Ground down by the daily grind? Dreaming of the day when you can give it all up for a life of leisure, long holidays and pottering about in the garden.
Well, researchers have some bad news for you. Workers who drop everything at retirement age are at greater risk of heart attacks, cancer and other major diseases than those who ease their way into old age by taking a part-time job. As well as boosting their bank balance, people who carry on working part time in jobs related to their previous career also fare better mentally than those who retire fully.The study confirms the long-held view that those whose working lives end abruptly at retirement can die soon afterwards. Study leader Dr Mo Wang called on employers to help staff make the transition from working to retirement by offering 'bridge employment'.
'Given the economic-recession, we will probably see more people considering post-retirement employment,' said Dr Wang. 'These findings highlight bridge employment's potential benefits.'
The researchers looked at data from more than 12,000 taking part in a health and retirement study, run by the U.S. National Institute on Ageing.
The volunteers, who were aged between 51 and 61 at the start of the study, were interviewed every two years over a six-year period starting in 1992 about their health, money, employment history and work or retirement. Their average retirement age was 58.
Dr Wang, from the University of Maryland, and his colleagues also looked at the incidence of medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, strokes and mental problems.