The old man is on to something: Delaying retirement may help you live longer, suggests recent research from Oregon State University
While you’re at it, you might want to reconsider your own retirement
Nothing sounds sweeter than a retirement spent lounging poolside, then retreating inside to plow through every series on HBO Go.
But if you ask 89-year-old English man Joe Bartley, retirement kinda sucks.
The retired soldier and former sign maker recently posted a want-ad in his local Torquay Herald Express, requesting a job where he can work at least 20 hours a week—cleaning, light gardening, anything. The ad kicker: “Save me from dying from boredom!”
“My wife died two years ago and I can’t get used to living on my own and doing nothing,” Bartley told the Herald Express, without realizing that he had inadvertently spoiled the plot of The Intern.
“I am so fed up of being here stuck with nothing to do,” he said. “There is only so much TV you can watch or books to read.” (Yeah, but have you seen Westworld yet, Joe?)
Bartley continued: “I am still very capable of doing light menial work. I want to go out and [have] the pride of having a job to go to five or six days a week.”
The old man is on to something: Delaying retirement may help you live longer, suggests recent research from Oregon State University.
In the study, people who retired at age 66 were 11 percent less likely to die from any cause over an 18-year period those who called it quits at 65. The results held even after researchers accounted for the baseline health of the workers.
It’s not the extra year of pay that helps your health—it’s the grind itself.
Working gives you a sense of purpose and enhances your cognitive and social engagement, which in turn lowers your stress and boosts your levels of self-care, the researchers say.
This increases your likelihood of eating healthier, exercising more, taking your meds, and seeing your doctor regularly.
Plus, research from the University of Chicago shows that people who have something to do—anything to do, even a pointless task—are happier than people who sit idly.
So if you happen to live in the U.K. and need a spare hand, hire Bartley. References available upon request.