This article here says that there is a link between retiring early and dying early. Is it true that, on average, early retirees will die sooner than their longer working counter parts? Is this a casual link or is the link caused by something else?

  • I don't have any evidence to back any claims up (so a comment instead of an answer) but surely common sense dictates that quitting a dangerous early would extend life expectancy? I suppose if you become less active after retirement you might affect your health in a negative way, but if you remain active after retiring would there be any significant different in life expectancy?
    – GordonM
    Jun 14, 2012 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Any causal link is more likely to be in the other direction: healthier people may be more willing and able to work longer. The article you point to has the quote

"This difference could not be attributed to the effects of sex, socioeconomic status, or calendar year of the study, although the poorer health status of some early retirees may play some part," note Shan P. Tsai and colleagues at Shell Health Services.

  • 1
    I think this is correct. People who are fit and active like to work longer. Coincidentally, people who are fit and active live longer as well.
    – Craig
    Jul 14, 2011 at 3:04
  • @Craig: I think you might be drawing too broad a conclusion here. Henry's answer makes sense, but it's not talking about being "fit and active," but rather about being "healthy." The two will often go hand-in-hand, sure, but one can be a couch potato and still be pretty healthy overall. If anything, I'd imagine the fit and active crowd might want to retire earlier so as to participate in more activities with more free time.
    – erekalper
    Jul 14, 2011 at 15:03

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