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Posted 09 December 2016 10:44:23(UTC)

Hi Guys,

The question of retirement often crops up in various posts.

Yesterday's newspapers quote Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, saying older people are healthier if they work longer, apparently she will publish a report, but as ever the newspapers don't actually give us any hard facts, just hints couched in language like 'the report is expected to say...' I find myself wondering are there actually any facts, and is the research behind those facts sound research?

In my own case I retired earlier than I had anticipated because: a) I had a pension which made it feasible, b) I had PCa which made me confront my own mortality, and c) My mother was infirm, needed looking after, and had I stayed at work I would have been working effectively to pay her care home fees, while by retiring I could provide her with better care.

Let us assume that there is actually some research that shows people who retire later in life actually live longer, how can that research differentiate between those who retired early in apparent robust good health, and those who retired early because of a preexisting medical condition?

The newspapers might just as well headline the fact that those in poor health opt to retire earlier.

So I think that the important thing for those of you trying to decide whether to retire, is that like me you probably have a variety of factors which apply to you, like can you afford it, how long do you expect to live, are others dependent upon you, or your work, etc.  Your decision will be your own personal decision and shouldn't be influenced in the sort of half-baked science reported in the newspapers, which are after all merely tomorrow's chip paper.

Of course if any of you know of any real research which suggests I will live longer if I go back to work I would be pleased to hear about it.




Posted 09 December 2016 11:18:24(UTC)


In my cynical mode is it a case of labour might be short so let's encourage the old to get back to work?

On a more balanced note I don't think you can generalise. Some like sitting around whilst others like working at least part time. Reckon the best path to go on is the one that pleases the most as being happy to my mind gives you more years - no facts to back that up.


Posted 09 December 2016 11:51:34(UTC)

I had to retire because of the fatigue associated with PCa. I loved my work and have not found it easy to adjust. People talk of work-life balance a concept I do not believe in. I believe more in 'presence' which involves doing what you want to do will make you happy. So a close friend of mine retired when 60 in very good health. He had had enough of work and has loved his retirement. He finds presence through his activities be it cycling, reading, chess or other pursuits. So I think it is hard to generalise but if you get fulfilment from your work, as I did, then staying in work will give you the presence you need. I have taken up a national role in an organisation close to my work and this has helped the transition. It is pro bono so money is not the issue for me.

So I guess retirement is linked to your relationship to work alongside what you are capable of doing. I know I need rest and I know this will get worse as times go on. But I also need the stimulation that work has always given me. I am happiest when my life and work align and though I have had to adjust that alignment it is never an either/or which I think is why research cannot easily get at our relationships with our life and work. Feel what is right for you.

Thanked 1 time
Posted 09 December 2016 13:23:53(UTC)

Horses for courses. As Paul says, if work is fulfilling and you can still do it and enjoy it then why should you retire.

John was already retired when diagnosed so he didn't have to make that decision but he had a job he didn't particularly like, he did a journey he positively hated so saved some holidays and retired before he was 65 and he's never regretted it.

His brother, now aged 69 and self employed, still works and will do so until he literally can't do it anymore. However, he has adjusted his days to care for two young grandsons which he absolutely loves and in that, as well as his job, he finds total fulfilment, and that included nappy changing. It meant that his daughter, with a high powered job, could return to work asap so that she, in turn, got her fulfilment.

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