A study out just this past December, of US mortality data for the period 1979 to 2012, revealed that there is a curious jump in the death rate at age 62, especially for men (not so much for women). Why is that? Researchers think the eligibility for social security payments at age 62, and retirement at that age, is the combined culprit.
Retirement from a desk job could very well have long-term benefits (more exercise, less stress, being better able to take care of oneself). But it could also mean the person becomes more sedentary after doing physical labor as part of his job, smokes more, or even drives around a lot more, and end up in a traffic accident.
Says one of the authors of the study: ‘We aren’t necessarily saying people shouldn’t retire. But if you are thinking about retirement, particularly if you are 62 and your health is poor to start with, think of preventive health measures. Stay healthy, see a physician, don’t just sit on the couch, but don’t overdo it, either. Be careful about driving. Just be careful. It’s a tricky time’.