Retirement for baby boomers is not coming any time soon. Numerous studies have shown that retirement has physical and emotional benefits for the elderly, but sadly retirement today often means getting a second job. A longitudinal study of French workers implied that retirement reduces the severity of depressive symptoms and fatigue, especially among workers with chronic diseases. Reduction in mental fatigue was larger in males, and also for employees who retired at 55 years of age or younger and employees married or living with a partner. Reduction in physical fatigue was larger among females and employees that retired before the age of 55. In this study, 72 percent of the employees had retired between the ages of 53 and 57; in the U.S. we don’t get to retire until 65. However, a study conducted in the United States also showed improved mental health among employees who retired in their 60s.
In reality, retiring fully has become more difficult. You can retire…as long as you get another job. Preferably with health insurance. Retirement in the U.S. usually involves Social Security, employer pensions and private savings. In today’s world, all three are being threatened. Many people lost their personal investments in recent economic downturns. With companies going bankrupt, employee pensions were threatened. Social Security should probably drop the word “security” very soon. It’s a scary time for baby boomers. A 1991 study found that more than half off all bankruptcy cases were baby boomers.
So is there any silver lining at all? Well yes, for some. According to a study from the Association for Psychological Research, people are uncomfortable with idleness, and prefer to stay busy as long as that busy activity is justified by a purpose. Just because you can retire doesn’t necessarily mean you will want to retire. The oldest man in America said that one of the factors that kept him living was that he was always working. Additional research shows that people who keep busy are less depressed. So, retirement doesn’t necessarily mean the end of work, just try to find an easy-going second job to help contribute and stay busy.