do you live longer if you retire early

1 Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands Articles by

1 Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands; Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute

2 Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie AMC, Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands; Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute

1 Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands Articles by

1 Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands Articles by

1 Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands Articles by

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Allard van der Beek

1 Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam UMC – Locatie VUMC, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, The Netherlands Articles by

Corresponding author. Letter to Dr. Cécile Boot, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam University of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC;

This study compiled the evidence that was currently available regarding the relationship between mortality and early and timely retirement as opposed to continuing to work. Additionally, this study looked into whether and how much gender, demographic adjustments, and past health status affect this association.

A systematic literature search of longitudinal studies was conducted. After conducting a qualitative analysis of the included studies, the impact of gender, prior health, and demographics was evaluated using a meta-regression analysis. In a meta-analysis, random-effects models were employed to calculate the pooled effects for pertinent subgroups found in the meta-regression.

In total, 25 studies were included. The relationship between retirement and mortality was adjusted for prior health and demographics (p 05). The findings of the 12 study meta-analyses are shown for the “fully adjusted” and “insufficiently adjusted” subgroups. When comparing working until retirement to early retirement, there was no correlation with mortality (fully adjusted subgroup: HR 1). 05, 95% CI 0. 87 to 1. 28). Compared to working after retirement, timely retirement was linked to a higher risk of death (inadequately adjusted subgroup: HR 1). 56, 95% CI 1. 41 to 1. 73). On the other hand, timely retirement did not correlate with mortality in the subgroup that accounted for prior health (HR 1 12, 95% CI 0. 98 to 1. 28).

A higher risk of death was not linked to an early retirement. A higher risk of death was linked to timely retirement, which may be a reflection of the healthy worker effect. When researching the relationship between retirement and mortality, it’s critical to take prior health and demographic data into account in order to prevent biased results.

Because of rising life expectancy and declining birth rates, many nations are experiencing an aging population. 1 2 Many governments have raised the statutory retirement age and linked it to life expectancy in an effort to reduce the growing percentage of retirees relative to the working population. 3 4 The mandatory retirement age in the majority of European nations has risen gradually, rising from 65 in 2012 to 67 or 69 in 2022. However, whether and to what degree an increasing retirement age may impact older people’s health after retirement is a matter of great concern.

Researching the effects of work and retirement on health has gained more attention in recent years. 8–16 In general, working is beneficial for well-being and health. 17–22 Previous systematic reviews have also demonstrated that a shift from employment to retirement may result in an increase in general and physical health issues. 8 9 Still, retirement can also lead to gains in mental well-being. 8 9 Depending on whether retirement is taken early (e.g., before 63 years in Finland and before 65 or 60 years for men and women, respectively, in Austria) or on time (e.g., between 63 and 67 years in Finland and at 65 or 60 years for men and women, respectively, in Austria), the contradictory results may be explained. For instance, earlier research conducted in Finland and the UK has demonstrated that early retirement improves both physical and mental health23, 24 while a study conducted in the USA found that physical health declined following on-time retirement as opposed to working past retirement. 25 These contradicting findings, which primarily stem from research on subjective health outcomes, could indicate relatively severe retirement-related effects. Therefore, it is more beneficial to stratify the analysis by type of retirement (early and on-time retirement) and investigate the long-term relationship between retirement and health.

Regarding the correlation between retirement and mortality, there are two widely held beliefs. The first myth is that individuals who retire early may live longer than those who don’t, as retirement may provide a reprieve from the stressful demands of the workplace. The other theory holds that people who retire early die sooner because they no longer benefit from work’s positive health effects and/or because people in poor health retire earlier than people in good health. 28 29 A prior systematic review revealed conflicting results when analyzing the effects of early and on-time retirement as risk factors for mortality. This is because the two types of retirement have different explanations. 30 More recently, a number of studies have examined the relationship between mortality and retirement age; however, their results have been conflicting. 31–46 To shed light on the situation, a synopsis of the research on this subject and an examination of whether and how much past health status affects the relationship between retirement and mortality Furthermore, it is imperative to take into account potential gender disparities in this particular context, given that women typically outlive men globally and have lower retirement ages in certain countries. 47.

Thus, this study’s primary goal was to compile the evidence from longitudinal studies that was currently available regarding the relationship between mortality and early and timely retirement as opposed to continuing to work. Additionally, this study looked into the possibility and degree to which the relationship between retirement and mortality is influenced by gender, demographic adjustment, and past health status.

The relationship between retirement (early and on-time) and mortality was investigated through a systematic review, meta-regression analysis, and meta-analysis. PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews) was consulted prior to the current study’s protocol being registered there. 48 The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses were followed in the reporting of this study. 49.

Search strategy and selection criteria

March 2018 saw the completion of a literature search across the following databases: PsycINFO, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), ABI/Inform, Business Source Elite, EconPapers, Embase, PubMed, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL). Retirement, pension, early pension, death, survival, and longevity were the search terms. We looked for prospective and retrospective longitudinal studies that compared working until retirement with either early retirement or on-time retirement with working past retirement. Since health is a prerequisite for this exit strategy, studies evaluating the effect of work disability pension on mortality were disqualified. 23 24 Studies that used cause-specific or all-cause mortality as an outcome were included. Only research published in peer-reviewed journals and written in English were chosen.

First, based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, two reviewers independently screened 2020% of the potentially relevant titles and abstracts for eligibility. The remaining titles and abstracts were screened by one reviewer. In cases where (1) references seemed eligible based on title and abstract, (2) agreement could not be reached, or (3) there was no available abstract, full-text articles were retrieved for additional eligibility assessment. Screening of full-text articles was performed by two reviewers. Discrepancies were discussed until consensus was reached. Lastly, additional possibly pertinent studies were looked up in the reference lists of the included studies.

Data were taken from all of the chosen studies by one reviewer, and then they were verified by another reviewer. First author, study design, data set used, country, pension system description, study period, years of follow-up, sample size, study population characteristics, and confounders were among the details that were extracted. For the meta-regression and ensuing meta-analysis, data on the effect estimate (adjusted for confounders) and variance or SE of the effect estimate (derived from the CI or p value) were extracted. The corresponding author was contacted for studies where information was lacking in order to obtain the necessary data.

Nine criteria that were based on the checklist developed by Hayden et al. (see ) were used to assess the methodological quality. Every item received a score of either positive () or negative (−), with negative representing possible bias. A second reviewer verified the quality assessment that one reviewer had completed for each of the studies that had been chosen. A high-quality study was identified as one that met at least 50% of the criteria in the checklist and received a positive score.

Study objective Positive if a clearly stated objective is described.
Study population definition Positive if the main features of the study population are clearly described, including the inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Study design Positive if the study measured retirement (exposure) before mortality (outcome).
Outcome Positive if mortality was clearly defined.
Exposure-a Positive if actual retirement is used as exposure instead of (early) retirement offer/window/reform, since in the latter case it is not known if the exposed group is actually retiring earlier than the non-exposed group.
Exposure-b Positive if retirement information is register-based instead of self-reported.
Study confounding Positive if age, gender (if applicable) and socioeconomic position are taken into account as confounders.
Study confounding health Positive if adjusted for health status (eg, self-rated health, disability, pre-existing health conditions, hospitalisations) prior retirement, or stratified for health status prior retirement, or excluding participants who retired due to poor health.
Data analysis Positive if appropriate statistical model is used to evaluate data, and if point estimates and measures of precision (eg, CI or SE) were described.

The online supplementary table 1 presents the study results. A value of ” indicates a higher risk of mortality, a value of ‘−’ indicates a lower risk of mortality, or a value of ‘0’ indicates no association.

The meta-regression and meta-analysis included studies that included an effect measure, such as a risk ratio, OR, or HR. These studies yielded effect sizes that were used to estimate (if not previously presented) an HR (including a 2095% confidence interval) for mortality. The effect of “retiring earlier” compared with “retiring later” on mortality was calculated using the inverse of the effect estimate for studies that looked at the relationship between an older age at retirement and mortality (without mentioning the type of retirement or the comparison group).

We examined whether and to what degree the association between retirement and mortality was impacted by adjustment for prior health status, gender, and demographics in the meta-regression. Age, gender (if applicable), and socioeconomic status (i.e., income and/or education) were included in the demographics. We also included retirement type in the meta-regression to look into whether and how much early retirement differed from on-time retirement. By adjusting for these study characteristics, the pooled HRs were stratified in the meta-regression analysis. To determine the impact of these study characteristics on the estimated risk of mortality (expressed in beta; significance p), we employed linear regression models. 05).

Review Manager V was used to pool the HRs in the meta-analysis. 5. 3. and categorized by retirement type (early retirement, timely retirement, and retiring earlier), as determined by the current study’s authors, in forest plots. In forest plots, additional subgroup analyses were displayed according to the outcomes of the meta-regression analysis. Heterogeneity of the results was assessed using the I2 statistic. Because I2 was greater than 2050 percent in the majority of forest plots, random-effect models were used for statistical pooling.

shows the search, screening, and selection process’ flow diagram. The search strategy resulted in a total of 6919 records. 4099 unique records were filtered by title and abstract after duplicates were eliminated. For additional analysis, 81 full-text publications were chosen. Ultimately, 22 studies satisfied the inclusion criteria, and a further 3 studies were found through screening the reference list. Consequently, the current study included a total of 25 studies.

Online Supplementary Table 1 provides a summary of the features of the studies that are included. The majority of research were cohort studies, and a small number of studies examined the relationship between retirement and mortality using an instrumental variable approach. The included studies’ follow-up periods varied from two to thirty-one years. The majority of research was done in the United States and Europe, including Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Germany, and Norway. A few studies were conducted in Canada, Israel or Japan. Most of the studies included pension plans with an early retirement option and a 65-year-old statutory retirement age. Three studies examined the relationship between on-time retirement and mortality, while seventeen studies examined the relationship between early retirement and mortality (26–29, 31–37, 38, 40, 41, 45, 46, 51–56). 35 57 58 One study looked at the relationship between mortality and early retirement as well as the relationship between mortality and timely retirement. 34 Four studies looked at the effects of raising the retirement age or implementing mandatory retirement policies at work as opposed to not having any. 44 59–61 Mandatory retirement rules imply that employees cannot continue to work after they reach a specific age and must retire.

The outcome of the quality assessment is presented in . For every item, the two studies’ risk of bias was minimal. There was a significant chance of bias in all the other studies (n = 23); for instance, some studies used an exposure of an early retirement offer, window, or reform, which is different from an early retirement in reality. Because most studies did not account for prior health status or demographics as confounders in their analyses, there was a high risk of bias for study confounding. Nevertheless, all of the studies (those with an estimated effect measure) in the meta-analysis had excellent methodological quality.

Retire Early To Live Longer? Does Working Longer Mean You’ll Die Earlier?


What is a healthy age to retire?

The normal retirement age is typically 65 or 66 for most people; this is when you can begin drawing your full Social Security retirement benefit. It could make sense to retire earlier or later, however, depending on your financial situation, needs and goals.

How long does the average retiree live after retirement?

According to their table, for instance, the average remaining lifespan for a 65-year-old woman is 19.66 years, reaching 84.66 years old in total. The remaining lifespan for a 65-year-old man is 16.94 years, reaching 81.94 years in total.

Is retiring early better for your health?

The findings are mixed. Most research shows that delayed retirement helps reduce mortality. A couple of studies show no relationship, and still others show that delayed retirement is detrimental or that early retirement is beneficial.

Should I retire at 60?

If your retirement savings are close to the average retirement savings at 60, you might find it difficult to retire at this age, especially if all you’re relying on are traditional retirement savings products. However, with the guidance of a regulated financial advisor, early retirement could be within reach.

Does retirement lead to a longer life?

Research shows a link, but it isn’t retirement itself that leads to a longer life, but what you do in retirement. You may not need another reason to retire early, but I’ll give you one anyway: It could lengthen your life. That’s the thrust from various research in recent years, and also from a 2017 study in the journal Health Economics.

Can retiring early Lengthen Your Life?

Retiring early can actually lengthen your life, economists from the University of Amsterdam affirmed in a 2017 study published in the journal of Health and Economics. Male Dutch civil servants over the age of 54 who retired early were an astounding 42 percent less likely to die over the subsequent five years compared to those who continued working.

Do people who work longer die younger than people who retire early?

Some evidence does at first glance appear to exist to support the first claim – that people who work longer die younger than those who retire early. A paper attributed to the aircraft-maker Boeing shows that employees who retire at 55 live to, on average, 83. But those who retire at 65 only last, on average, another 18 months.

Should women retire early?

(Too few women met the early retirement eligibility criteria to be included in the study.) The Dutch study echoes those from other countries. An analysis in the United States found about seven years of retirement can be as good for health as reducing the chance of getting a serious disease (like diabetes or heart conditions) by 20 percent.

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