May 17, 2013

By Jane Brown

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It’s a philosophy embraced by Zoomer Media founder Moses Znaimer.  Retirement may be bad for your health.  A new study out of the U.K. suggests that while it may provide an initial sense of relief and well-being, over the long term, retirement increases the likelihood of developing depression and at least one physical illness.

Study author Gabriel Sahlgren at the Institute of Economic Affairs looked at more than 7000 people between the ages of 50 and 70.  He found that retirement had a “consistent negative impact” on physical health that worsens as the number of years spent in retirement increases.  Sahlgren found that when comparing older people who were still working with those who were retired, retired people were nearly 40 percent less likely to assess their own health as very good or excellent.  More than 40 percent were more likely to suffer from depression and more than 60 percent were more likely to have at least one physical condition.  In addition, 60 percent were more likely to be taking medication for such a condition.  He concludes, “old people benefit from continuing some form of paid work for longer instead of retiring entirely.”

Moses Znaimer has coined the term “rehirement”, as part of a new vision of aging.  Moses says, “retirement should be a time when we rehire ourselves out for work that isn’t diminished but different, not less but more relevant to ourselves and the people around us.”

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