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29.04.2013


Positive view of life after retirement extends life expectancy

Are you looking forward to retirement? Well, you'll probably live longer than all those people who are dreading stopping work. This emerged from a study that Yale University health scientist Reuben Ng presented at a congress for SAS software users.

A few days ago we wrote about a 2002 study in which researchers came to the conclusion based on data gathered from the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement that lack of fear of aging increases longevity. Ng used data from the same study for his research.

In the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement, which was done in the mid-seventies, 680 over-50s had to answer questions about their perception of life after retirement. The participants had to indicate which terms applied best to them: sick or healthy, bad or good, inactive or active, sad or happy, mobile or housebound, involved or isolated, independent or in need of help, hopeless or hopeful, worthy or worthless, content or discontent, empty or full, busy or bored, and meaningful or meaningless.

Ng divided the participants into two groups based on the answers they gave: one group had a relatively positive view of life after retirement [Positive ATR]; the other group had a relatively negative view [Negative ATR].

Ng then looked at when participants died. He discovered that the death rate was lower among the participants with a positive view of life after retirement than it was among the participants with a negative view, even after correcting for the usual factors such as income, sex and marital status.


Positive view of life after retirement extends life expectancy


Are you looking forward to life after retirement? Then according to Ng you'll live 4.9 years longer than people who are dreading retirement. Another point for positive psychology.



"In today's working world emphasis is given to financial planning for retirement", Ng concludes in his paper. "Our findings suggest that individuals would also benefit from seeking out positive examples of retirement and finding ways to make their own retirement as personally meaningful as possible."

Source:
Reuben Ng, Deepak Lakra, Becca Levy. Increased Life Expectancy from Positive Perceptions of Retirement. MWSUG 2011 Conference Proceedings. Paper SA-14.

More:
Looking down on the elderly raises chance of heart attack 25.04.2013
No fear in the face of aging extends life expectancy 23.04.2013