Facing the prospect of working beyond 65? Good news - it could save your life

William Turvill
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Hoorah: retirement may be bad for your health (Source: Getty)

Good news for those facing the prospect of working beyond the age of 65: it may save your life.

New research has found healthy adults who retired one year after the age of 65 had an 11 per cent lower risk of death from all causes.

Participants in the study who categorised themselves as unhealthy were also likely to live longer by working longer, Oregon State University found.

Read more: Surviving the pensions crisis means encouraging work

Chenkai Wu, lead author of the study, said: “It may not apply to everybody, but we think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives.”

The study examined data collected between 1992 and 2010 through the Health Retirement Study. Wu focused the research on 2,956 people.

During the study period, 12 per cent of healthy and 25.6 per cent of unhealthy retirees died. Healthy retirees who worked a year longer had an 11 per cent lower risk of mortality, while the unhealthy had a nine per cent lower risk.

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“The healthy group is generally more advantaged in terms of education, wealth, health behaviours and lifestyle, but taking all of those issues into account, the pattern still remained,” said Robert Stawski, senior author of the paper. “The findings seem to indicate that people who remain active and engaged gain a benefit from that.”

He added: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. We see the relationship between work and longevity, but we don’t know everything about people’s lives, health and well-being after retirement that could be influencing their longevity.”