I recently read an article entitled "The case for never retiring."
It summarized a couple different studies, one from Harvard and one from a research institute in the UK. Here are some of the findings:
- + Retirement increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by about 40%.
+ Retirement decreases the likelihood of being in "very good" or "excellent" self-assessed health by about 40%.
+ Retirement increases the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical condition by about 60%.
+ Retirement increases the probability of taking a drug for such a condition by about 60%.
These finds could be misleading because it is unclear what is causing what. Maybe retirees are less likely to be in excellent health because people are more likely to retire when their health is poor? Or it could be that retirement causes people to be less healthy.
What do you think? Are you planning to retire? Are there Bogleheads who plan to never retire, given good health and the opportunity?
One thing that seems apparent from an amount of research I've done is that the specifics of a retirement factor a lot into the well-being of the retiree. People often wind up depending on their job/profession for significant portions of their social contact, sense of accomplishment/value, and daily routine/activity. When they pull the plug on those things and park themselves on the couch in front of the TV, then it's not uncommon to see mental and physical health deteriorate in a correlated manner.
Retirees who have a healthy and (importantly) active "leisure" schedule, and who maintain social ties, tend to fare much better for much longer.
Since becoming single and having my kids grow up and establish their own lives, I've been pretty job-centric in my existence. So, I've been actively planning for my post-career years by developing/rekindling some hobbies of both intellectual and artistic natures, exploring some educational opportunities, exploring some opportunities for part-time work (more for personal fulfillment than for money).
There's a saying I first encountered in Crossfit: "You don't stop moving because you get old, you get old because you stop moving". Obviously it has its limitations as far as applicability go, but there's a grain of truth to it. So, my plan will be to keep moving to whatever extent I can. Retirement doesn't mean I'm going to stop living--it just means I'm going to redirect my full life/energy differently.
Don't do something. Just stand there!