Retirement is like any other change in your life … it is better to consider it as a process, not as a one-time event.
Like any other major change in your life, such as entering your teens or beginning your career, retiring brings both good and bad changes.
While there has been a lot of research done on how your health is affected by retirement itself, very few studies have been done on how being retired affects your health after you retire.
The stress of retiring
Life is a series of stressful events. In fact, one study has ranked retirement 10th on the list of the most stressful events in life.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, retirement is, for some people, an opportunity to get away from the daily routine and relax … for others, it can be the beginning of a period of diminishing physical and mental capacities and increasing limitations in what they are able to do.
Another study in the Harvard Health Blog suggests that “going from work to not working comes with a lot of other changes.”
If you loved your job, retirement can bring some emptiness of purpose. If you had a stressful job, retirement brings relief.
Negative effects of retirement
A study published by the National Office for Economic Research In the US, they found that retirement can lead to an increase of up to 16% in difficulties associated with mobility and daily tasks, a 5-6% increase in illness, and a deterioration in mental health of up to 9%.
However, these negative effects can be reduced if you are married and have a good social life, play sports or other physical activities, or work part-time after retirement.
The negative health effects of retirement can be worse if you have been forced to retire. According to the National Institute on Aging, Health problems have a great influence on any decision to retire early and its consequences.
US data Health and Retirement Study shows that retirees are 40% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who still work. The increase in this probability was greatest during the first year after retirement, but stabilized after that.
A study in England found that retirement significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with a chronic condition. In particular, retirement increases the risk of severe cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Positive effects of retirement
But there are other studies that link retirement with improvements in health or show that it has a neutral effect on physical well-being.
One study found that retirement does not change the risk of major chronic diseases.
This study also found that retirement can lead to a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and symptoms of depression among people with chronic illnesses.
Therefore, the health impact of retirement may depend on the individual.
In other words, if you loved your job, retirement can bring some emptiness of purpose. On the other hand, if you had a stressful job, retirement can bring you relief.
People who retire due to health problems may not enjoy retirement as much as someone who retires feeling healthy.
Tips for a healthy retirement
Here are the four things you need to do to experience a successful and enjoyable retirement:
Maintain your daily contact with friends and colleagues whenever possible
Make sure your life continues to have a purpose by continuing to participate in activities such as sports or travel.
Keep your brain healthy by being creative … study an absorbing subject, paint, play music, write, garden, or help others
Keep learning by exploring topics that have always interested you or new topics that you have found interesting lately.
Understanding what large group studies say about retirement is interesting, but we are all different, and no number of studies can predict how retirement will affect your life.