Planning on a kicked-back retirement? Not so fast.

By Michelle Anderson • Published: February 23rd, 2010
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

It’s OK, you can admit it.

You’ve daydreamed about giving up the daily grind when you retire, napping anytime, watching daytime TV and feeling like every week is made up of six Saturdays and a Sunday.

Consider this your reality check.

The secret to a healthy retirement?


A recent research study analyzed six years’ worth of information on the health, finances and employment status of more than twelve-thousand people who were between ages fifty-one and sixty-one in 1992.

Participants were interviewed every two years for a six-year period, starting in 1992.

They found that those who continued to work, part-time or full-time, fared better than those who quit their jobs altogether.

Those who kept working in some fashion were less likely to be diagnosed with eight diseases, including high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and psychiatric problems.

The researchers found that those whose jobs after retirement were in a career field familiar to them had better mental health overall than those who ventured into unfamiliar territory… most likely the result of added stress from having to learn and adjust to a new field.

They also found that those who worked part-time or more were less likely to show signs of decline, such as not being able to do daily tasks like getting in or out of bed, eating or bathing.

With a weakened economy and Americans living longer, in general, many older folks may find themselves back in the workforce.

So, back to the grind? Maybe that’s not so bad, after all.