How Retiring Can Rob You Of Brain Function!
While kicking up your feet and giving up your day job may sound dandy in your fifties or sixties, scientists warn against it. It’s been under speculation, as of late, that retiring has an unwanted effect on your cognitive abilities. If you would prefer to have your brain in tip-top condition, it’s been found that you should delay retirement as much as possible!
The evidence is mounting that maintaining your position in the workforce well into old age is a better option than retiring to sandy beaches, both for your brain and your bank account. In fact, health and mental acuity have been shown to decline with less frequent use. For Americans, this piece of information is rather good news as they retire later than others in other parts of the world — it seems they have been doing it right all along!
Europeans will be joining the American s now though, thanks to the changes that were made to social security benefits, requiring them to work a little further into their old age.
How Valid Is The Current Accepted Retirement Age?
Medical and technological advances are increasing our life spans, and as a result, retirement age does not mean what it once meant. At one point in history, the retirement age of 65 was such that it was actually higher than the life expectancy at the time. However, looking at that age now tells us that people have a lot more years to spend in retirement by retiring at 65, as life span has increased.
This begs the questions of new optimal retirement age, and it will require economists, scientist, and policymakers to agree on a suitable age that does not leave too many healthy active years in retirement. A study of over 100,000 people was conducted over 21 countries, and the study concluded that the results of retiring too soon are negative, and furthermore, the results worsen as you retire earlier. The study looked at health, chronic disease, and the ability to perform daily activities, as well as happiness levels. It also investigates cognitive function, grip strength, telomere shortening, and other related details.
What Is The Link Between Retirement and Brain Function?
A British study revealed that a lack of regular stimulus for the brain took a heavy toll on the cognitive function of a studied group. The effect was short-term memory decline at a rate of a whopping 40% faster than prior to retirement. Early retirement is said to place retirees at risk of dementia developing as well.
For the time being, it is still recommended that the late 60s is the optimal retirement age, but retiring later rather than sooner will prevent you feeling lonely, disconnected, and sad. A simple scenario is that retiring sooner than your peers means you won’t have the company to enjoy activities you may want to engage in and try out. Additionally, once your peers eventually retire, you may not be interested in those activities when they are available to accompany you.
Experts suggest that if you are considering retirement or if you are already retired, consider doing something new and moderately challenging but still enjoyable to continue stimulating your brain and to enjoy the benefits of such stimulation. Try to do something that is drastically different from your previous work, so that you engage new neuron function as you take on a new adventure! Of course, if you stick to what you will enjoy, it won’t feel like the daily grind you were wishing to escape in all your years of working!
There Is Still Something You Can Do About It…
If you are still pursuing your career and planning for retirement, ensure that you plan for an activity to keep you going and sharp so that you can enjoy better mental health in your retirement. If possible — and if preferred — consider working part-time for a few years. You can go for simple odd jobs or look for a job online! It’s a great option before completely retiring, most especially if you are the type of person to grow lazy rather quickly!
We have all experienced the powers of laziness –the less you do, the less you want to do! This is basically the principle behind your brian function once you retire… the less you use your brain, the less you will want to – until eventually, you lose the ability to use it properly at all! Not fun!
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