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Retirement is not good for you

Posted in 'Personal Finance' by Barry Stamp

17 May 2013

A new report issued by the educational charity, the Institute for Economic Affairs, claims that retirement can have a detrimental impact on both physical and mental health.

The report, entitled Work Longer, Live Healthier: The relationship between economic activity, health and government policy reveals that

- Retirement decreases the likelihood of being in ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ self-assessed health by about 40%

- Retirement increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by about 40%

- Retirement increases the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical condition by about 60%

- Retirement increases the probability of taking a drug for such a condition by about 60%

What’s more, the time spent in retirement turns out to be very life changing in more ways than one. According to the IEA report:

- It decreases the likelihood of being in ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ self-assessed health by between 10% and 30%

- It increases the probability of suffering from clinical depression by 17%

- It increases the probability of having at least one diagnosed physical condition by 22%

- It increases the probability of taking a drug for such a condition by 19%

Philip Booth of the Institute of Economic Affairs says, “Over several decades, governments have failed to deal with the ‘demographic time bomb’. There is now general agreement that state pension ages should be raised. The government should take firmer action here and also deregulate labour markets. Working longer will not only be an economic necessity, it also helps people to live healthier lives.”

Edward Datnow of the Age Endeavour Fellowship says, "In highlighting the positive link between work and health in old age this research is a wake-up call for the UK's extensive and well-funded retirement lobbies. More emphasis needs to be given to ways of enabling a work-life balance beyond today's normal retirement age with legislative discouragements to extending working life being replaced with incentives. There should be no 'normal' retirement age in future. More employers need to consider how they will capitalise on Britain's untapped grey potential and those seeking to retire should think very hard about whether it is their best option."

The IEA is recommending that the government should pursue policies that remove barriers to working longer, as current demographic changes are putting unnecessary pressures on both state pensions and health care costs.

Barry Stamp is a co-founder of checkmyfile and is a Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management. He can be contacted at barry.stamp@checkmyfile.com.

Barry Stamp

Barry is a Chartered Banker and a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Management. He has a degree in Statistics and Business Economics from the Open University. Barry writes mostly on news from the worlds of banking and mortgages.

Barry is Managing Director at checkmyfile.

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