Why Ditching the Retirement Mentality Could Be the Best Thing for Your Health


We've observed in the past that many people will need to work in their "retirement" years because of financial necessity. Now more and more evidence is piling up that working into your retirement years can actually lead to a longer life.

Scientific researchers have found that people who work in their golden years actually live longer than those who don't. They are also healthier. Retirement is associated with a significant increase in clinical depression and lowered feelings of well-being. Physical mobility of retired people was found to have decreased by up to 16 percent.. The less educated seem to suffer more because the more educated also seem to work longer into retirement.

We have long advocated that unemployed people should avoid idleness as a way to retain work skills and remain productive through charitable or other work. Now we can say the same for retirees. Those with adequate financial resources should find something productive to do, perhaps church or charitable work, to remain healthy. The rest of us should mix in work with other productive activities to extend both our financial life and our physical life.

Most of our debt relief clients nearing retirement age will fall into the latter category. Our hope is that having an understanding of the health benefits of working can alleviate the very real feelings of disappointment and failure which come from inability to live the myth of retirement. For it is a myth. You can't find it in the Bible, and you can't find it in human history. Even the "idle rich" have to pour themselves into some cause or activity to keep them active and healthy.

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And don't forget the eternal reward:

"Command that they do good, that they be rich in good works, generous, willing to share, and laying up in store for themselves a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of eternal life" (1 Tim. 6:18-19).

We say that you should accept reality and make it work for you. Find work you enjoy, if you can, and find something to like about your job if you can't. Give as much of your time as you can to your church, your family and the needy and reap the spiritual and psychological rewards of giving. You can live a longer, happier life by staying active.

Stay busy to stay healthy.

Ron Allen is a Christian businessman, CPA and author who serves in local, national and international ministries, spreading a message of reconciliation to God, to men and between believers. He is founder of the International Star Bible Society, telling how the heavens declare the glory of God; the Emancipation Network, which helps people escape from financial bondage; and co-founder with his wife, Pat, of Corporate Prayer Resources, dedicated to helping intercessors.

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