Retirement is a journey, not a one-time event, and like any journey you will enjoy it more if you plan for it.
When you retire, as when you enter your teenage years or when you begin your profession, you will experience both positive and negative changes in your life.
There have been many studies on how retirement impacts your health, but few have looked at how being a retiree affects your health once you stop working.
Let’s get one thing straight – retiring can be stressful.
A person’s life is often made up of difficult situations. In fact, retirement ranks 10th on a list of life’s most stressful events, according to a recent survey.
As the Harvard Health Blog points out, although retirement may be a time for some of us to rest and unwind after a long career, for others it might signal the beginning of a period of deteriorating physical and mental capacities and a narrowing of their life options.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, another study found that “changing from working to not working brings with it a boatload of other changes.”
Retiring may leave you feeling purposeless, even if you enjoyed your job but, for some after a difficult or physically demanding career, retirement provides a much-needed break from the pressure and physical exertions.
Retirement might have a negative impact.
In the United States, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that retirement can result in an increase in mobility and household task issues of up to 16 percent, an increase in disease of 5 to 6 percent, and a decrease in mental health of up to 9 percent.
However, if you’re married and socially active, participate in sports or other physical activities, or take up a part-time job after retirement, these detrimental impacts can be mitigated.
If you were forced to retire, the negative health implications of retirement may be more pronounced. To a large extent, the choice to retire early is motivated by health concerns, according to the National Institute on Aging.
There is a 40% increased risk of heart attack or stroke in retirees, according to the US Health and Retirement Study. After the first year of retirement, the chance of this increased, but then leveled out.
According to research conducted in England, retiring raises one’s chance of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. Retirement is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Retirement has a positive impact.
Retirement may enhance health or have no effect on physical well-being in some cases, according to previous research that has looked at this issue.
Retiring does not alter the risk of major chronic illnesses, according to one research study.
In addition, this study indicated that retirement can reduce mental and physical exhaustion and feelings of sadness in adults with chronic conditions.
As a result, the impact of retiring on one’s health may vary.
To put it another way, even if you enjoyed your job, you may have a sense of purposelessness upon retiring. Retirement, on the other hand, might provide a much-needed break from demanding work.
Some people may not enjoy retirement as much as those who are able to enjoy it because of health issues.
Retiring in good health
For a fulfilling and joyful retirement, here are four things you must do:
- Wherever you can, try to keep in touch with friends and coworkers on a daily basis.
- Continue to participate in hobbies like athletics or traveling to ensure that your life has meaning.
- You may keep your brain healthy by engaging in creative activities, such as studying an interesting topic, painting, playing music, writing, or gardening.
- Explore things you’ve always been interested in or new ones you’ve recently discovered interesting in order to keep growing as a person.
It’s fascinating to learn what large-scale studies have to say about retirement, but no amount of research can tell you how retirement will affect your life. My advice – prepare for the worst but live your life to the best and enjoy your retirement – after all you’ve earned it.