According to a new study done in France, you may be able to delay dementia and even prevent Alzheimer’s disease when you delay your retirement. For the study, researchers looked at almost 500,000 insurance and medical records of workers that were retirement age for about 12 years. They discovered that, for every year that people kept working, the risk for developing dementia was reduced by three percent.
But what happens if you seriously want to retire, get out of the office and enjoy life a little bit? In this study, participants were self employed, which can help to reduce stress levels and provides a more pleasant working environment, and that means an overall happier way of life.
Since the brain needs to exercise just like the rest of the body, keeping the mind working into old age can help to stimulate the brain, keep it healthy, and maintain mental sharpness for years and years. According to Mary Mettelman, Ph.D, brain aging expert or NYU Langone Medical Center, those that choose early or standard retirement age are less physically and cognitively fit on average than those that keep working.
This isn’t the first time that this way of thinking has come to light, though, and it’s been suggested “working” can be any number of activities, and can even include volunteer work, as long as people stay busy and mentally stimulated.
A study that was published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that when people continue to work even after retirement can not only help retirees financially, but it can also help their overall mental and physical health. A study done in 2010 by the University of Chicago has found that those with something – anything to do, tend to be happier than those that sit around and do nothing.
Many baby boomers might just be onto something by choosing to have a second, post retirement career. Not only are they boosting their mental capabilities, but it’s also likely that staying busy after retirement can help to offset potential feelings up disappointment and depression.
What’s this mean? If you’re getting ready to retire, plan to keep your schedule full so you can stimulate your brain and live a more satisfying life. You don’t necessarily need to be punching a clock, but by keeping busy, you might find that the world is full of exciting things that you’ve been missing. Can’t think of anything to do? Lots of computer savvy retirees are starting their own blogs and websites, or volunteering at everything from schools, to libraries, to animal shelters.