A Lively Life Lasts Longer

Today morning I was going through a study carried out at Oregon State University (OSU). It shows that the delayed retirement (after the proverbial age of 65) drops the mortality rate by 11%. So working longer means one will live longer. Retire early, die early; or retire late, die late.

The idea is that staying active and socially engaged helps maintain the cognitive and physical abilities. Work keeps mind and body active.

But there are studies that show that the delayed retirement is detrimental to health and psyche. A Boeing study claims that employees who retire at 55, live to 83, but those retiring at 65 last only another 18 months. The Shell study of past employees came up with the contrarian view. However, a study in the University of Amsterdam affirmed that retiring early could lengthen the life expectancy.

There are several studies with diametrically opposite findings. But one can’t deduce that the retirement per se is the reason. Statistical data are normally muddled by the fact that retirement may be due to plethora of reasons. For example stressful and hazardous professions are more physically demanding and damaging to health.

There are people who are forced to retire due to ill health or gross misconduct, contrary to those who opt on their own to retire early as a lifestyle decision to pursue hobbies or to engage in social or religious activities.

Retirement is like a bittersweet event, a mix of both bad and good things. It may be stressful due to the strain on savings or recurring expenses on health and medicare. But it also relieves one of the work and mental stress and gives an opportunity to start a new career or venture of choice.

What I find that people normally lose the purpose of living, their ikigai. They no longer have a reason to jump out of the bed every morning. The most disturbing signal is when they go into their shells without being in touch with friends and relatives.

Most of the countries have a mandatory retirement age. We have 60. I normally ask retiring people as to how they feel on the date of retirement. I can’t tell you the emotions involved. I have seen some of them crying at the loss of work, salary, perquisites, and above all, the colleagues and a purpose of life.

One of my bosses expired within one year of his retirement. But I see a number of my senior colleagues and bosses, who are totally engrossed in one or more activities. But what I feel is that organisations should plan a slower transition into retirement by cutting back on work.

Retirement is when you stop living at work and start working at living. One has to keep oneself fit and relevant for the family and society, and above all, for the self. Amitabh Bachchan keeps himself fully engaged at the age of 79 despite several ailments. Rekha at 67 and Hema at 73 defy their years.

I conclude with a quote by Harry Emerson Fosdick,
Don’t simply retire from something, have something to retire to.”

–Kaushal Kishore

40 Comments

    1. You are right, Joanna, a writer, a doctor, a politician or a businessman never retires. It applies to ones who are in service. Thank you!!

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  1. It is true that many workaholics die soon after retirement… I think because they never developed a life outside work and your idea of transitioning is a very good idea. But I think to continue in good health one should begin to live a balanced life from young.. Exercising, eating healthily, developing interesting hobbies and good relationships, especially with one’s spouse and best friends. Wow, your post has really got me thinking. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I fully resonate with you, Morag. The thing is that people don’t realise that they have also to retire one day and continue to work till the last day. As you said, proper planning and disciplined balanced life are the keys for a better retired life. Thank you for sharing your own experiences and views🙏💐

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  2. My father is 70 and hasn’t retired or is even planning to. He loves his work (it’s his company) and he loves the people who work for him about whom he speaks as if they are second family (two of them are family). One of the reasons is that ‘everyone needs a Friday even if it’s Wednesday’, in other words, everyone needs a reason to get up because they make a difference. Love your piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s precisely the point I was making. Whether you retire or not, you should keep yourself busy with a purpose of life. The will keep you young, agile and going. Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, writers, thinkers doctors etc never retire. They are wedded with their profession for the whole life. Thanks a lot for visiting and leaving your thoughts 🙏💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great thoughts as always Sir, life really gets lazy n older early with no work no exercise. One must keep engaging self as much as possible. I agree with your version Below.

    But what I feel is that organisations should plan a slower transition into retirement by cutting back on work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said, Suma, a person should never feel retired in true sense by keeping himself/herself busy throughout with a purpose or goal in mind. Thank you for reading and sharing your beautiful thoughts 😊

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  4. Yes,it is not about retirement but about keeping oneself engaged constructively. Individual should take retirement at an appropriate age – 60 or so and then engage with the himself and the society .
    🙏🙏🙏

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    1. That’s exactly the point I was trying to get across. Thank you so much, Jas for your thoughtful comment 🙏💐

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  5. Retirement is a very personal choice and I feel that one should retire whenever they are able and ready, regardless of age. I do believe that people in general should keep busy and motivated though,
    by either volunteering, working on projects, or even pursuing hobbies. Thanks so much for the wonderful and thought provoking post , KK. They always tend to linger in my mind way after I am done reading.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you, Grace. It’s an individual and personal decision, with a purpose in mind, to live a lively, vibrant and meaningful life. Thank you for your kind words and sharing your thoughts 😊💐

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with your final word. I can anyway never understand why all that knowledge and experience should be wasted just because of a number. I wish there could be a way to make retired people somehow still indispensable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, really. A person at the helm finds the other day that he is no good. Now-a-days some organisations have started reemploying retired people, but on contract, that is not satisfying one. But thank you for leaving your beautiful thoughts 🙏

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