Friday, January 12, 2007

Retire Younger and Live Longer

Late retirements can be hazardous to your life. That could be a conclusion of a study was done by Dr. Ephrem (Siao Chung) Cheng using pension check data from Boeing retirees. Since there were excellent records for pension distributions, Dr. Cheng was able to track the exact age for retirement and death for those in the study.

The results of the study, in the table below, showed people who retired younger lived longer. While the study did not determine the cause, some speculate that younger retirees may have had more resources to maintain a good lifestyle. Others speculate that the additional years of stress on older workers may have caused more health issues.

Age at RetirementAverage Age At Death
65.2 66.8

Since the study is about 25 years old, the conclusions may not directly apply to today's workers. However, the fact that the difference in longevity existed at one time, motivates me to strive for the earliest possible retirement.

For more on articles on retirement, check back every Friday for a new Reaping the Rewards segment.

This is not financial, health or retirement advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Anonymous said...

That is a very interesting post. I had previously understood that people who worked longer tended to live longer. It is great to see a serious study that reaches the opposite conclusion.

As you point out, the cause of the extra longevity experienced by early retirees is an important question. The two reasons you give (financial resources and stress) are the two obvious ones.

Anonymous said...

The numbers in that table look really off the wall. Though I can imagine that there is some relationship, this shows a very steep curve with practically no noise at all. It is just unbelievable. There has to be something wrong with the methodology or confusion in the way it was reported.

Super Saver said...

Trainee Investor,

Thanks for your comment. I guess the approach should be to stay active longer, but not necessary work longer:-)


Thanks for your comment. Understand your skepticism since the data looks so "perfect." I first saw this data 5 years ago and have seen several references to it since then. None of the articles have shared any issues with the methodology, analysis or data. If you should find any, I'd be interested in your findings.