Retire Early to Live Longer?

It’s not the act of retirement but what you do during that time that may help you live longer.

Having a purposeful life, staying active and avoiding stress are the main ways to live longer in retirement.

According to the New York Times, a 2017 study suggests that seven years of active retirement reduces the risk of diabetes or heart conditions by 20 percent.

And another study revealed that retirees who worked in physically demanding jobs where they kept fit are more likely to become obese in retirement. On the other hand, there is a link between work stress and disease, so retirement may be the cure.

The key in one study pointed to heart and digestive diseases. Smoking, alcohol and obesity and little exercise contribute to premature death in retirement.

Physical activity and healthy eating certainly can’t hurt. Studies reveal that workers who did not exercise because of hectic work days actually get more exercise because they have more leisure time and sleep better and longer.

Retirees with purpose also live longer. Answering the question of what to do when retired is crucial to retirees’ health.

According to the Chicago Tribune, several studies show that retirees with a purpose that motivates them are less likely to suffer Alzheimer’s, cognitive issues and heart-related illnesses. They also live longer than counterparts without a purpose.

Suppositions from the studies include that older people with purpose are less stressed and want to live longer to fulfill that life goal by eating better and exercising more.

Most retirees don’t know their goal immediately. Flexibility helps. They may try one thing and move on to another until they get the right fit. Suggestions of purposeful living are caring for grandchildren, volunteering, mentoring, creating artistic work and joining clubs and committees. Feeling useful gives everyone a sense of accomplishment and belonging – feelings that can boost well-being and physical health.

To survive and thrive, retired seniors need to stay active, have a positive attitude, feel useful and have a purpose in life. If they do, they’ll live longer, have a better quality of life along the way and be able to spent retirement savings on enjoyable activities instead of healthcare costs.


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Tamera Shaw is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions based in Louisville, Kentucky. She writes fiction and enjoys amateur photography. She happily shares her life with husband Ron, daughter Cate and sage cat, Sophie, who grudgingly shares her home with the newest member of our family – Nieko, our new kitten.


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