GIVING UP WORK COMPLETELY ON RETIREMENT COULD BE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
I found this study by chance but it is interesting and of personal relevance.
The study is of a nationally representative sample of 12,189 retirees from the first 4 waves of the US Health and Retirement Study (National Institute of Aging). The participants were interviewed about their health, finances, employment history and about their working or retirement lives every two years over a six-year period beginning in 1992.
The data suggest that retirees who took on temporary or part-time work (bridge employment) experienced fewer major diseases and appeared to function better day to day. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that compared with full retirement, engaging in bridge employment either in the retiree’s career field or in a different field was associated with fewer major diseases and functional limitations and with better mental health. These findings were significant even after considering people’s physical and mental health before retirement and controlling for age, sex, educational level and socio-economic status. Of course, there could be several confounding factors and the authors discuss the short comings of the research in their paper. However, more recent research does appear to generally support these finds.
Zhan, Y., Wang, M., Liu, S., and Shulktz, K.S. (2009) Bridge employment and retirees’ health: A longitudinal investigation. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14, 374-389. doi: 10.1037/a0015285