Does retirement send us into an early grave? 12



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Most of us can’t wait to retire. It is the time we look forward to because we finally have the freedom to live life exactly the way we want, budget permitting. But, one man believes that retirement is becoming increasingly impractical and that it is actually having several negative influences on our health and wellbeing. So trusted retirees in the Starts at 60 community, do you agree with him?

According to, Barry LaValley is a “visiting global authority on retiring” and he believes that our longer lifespans are causing several points of stress in the retirement dream. He has said, that people need life balance rather than “lopsided leisure” and with many people living to 90 and retiring in their early 60s, retirement is doing just that.

He pointed out “If you had leisure time for seven days a week, 365 days a year for 30 years, where is your break? Our own parents retired at 65 but would die at 72”. Essentially, he believes that spending that much time living a typical retired life means that we “kill ourselves mentally”.

And he does make a good point. But, he also should have a word to many of the retirees in the Starts at 60 community because I know they would beg to differ. We have thousands of people here who are retired, but they aren’t killing themselves mentally – they are living full and rich lives.

Some are going back to education and are learning new things; some have started new hobbies that have even turned into business; some are passionate volunteers dedicating their time and efforts to causes in need and some are travelling all over the world. If you think about it, you are all proof that retirement doesn’t kill us mentally and he did allude to this as well. He said, “Just keep your brain going because you either use it or lose it”.

So does this this actually mean that the definition of retirement is due for a change? Right now retirement relates strictly to the action of leaving or ceasing work, but in reality retirement doesn’t mean the work stops. In several cases, retirement is when we actually start working – at the things we enjoy and are passionate about.


So do you feel that retirement has given you life or do you feel like it has made you stagnant? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. age and retirement has definitely given me a life. I now run my own very successful business three days a week and get to play at whatever I want the other four. It just gets better and better.

  2. I left work ten years ago and retirement has given me life. I’ve had ten very happy years.I trade forex (foreign exchange, currencies) five nights a week to keep my brain active and I really enjoy trading.
    For some people, the definition of retirement has changed.

    There are plenty of breaks.My wife and I have had three big overseas trips during that time.Also we’ve had interstate trips by plane and car. We’ve had mini vacations on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.My wife has been a volunteer at a hospital.
    I’ve joined health forums and photography forums on the internet and studied a lot.I’ve read a lot of books and listened to a lot of music.I’ve had more time to exercise and prepare healthy meals recommended by cardiologist Dr.William Davis. Retirement didn’t send me to early grave.I take nutritional supplements and follow a low carb diet. A scan showed that I don’t have blockages in my coronary arteries.

  3. I’m just entering full retirement at 58 years after a very busy and challenging professional life accompanied by motherhood- I must say that the transition from a responsible and challenging paid working life is a little overwhelming – can’t identify a passion at the moment ! – give myself time to adapt the change [ I realise this is not something I am very good] at especially one as big as this. I guess I will give myself time to adapt and focus on myself and what I enjoy and take care of my health both physical and mental and take one day at a time!

  4. I …Totally disagree with punishing the likes of myself slaving away as a registered nurses. .physically heavy, unfair workload..abuse by all and sundry , shift work weekends..poorly paid by comparison to other professional degrees, work place bullying etc etc
    Long enough to work until post 60 let alone 68 as
    I have to work until pension entitlement…
    Ridiculous & Totally unfair
    Plenty of things to do with the time off from work.

    1 REPLY
    • Yes I agree with Marg, nursing is a hard slog as you get older, hard to work until an older age due to the all the punishment your body has taken over all the years of heaving incapacitated people around. After all those years of giving , it’s totally unfair to expect a person to work later before pension intitlement years. Politicians get it very easy in comparison I must say.

  5. Well my early retirement was caused by ill health & work stress, followed my major surgery, but once I recovered I decided to ‘Live until I die’ ! & joined a local ‘Red Hat’ ladies group… Fun and Friendship for over Fifties.. which has been marvellous. I also do Fund Raising for various charities, and also enjoy varied outings with “Baby Boomers” under the ‘Meet Up” web site. Thousand s of Groups on here, in all major areas, and also Worldwide !
    ( free to join too) Best wishes everyone….

  6. [email protected]

    Nice news for 60.

  7. Best time of my husband and my life.We live in an over 50’s resort and have more friends now than ever.Not much money but enough to live on.Plenty of activities if we wish and we feel safe with so many caring people around us.I am only 62 and my husband 66 so we are not elderly yet and hope to live here for many many years to come.

  8. There is always one word left out when people report that retirement is when we leave work. That word is ‘paid’ work. I am so busy now with volunteer work in the community, that I would not have time to take on paid employment. The Prime Minister once said that if all the volunteers in communities had to be paid, it would cost the government more than the New Zealand superannuation does. Think about that!

  9. I love being free from the 9 to 5 regime. I have time for myself and my family. absolutely love it…

  10. I feel like I only started to live when I retired. Both physically and mentally more healthy. No more headaches at the thought of going to a place of work I hated and no more IBS. Been 5 years and I’m doing lots of volunteering and the types of things I’m passionate about. And I continue to learn. But I have no major illnesses that would keep me grounded and I wonder if I were housebound would I feel the same?

  11. Continuing work you enjoy, particularly when you are in control of your work, such as when you own or run the business sounds great. For most of us the reality is entirely different. Working under continual stress, with no control over your conditions, is a recipe for ill health and unhappiness. Retirement has given me an opportunity to do training and volunteering that either I didn’t have time for or was too tired to do when I was working. I also get more exercise as I’m not stuck in an office chair most of the day.

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