It's Healthy To Work 'Til You Drop

Going for a goal and socialization are both good for you

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There is a bright side to economists' predictions that many may need to work until the day they die. It can be good for your health.

Keeping a purpose in your life, going for a goal, and interacting with other people through work -- be it paid employment or as a volunteer -- staves off depression and even death, researchers have concluded. One study from Brigham Young University equated the health effects of social isolation to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Indeed, people such as Target cashier Jeanne Brouillet, who recently retired at age 95, may become less of a rarity. As she told WCCO, "If you don't use it you lose it, so I have kept on using it and have enjoyed every minute of it."

Post-retirement career
The implication is that those who toil in professions where advanced age can become an impediment (say construction work or anything requiring specific physical strength and endurance) should plan early on for their "post-retirement career."

Of course, if you're Diana Nyad, you can be in swimmingly good shape well past the age of 60. Nyad recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida.

Professionals such as accountants or attorneys can reduce their schedules or perform pro bono work. A laborer might benefit from cultivating more empathy and reading is one way to achieve that.

Retiring at 80
A recent survey from Wells-Fargo of 1,000 "middle-class Americans" earning between $25,000 and $99,000 indicated 37 percent expect to work until they're too sick or die. Another 34 percent expect they won't retire until they're 80.

Will Oremus, a writer for Slate, catalogued a number of famous figures who died shortly after retirement. They include: Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz and 60 Minutes host Andy Rooney.

A Shell Oil study of former workers published in 2005 found those who retired at 55 died younger, on average, than those who retired at 65, even when they lived on past 65.

Professor Peggy Koopman-Boyden, a social gerontologi‚Äčst, said in a recent interview that retirement should not be confused with idleness.

"Now, we have a lot more people who move from full-time work, to part-time, to part-time voluntary work, and then they have all their own interests," she told The Waikato Times in New Zealand, equating it to the ultimate career change.

The Mantra That Kept Diana Nyad Swimming

How are you planning to work in your older years? Share your comments below.

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I think it depends on the type of work you do. If you enjoy what you do why not and perhaps have a passion for it. If you have a stressful job that's killing you retire and volunteer somewhere like a soupkitchen or hospital. Or maybe retire in a active community. You should enjoy your golden years.

November 09 2013 at 2:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I'm sorry.... if you can't eventually retire, what in the hell did you spend all that time working for?

November 06 2013 at 5:46 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Work until you drop ? This is a BS line to promote....Countless examples I could give that would disprove the notion that people should work until they drop !....When you don't need the income and you have the option of more time with friends, family and pursuit of hobbies and, fishing,clubs, social gatherings...ect...Some folks are married to their jobs and just don't know what else to do with themselves...I truly feel sorry that you live life with the same in and out !

November 06 2013 at 8:48 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Johnny plant

well, my mom is 86 yrs old and still works full time. She has been a small family owned Insurance business manager for 48 years. She is out at 8 PM, and home by 5 PM. She is only 5 miles from work. She also still does her own shopping every Sat morning at 8 AM. She is still very agile, has great memory, but she does have arthritis and almost no hearing and wears hearing aids.
I my self have been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I just had Hurthle cell thyroid cancer, had my thyroid out NOV 28 th, it is also in my brain. As soon as I got home, I went to work. I am now self employed re furbishing wood stoves. I was laid off the same day I was diagnosed with cancer in August out of the blue. Two major wammies in one day.
I have been re furbishing wood stoves for a long time, its my only passion left. Depression since age 28 robbed me of my love for fishing, archaeology, my music studio, playing guitar etc. Now I know that my thyroid problems caused the depression. My free testosteron of 57 also caused depression, lack of strength, interests.
3 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Mesothemiola, my entire lower right lung and down into my pelvis. My prognosis is very poor. Despite this, I work 9 hours a days, and refuse to just accept their prognosis, and lay on the couch all depressed. Working, especially if you enjoy your job even a little , is so important.

November 06 2013 at 7:05 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Come on, its not only About working until you drop just to get bigger check when you retired. Stop working Already And go help someone, teach them how to get a better like, love, etc. Live And leave the best in you, not only you slavery addiction.

November 06 2013 at 6:59 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Ignore politics

November 04 2013 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The most telling contradiction to this article is the fact that the photo that accompanies it is NOT of an older person sitting at a desk at a job - it is an assumedly older lady strolling through a garden!

November 04 2013 at 2:05 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
What the Hell

With the high unemployment rate in this country. With millions of jobs taken by automation and outsourcing, I proudly retired at 62 to let a young person raising a family have my job. Now I can live the good life that i worked for all those years for while I'm still young enough to enjoy it.

November 04 2013 at 2:05 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

What's that comment above...You don't need $75 a day to live. We are semi as my husband will never stop and he is also a substitute teacher. No way he looks 65. Married since I was in junior college, wife right out of high school, we enjoy friends, family, "Happy Hours" which are cheap or free, lots of free food and coupons, maybe that is why everyone is going to AZ, so cheap to live as the mid West. My Dad retired at 57 and kept busy, fished, walked, painted, only his stroke slowed him down but lived for 13 years after because he enjoyed life and family. Employers are finding out the Boomers are still as fun as the days of cruising and hanging out at the beach. WE still do. I always had older employees, better work ethic, always on time, didn't have to tell them what to do, dependable and honest. Keeps people going and a purpose to get up every day. So don't discriminate, Employers, they will do a much better job for you!!

November 04 2013 at 1:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I read the comments after I wrote a response. It is sad how many people responded in a negative way and discussed money..!!

November 03 2013 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lois's comment

Lois, you are so right about being positive. My mother still works part-time, she is 97. When I asked her what her secret was, she said, stay active and think good thoughts.

November 03 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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