Not according to this graph, which shows an almost inverse correlation between retirement age and lifespan, that is, the sooner you retire, the longer you will live. The graph shows linearity going into earlier years. It is interesting how long that relation holds.

This somehow contrasts with this study which comes to the opposite conclusion. However, if, as stated in the comments, the study was not corrected for the poorer health of some early retires, e.g. people retire early because they are in poor health, the conclusion that one doesn’t live long is obvious, no?

A priori reasoning would suggest that not having any job related stress at the chronic low level that leads to increased blood pressure and bad habits like sugary drinks (insulin havoc), which comes with many jobs, perhaps especially careers, would increase life span. Of course, the lack of a job could also lead to a lack of meaning which would lead to stress. Pointless activities (including jobs) do seem to be somewhat disagreeable.

Hence, I suspect one should simply take it for what it is worth, that is, lifespan is a very individual matter and that it correlates weakly with group behavior. In my case I am certainly more relaxed and content than I was in my career. Thus I would expect to live longer being retired. Conversely, if I had continued complaining about my career (many of my complaints agree with this paper), specifically balancing the fascinating parts, like research and model building, with the inane parts like proposal writing, doing the same presentation over and over, and building my resume, it just might have cost me a decade of life, not to mention perhaps several decades of living.

Originally posted 2010-02-21 15:01:13.