough personal time to take care of my own needs, not enough "down time".

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Old 02-23-2010, 05:21 AM   #25
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But I think the biggest health issue is that retired you can pace yourself and you have a lot of control over your environment. Whereas working, you tend to get pushed to overextend yourself and you get run down (not to mention the chronic stress due to lack of control of your environment, etc.). At least that was the way it was for me - overwork, constant deadlines (other people's deadlines), chronic stress, not enough personal time to take care of my own needs, not enough "down time". Audrey
My observation has always been that those who ate right and stayed fit with any vigorous aerobic activity did way better than those who didn't, period. Saw plenty of hard core workers (bankers, VC's, engineers, entreprenuers) working mega hours but still put serious time into physical fitness, treating it almost like a key component of the job. Have also seen plenty of low stress desk workers and/or lower paid work groups (counting hrs till quitin time or retirement) put little-no effort into healthy lifestyle and pay the price.

I would bet that education, working age group, and job category would have a stronger connection to physical fitness (and longer life) than early retirement or work hours. Just my guess.

Another note: the US has one of the highest levels of overweight citizens in the developed world. Single most important statistic regarding longevity (and even health care costs) in this country.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:58 AM   #26
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I listened to a career counselor/talk show host the other day. He said with certainty that retirees die on average 22 months after retirement. He was to spend an hour on the topic of "what to do in retirement" but took no calls on that topic. All the callers wanted advice in finding w*rk.
I can say with 100% certainty that people who never retire will die while still working.
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:24 PM   #27
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I can say with 100% certainty that people who never retire will die while still working.
Conversely, I can say with complete certainty that people who never retire will never die after retiring.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:19 PM   #28
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Another note: the US has one of the highest levels of overweight citizens in the developed world. Single most important statistic regarding longevity (and even health care costs) in this country.
Not to dispute this, but what is your evidence for the second statement above?

Ha
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #29
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I'm 44, close to FI, planning on ER in 3 years, because deep down I'm convinced my health cannot hold up much longer to the anxiety and aggravation associated with working. It certainly won't hurt my health and mental status to quit!
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:26 AM   #30
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Well, my very, very, very early experience is that not working will lead me to a healthier lifestyle. "Convenience food" for me know is the apple that is on the counter or the cantaloupe in the fridge. And I just got back from my first run in ages. The weather is nice, I'm well rested, and with plenty of time on my hands going out for a run is a pretty pleasant activity rather than a chore I have to cram in somewhere.

Yeah, this is going to turn out OK.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:12 PM   #31
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This is just anecdotal, but my Grandfather retired at age 50 because he had 3 good friends from work (who where much senior to him), retire at 65 and then die within 2 years. He decided he wanted to have some fun. He is currently 82, going on 83 still does work for the auxillary coast guard(got flown to DC two years ago to receive a madal for a rescue he did when 80 yrs old). He's had a knee replacement, shoulder replacement and a pacemaker put in and still going strong (he knew he needed a pacemaker when he had to stop climbing 10 flights of stairs to catch his breath). He's my role model on what i want my life after work to be.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:37 PM   #32
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2 months into ER and stress is way down, exercise is up, and blood pressure is down.

Hopefully the lower stress and bp will contribute to a healthier, if not longer, life.

I had a Grandfather who RE'd early in 1938 at age 60 when he had an accident down a coal mine that shattered his legs causing one to be amputated, and he lived until he was 92 (and mentally was still as sharp as a pin)
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:52 PM   #33
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I'll be the "devil's advocate".

When I was born it was my GGF's 100th birthday. DF went to tell him about me. Found him shovelling sh*t out of cleaning his barn.
My GM's brother was a lawyer who retired at 97,didn't want to, but his secretary did and he didn't want "break in a new one". She had worked for him for 60 years. He died within 6 months.

Some people (like me) work to live. Others live to work. Take your pick. YMMV.
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Old 03-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #34
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Well, he is obviously wrong. For many years the age of average retirement has been somewhat lower than 65, while the life expectancy of a man at 65 is roughly 18 years, and a woman about 20 years.

Can't this "counselor" even subtract?

Ha
Since these also are pretty well-known facts you'd think it would be obvious that such stories just ignore the known facts. I'm really surprised that no one has done a retirement/longevity study that takes into account voluntary vs. involuntary retirement, early retirement vs. normal retirement, retirement to something vs. retirement from something. Otherwise these studies are nothing more than fear-mongering.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:41 PM   #35
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I'm really surprised that no one has done a retirement/longevity study that takes into account voluntary vs. involuntary retirement, early retirement vs. normal retirement, retirement to something vs. retirement from something. Otherwise these studies are nothing more than fear-mongering.
I'd think that anyone who does a proper amount of rigorous research on these topics...

... would learn enough to immediately retire.

So the only studies that make it to the publisher are the flawed ones prepared by (still working) researchers who haven't sufficiently studied their material.

Kind of like the science-fiction plot* about the brilliant inventor who creates a time machine and then travels back in time to destroy it.

* As far as we can tell.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:01 AM   #36
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I'm thinking that retiring early might increase longevity. However, when I look at the list of things I need to do I get scared half to death....

Had a G uncle who retired at 58 and lived to 91- same age that his sister - my G mother died at after selling the farm at 49 when her husband died and moving to town. I think it's mostly genetics and activity levels. My mother, and her two siblings all died at about 83, all had retired about 62 but weren't as active as the previous generation.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:23 PM   #37
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Even if it were true, I would prefer dieing 'young' over working longer.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #38
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My experience:

If work is toxic and you can ER - why would you stay? It definitely effected my health, physical and emotional.

I ER'd for three months, then I got an offer that I could not refuse. I learned from listening to others on this site and reading all the typical ER books that you need to have a plan as to what you are going to do with your free time. Something productive and fun, a dream. During those 3 months each morning I participated in exercise classes at my local YMCA(a great resource). I would then stop off @ the library/coffee shop etc. socialize and just enjoy the no strings attached day. I also made a few rules like no TV till 6pm, no alcohol on days with a "T" in them etc...

I started to spend time with my teen age kids and hike/kayak/fish/hunt more. I felt renewed and had a fresh perspective when I returned to a job, one which I chose and enjoy, it was a positive thing.
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