Does Early Retirement Increase Life Expectancy?

By  //  June 8, 2023

One of the biggest retirement concerns is money. Some retire at the usual age of 65 or work longer to ensure they have sufficient wealth.

However, money is just one aspect of retirement planning. Working longer can create additional stress when you’re older, leading to potential health issues that make your retirement less enjoyable and even decrease your life expectancy. On the other hand, retiring early could extend your life expectancy and improve your quality of life.

This article will explain how an early retirement could boost your life expectancy and cover a few other benefits of leaving the workforce early.

4 Benefits of Early Retirement

Some studies show that retiring early has no association with a higher mortality rate, whereas others indicate that it can reduce mortality risk.

That means you may have a longer life expectancy if you retire early. This is thanks to several physical and mental health benefits:

1. Reduced Stress

Many early retirement candidates may be in their 50s when their roles involve more responsibilities and longer hours.

Excessive stress can detrimentally impact physical and mental health. It can contribute to several cardiovascular conditions, potentially leading to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Retiring early helps you leave this stress behind, allowing you to relax and unwind. As a result, your stress levels decrease, potentially leading to a cascade of health benefits and extending your lifespan.

2. More Physical Activity

Getting adequate daily exercise with a busy job can be tough. Retiring early offers plenty of time to get your daily movement in.

For example, you can go on long walks during the day when the sun is out. If you enjoy resistance training or swimming, you can go to the gym or swimming pool in the middle of the day when it’s less crowded.

No matter what physical activity you enjoy, retiring early lets you do more of it. Exercise gives you more energy, boosts your mood, strengthens your immune system, and even improves your mental health.

3. Better Sleep

Sufficient high-quality sleep is one of the most crucial ways to maintain excellent health.

However, a demanding job can leave you stressed, making it harder to fall asleep. Plus, you may have to get up earlier than your body prefers. This can leave you tired throughout the day.

If you retire early, you don’t have to wake up to an alarm, helping you get back to your natural sleep schedule. Then, you can enjoy the array of health benefits good sleep offers.

4. More Time for Family and Friends

It can be challenging to catch up with the ones you love while working full time. Early retirement allows you to have more time to spend with your friends and family any day of the week. This can help you strengthen your relationships with them and improve your quality of life. No more missing out on major milestones like your grandchild’s first steps or catching up with an old friend. 

5. Extra Time for Hobbies

Retiring early gives you more time to pick up and master hobbies, offering opportunities to stay physically and mentally fit.

For example, you could take up golf, yoga, or Pilates. This can release stress and build strength and flexibility.

Mentally intensive hobbies can help you maintain cognitive sharpness, too. Activities like reading, chess, or taking classes in your interests keep your brain at work, reducing or slowing potential cognitive decline.

The Bottom Line

Early retirement offers plenty of health benefits, helping you live a longer and better life in retirement.

Early retirement gives you less time to save for retirement, so it’s best to ensure you have enough to last for a longer retirement.

Discuss your goals with a financial professional. They can help you explore options for saving more money over a shorter career to meet your early retirement goals.