READING, England, May 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Today's IEA press release claims that a European research report by the Research Institute of Industrial Economics shows that retirement is bad for your physical and mental health and that we would be better off working longer.
This is a very narrow, one-dimensional conclusion and takes no account of what professionals know about the importance of planning for retirement and the things that planning needs to take into account.
It is certainly true that a measure of work, whether paid or voluntary, can contribute to a balanced and fulfilling retirement. However it is the things that work gives us that are important, not work itself; things such as mental stimulation, a level of physical exercise, social interaction and sense of purpose.
In fact the report itself says, "We have shed more light on the health-preserving impact of working among older people, we know little about the actual mechanisms through which it operates." So for such an influential body as the IEA, to promote the research as supporting working longer, as its sole conclusion, is extremely dangerous, and in our view to the disadvantage of us all.
We firmly believe from our experience that those who plan their retirement properly, whether through a planning retirement course, or other means, will equally accrue the same physical and mental health benefits that work gives us. In fact, on our own Planning Retirement courses we have an exercise which gets the attendees to consider both the good and bad things about work and how to incorporate the good things into what they do in retirement and to lose the bad things.
An equally valid conclusion of the research report is that 'Planning Retirement' is actually the most important thing for life satisfaction and physical and mental wellbeing in retirement. In fact, a study we did with the University of Greenwich showed a 19% increase in Life Satisfaction in retirement if you had attended a planning retirement course.
The report also makes no mention of whether a small amount of work in retirement is better than a large amount of work. In our view a balanced retirement is much better.
We believe the dangers of the conclusion in this report being taken at face value are considerable and would lead to a worse society for us all, when in fact the value that can be created by having the opportunity to use our skills and experience in new ways in retirement, in a way that suits us personally, is immense.
The above response is by Tony Clack, Managing Director of LaterLife Learning. LaterLife are retirement specialists, operating the UK's most extensive programme of open Planning Retirement courses at 40 locations around the country. See http://www.retirement-courses.co.uk. They also provide the http://www.laterlife.com web site for making the most of later life and retirement.
SOURCE LaterLife Learning