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Work longer, live longer? New study says yes

Sep 21, 2016

Many people who might have retired at 65 in earlier days find it satisfying and fulfilling to continue contributing, either with a paying job or volunteer work. Some are starting new businesses and exploring new careers.

We know that volunteer work makes people happier and healthier. Now a study at Oregon State University has found that working past age 65 may lead to a longer life.

A survey of the literature around working after the traditional retirement age found that most research in this area has focused on the economic impacts of delaying retirement. Chenkai Wu, the lead researcher, decided to take a look at the health impacts.

Wu, who did the study as part of his master’s thesis, examined information collected from 1992 to 2010 through the Healthy Retirement Study, a long-term project focusing on U.S. adults. Nearly 3,000 people who joined the study when it began in 1992 had retired by the time it ended.

Wu’s team divided those subjects into two groups: those who said health was a factor in their retirement and those who said health was not a factor. About two-thirds of the group belonged to the healthy category.

The study found that retirees who worked a year past the traditional retirement age had a reduced mortality risk, regardless of their health status. The healthy retirees had an 11 percent lower risk of mortality, and even the unhealthy retirees had a 9 percent lower mortality risk.

“We think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives,” Wu said.

The study researchers recognized that people in the healthy group generally were better educated, wealthier and had a healthier lifestyle. But even when they took those advantages into account, the relationship of working longer to reduced mortality risk held up.

“The findings seem to indicate that people who remain active and engaged gain a benefit from that,” said Prof. Robert Stawski, senior author of an article on the study, which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

The future residents of Canterbury Woods Gates Circle are the kind of people who keep going after retirement age. This groundbreaking community will have all of the facilities active and engaged people need to live long, healthy lives. The community is located in the heart of the city, close to shopping, dining, recreation, entertainment and all of the amenities downtown Buffalo has to offer.

Whether you keep your job, want to work out of your home, or just want to live an exciting retirement life, Canterbury Woods Gates Circle is the perfect home base. If you’d like to learn more, please click here or call 716-929-5811.

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