During the last three months of 2016, some 800,000 Americans over age 65 dropped out of the workforce (click on chart at left), aka entered retirement. Overall, about 75% of people 65 and older are not officially working, which belies reports that an increasing number of older Americans are, or want to be, continuing to work. With more free time, how do you stay healthy and happy in retirement without the early alarm clock setting to get you up and out? This brings me to the next dataset: research on what “superagers” have in common. “Super agers” are people who are considerably younger than average for their age, both mentally and physically. Here’s what recent research says:
The things we fantasize about retirement – laying on a beach, luxury travel – can be literally bad for your health if you do them too much.
A recent study shows that older people with memories as sharp as 25-year-olds challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Basically, staying active and engaged through work, not necessarily a job, but an effort that requires you to go all out occasionally, even to the point of exhaustion. I have seen this in myself and my clients. We are at our best if we occasionally challenge ourselves to do more. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but you end up feeling better.