Tags: later | retirement | mental | health | men

Later Retirement Doesn’t Harm Mental Health

Friday, 07 December 2012 10:11 AM

Raising the retirement age to 70 for financial reasons does not appear to make men worse off from a mental-health perspective, according to a new study by the University of California, Berkeley
In fact, the research indicates retirees experience the same psychological stages as they adjust to a non-working life, regardless of how old they when they retire. And, for most retirees, quality of life and a sense of psychological satisfaction tends to improve after age 70.
"A later formal retirement simply delays the well-being benefits of retirement in men, and age of formal retirement is relatively neutral with regard to overall happiness,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mokyr Horner, who led the study, published online in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
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“Given the growing fiscal pressures to adjust the age of retirement upwards, it can be inferred from my studies that well-being may be, on balance, affected only marginally — if at all — by such changes."
As Americans’ life expectancy has improved, the number of retirees is growing, creating mounting costs with dwindling resources to pay for services and healthcare, including Medicare. Many political, health, and economic experts have suggested raising the retirement age to 70 could ease such financial pressures, but few studies have examined the psychological impacts on seniors.
Horner's findings are based on an analysis of information from the 2006 Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe for 14 European countries, the 2006 English Longitudinal Study of Aging in the U.K., and the 2004 Health and Retirement Study for the U.S. The studies involved a total of 18,345 retired men between 50 and 70 years of age and included information on how satisfied they were with their lives at different time points after retirement.
The results showed men tended to experience a large improvement in well-being and life satisfaction in the time surrounding retirement, but that overall happiness levels fell a few years after retirement. But Horner also reported the studies showed this tendency occurred happened regardless of how old the men were when they retired, and in the long run happiness levels stabilized for virtually all men after age 70.
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Raising the retirement age to 70 does not make men worse off psychologically, new research shows.
Friday, 07 December 2012 10:11 AM
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