Does Retirement Have a Negative Impact On Your Health?

There’s a whole trope in action adventure movies about the desk sergeant who’s one day from retirement. With literally less than 24 hours standing between him and the next 20 years of rest and relaxation, he takes on one last case. A decision that always ends in a grieving widow and promises of revenge from the “loose cannon” detective he was recently paired with.

While looming retirement means certain death for fictional police detectives, it can also have negative repercussions for those of us here in the real world. In fact, some studies go so far as to suggest that there’s a definite link between retirement and an increased risk of health problems. Does this mean that we should all give up on ever getting that gold watch at our retirement parties?

Retired fishermen

According to research published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology published by the American Psychological Association, we may want to consider what’s called “bridge employment.” Bridge employment is a transitional line of work that spans the difference between fulltime work and complete and total retirement. The study found that workers who incorporated bridge employment via part time work or self-employment suffered 17 percent fewer major illnesses than those who retired completely. They were also less likely to experience the rapid physical decline that often accompanies retirement.

Working Past Retirement

If you’re one of the millions of older adults facing retirement in the coming years, you may want to consider bridge employment. Here are a few jobs that seniors are turning to in increasing numbers to supplement their social security checks while staying active.

  • Retail work- Because of the flexible hours and the part-time packages offered by companies like Starbucks, retail work is becoming more attractive than ever before to many seniors. An added benefit is the social aspect that comes from working with the public.
  • Internet jobs- If you think the internet’s just for email, you’re missing out on a potential goldmine of opportunity. Writing, selling on eBay, and social media work are just a few of the potential employment opportunities awaiting savvy internet entrepreneurs.
  • Nonprofit work- If you like the idea of volunteering during retirement, but still need to bring in an income, working for a nonprofit is a great way to put your time and energy toward a cause that you’re passionate about while still earning a little money along the way.
  • Tour guide- Why not get paid for knowledge about your hometown? If you live in an area that tourists flock to, you may want to consider working as a tour guide or an usher to help others see the city through your eyes.

The way that we view retirement is changing. Instead of being an ending, retirement is frequently being seen as the time when retirees can finally do meaningful work that they enjoy after years of doing what they had to so the bills could get paid. For a happy retirement, it’s important to stay active and healthy. Your chiropractor can help you stay fit and strong so you can be assured of staying vital for as long as you choose.


Story credit, Photo credit: Retired fishermen by pedrosimoes7. Used under a Creative Commons license.

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.