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Can Early Retirement Add More Years to Your Life?

Your retirement years are supposed to be the time of your life where you get to enjoy yourself after working for many years. It’s that time when you’ve had a successful career, repaid your student loans and hopefully eliminated all of your other consumer debts as well. Being able to retire early is something many individuals dream about being able to do, and studies have shown that stopping work at a younger age could be the ticket to living longer as well.

Study Results

A study was performed in 2017 in the Netherlands and the results thereof were published in the Health Economics journal. It indicated that men who were able to retire before age 60 were up to 3% less likely to die within the first five years after stopping work than men who only retired after 60 or 65. No conclusive evidence was provided with regards to how early retirement affected women, unfortunately. 

Another study undertaken at the University of Wisconsin revealed that retired individuals got to enjoy more leisure time, which in turn helped several of them to adopt healthy habits such as exercising more, quitting smoking and altering their diet patterns – all of which led to them being able to live longer. This particular study involved men and women and it clearly indicated that early retirement could significantly impact a person’s wellbeing. 

A Potentially Conflicting Study

Despite all of the evidence from the above-mentioned studies, an alternative study that had its results published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health revealed opposing information. Researchers involved in this study made mention that individuals who worked for a year more than their peers were up to 11% less likely to die at an earlier age. However, the study size was particularly small and focused almost entirely on men.

A study that was similar to that undertaken at Wisconsin University noted that retirement could in fact have a negative effect on the health and longevity of men. It stated that retired men stood up to a 12% chance of becoming obese within just four years of retiring early – which would in turn cause several other health issues to develop. 

Keeping Active

If it’s one thing the studies all revealed, it’s that it is extremely important for anyone who retires to find some type of purpose. While some individuals will find it absolutely thrilling to embark on a new life, others will feel empty or lost and think they no longer have anything to offer anyone. 

Hobbies and other outside interests are crucial, as is a decent retirement nest egg – these will help prevent the onset of stress and depression that is usually associated with worrying about finances. It’s also important to remember that everyone’s retirement paths are different, so never compare yours to anyone else’s. 

Although it’s fairly inconclusive whether retiring early will help you live longer or not, the fact remains that you need to do everything possible to make this time of your life pleasant and enjoyable. If you would like to ensure that your nest egg will be large enough to see you through retirement, contact us today.

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Points to Consider before Taking Early Retirement

While some individuals are forced to take early retirement due to job losses, deteriorating health, or unexpected family responsibilities, others may choose to retire early so that they can spend more time engaging in activities that they enjoy such as traveling, volunteering, or spending time with friends and family. Regardless of why you may be considering retiring early, it’s essential to consider the following pros and cons before pulling the plug on your job. 

Pros of Early Retirement

  1. It can be Beneficial for your Health

When you no longer have to rush to work each day, you’ll be able to get the sleep you truly need, spend more time out in the fresh air and sunshine than before and generally enjoy a more relaxed pace of life. 

  1. You’ll have Time to Travel

Having more time on your hands will also mean that you’ll be able to travel more – no more limitations due to only having a few vacation days per year at your corporate job. The earlier you’re able to retire, the more time you’ll have to see as many places as possible before age-related health issues arise. 

  1. You Have the Chance to Embark on a New Career

If you’ve been considering changing careers, doing so sooner rather than later will allow you to stand more chance of being noticed by potential employers. You may even be considering starting your own business, and the earlier you can do this, the more chance you’ll have of making a success of it. Launching your own business at age 55 could provide you with intellectual stimulation for at least another 15 to 20 years.

Cons of Early Retirement

  1. A Smaller Social Security Benefit

The earlier you take Social Security, the smaller your payments will be. For example, if you were born in 1960 or later and you start taking benefits at age 62 (the earliest age you’ll be eligible to do so), you will receive payments that are 30% lower than if you had to wait until age 67. For every year that you don’t take Social Security from age 67 to 70, your payments would be 8% higher each month. 

  1. Retirement Savings will have to Last Longer

If you retire at 50 or 55 and live to age 90, your IRAs and other retirement accounts will need to have sufficient balances in them to support you for 35 to 40 years. However, if you retire at 70 or 75, these funds will only have to last for between 15 and 20 years. 

  1. You’ll have to Foot the Bill for Health Insurance

In many cases, you’ll have to cover the cost of health insurance yourself until you become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 – and premiums can be double or even triple of what you were paying while working.

Deciding when you should retire is not just a matter of making up your mind and handing your notice into your boss. If you would like to learn more about making the most of retirement, contact us today. 


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Does Early Retirement Have an Effect on Lifespan?


Retirement is the time in your life when you enjoy the fruits of your many years of labor. It’s when your student debts have been paid, you’ve been successful in your career, and you can finally take the time to do all the things you have planned. Early retirement is, by and large, everyone’s dream, and as a recent study suggests, it may just help you live longer, too.


A Unique Study

A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2017 and published in the prestigious journal Health Economics may have some significant implications for American workers. Per the study, men who retired early were 2.6% less likely to die within the five years after retirement than those who waited until retirement age. The female sample was too small to be conclusive.

This is in line with an earlier study conducted at the University of Wisconsin that found that retired people had more time for leisure, and as a result, they often adopted healthy habits. Things like quitting smoking, increased exercise, and more balanced diets were common, and this led to longevity. This sample included thousands of men and women and showed that retirement could, in fact, have a tremendous impact on health.


A Conflicting Study

Despite this evidence, yet another study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found quite the opposite. Researchers said that people who worked a year longer than their counterparts were 11% less likely to die. Again, the sample size was small and focused almost exclusively on men, which doesn’t provide much in the way of information about women.

A study similar to the one at the University of Wisconsin and published in the Journal of Health Economics back in 2016 found that retirement had a negative effect on one’s health – namely men. Per the study, retired men had 12% higher chances of becoming obese within a period of two to four years following their retirement. Obesity leads to a variety of conditions which could have a negative effect on longevity.


Finding One’s Purpose

Overall, when looking at these various studies, there is one thing that is very clear. It’s important for individuals who retire to find some kind of purpose. For some, leaving their careers and embarking on a new life is exciting, but for others, they feel lost and like they have nothing more to offer to the world. Hobbies are vital and ensuring a healthy retirement nest egg is also important to avoiding stress and depression that often comes along with financial worry. Finally, and most importantly, everyone retires differently, and it is important to remember that another individual’s retirement should not be compared to your own.

Whether or not early retirement increases or decreases your lifespan is still unknown as the studies and the evidence are conflicting. The goal, then, should be to make retirement as enjoyable as possible through ample savings, hobbies, new personal relationships and connections, and a drive to stay healthy – both physically and mentally – well into your golden years.

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