What to live to 80? Retire at 55, says study

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Fri, 01 Mar 2019 - 11:11 GMT

Icon of Retire- CC via Flickr/Philip Taylor

Icon of Retire- CC via Flickr/Philip Taylor

CAIRO – 1 March 2019: Those who retire at 55 should live to see their 80th birthday, meanwhile those who work till 65 will only live to be 67, according to a 2017 study by Dr. Ephrem Cheng, a leading American scholar.

The study looks at the relationship between life expectancy in men and women compared to their retirement age. To do this, it looked at different pension plans in the United States and compared them to individuals’ life spans.


Retirement Age vs. Life expectancy:



49.9 86
51.2 85.3
52.5 84.6
53.8 83.9
55.1 83.2
56.4 82.5
57.2 81.4
58.3 80.0
59.2 78.5
60.1 76.8
61.0 74.5
62.1 71.8
63.1 69.3
64.1 67.9
65.2 66.8


As per the table above, the life expectancy for those who remain in full-time positions only till the age of 50, see their 86th birthday, meanwhile for every extra year you work, your life expectancy decreases, reaching 67 years, if you retire at 65. The take away: Retire at 50, and enjoy the remained of your life.

Looking at the data, the researchers felt it was important to go on and look into the reasons behind these astonishing results. Researchers found that those who retire early have more time to exercise, visit natural areas and sleep the recommended amount of hours—something those who continue working are unable to do.

Second, working is already stressful enough and continuing to work into your late years means that one will be pressured to keep up with their younger, usually more innovative and competitive, colleagues. This adds stress to an already stressful situation. This leads to a multitude of health issues from strokes, blood clots and cardiovascular diseases, to diabetes and weight gain, which leads to the decline of health.

Moreover, a 2017 study penned by Hans Bloemen, Stefan Hochguertel and Jochem Zweerink and published in the Journal of Health Economics found that those who retire early get to live longer. They found this by looking at Dutch civil servants who qualified for early retirement in 2005.

“This paper estimates the impact of early retirement on mortality using Dutch administrative micro panel data. An unexpected temporary decrease in the eligibility age for retirement benefits for civil servants is used to instrument the retirement choice. We find that induced early retirement decreased the probability that a man dies within 5 years by 2.6 percentage points. The result is robust to alternative specifications and data selection criteria,” the paper explains.

These finding align clearly with a New York Times article that argued, “An analysis in the United States found about seven years of retirement can be as good for health as reducing the chance of getting a serious disease (like diabetes or heart conditions) by 20 percent. Positive health effects of retirement have also been found by studies using data from Israel, England, Germany and other European countries. ”

Another view

Despite this rather appealing result—after all, most people want to retire early, The Express published an article on December 8, 2017, titled, “How to live longer: Japanese doctor, 105, reveals the SECRET to a long life”, that argued that delaying retirement ensures a long life. The article, penned by Lauren Clark, explained, “In an interview with the Japan Times, Dr Hinohara said delaying your retirement for as long as possible - or working for the rest of your life - could boost your life expectancy. The scientist practiced what he preached - up until a few months before his death he worked up to 18 hours a day.”

According to the article, another 2016 study also found this conclusion to be true.

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