You may have heard that working too much or too long will shorten your life. Retire early and relax — and let stress disappear.
Actually, the opposite is true, according to a study by the University of Michigan that was funded by the National Institute on Aging. It found that people who work past age 65 actually add years to their life.
The reason is connectivity. Working, the study says, provides two things that people need in order to live longer: economic stability and social activity.
The finding appears to hold true regardless of your health. In fact, those deemed healthy who worked a year longer than the typical retirement age had an 11 percent lower risk of death than peers who retired. Those deemed unhealthy who worked a year longer had a 9 percent lower mortality risk. (The study tracked a group of nearly 3,000 people between 1992 and 2010.)
Meanwhile, a report by the Stanford Center on Longevity found in 2012 that nearly one-third of those aged 65 to 69 were still working at least 10 hours per week — a 26 percent increase over 2000. For those aged 70 to 74, 17 percent were still working in 2012, a 42 percent increase since 2000.
People are working longer because they want to be active. Some need to work because they haven’t saved enough to retire. Fortunately, the economy is accommodating these folks: Older Americans are finding ample opportunities to work.
The Stanford report says delaying retirement to age 70 can increase retirement income up to 34 percent. It recommends that you gradually reduce your working hours so you can pursue leisure activities.
Living more years, not fewer, might be the inevitable result of the extra time you spend in the workplace — and become the greatest job perk of all.