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Avoid retiring – it now carries a health warning

RETIREMENT can cause a drastic decline in health, according to a new study .

Research shows there is a small boost in health immediately after retirement but that, over the longer term, there is a significant deterioration.

Research found both mental and physical health can suffer.

It suggests retirement increases the likelihood of suffering from clinical depression by 40pc and the chance of having at least one diagnosed physical condition by about 60pc. The probability of taking medication for such a condition rises by about 60pc as well, according to the findings.

People who are retired are 40pc less likely than others to describe themselves as being in very good or excellent health.

 

Benefits

The length of time spent in retirement can also cause further disadvantages.

The study was carried out by Britain's Institute of Economic Affairs and the Age Endeavour Fellowship. It concluded that, for men and women alike, "there seem to exist longer-term health benefits of employment among older people".

Its authors said: "This, in turn, indicates that politicians do not face a trade-off between improving the health of the older population, increasing economic growth, decreasing health spending among the elderly and producing solvent pension systems.

"The policy implication is that impediments to continuing paid work in old age should be decreased. This does not necessarily mean that people should be expected to work full-time until they die, but rather that public policy should remove the strong financial incentives to retire at earlier ages."

Philip Booth, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "Over several decades, governments have failed to deal with the 'demographic time bomb'.

"There is now general agreement that pension ages should be raised. Working longer will not only be an economic necessity, it also helps people to live healthier lives."

Edward Datnow, of the Age Endeavour Fellowship, said: "Those seeking to retire should think very hard about whether it is their best option."

hnews@herald.ie


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