Early Retirement May Lead to Early Death, New Research Finds

Early retirement may lead to early death, according to findings from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

“The Mortality Effects of Retirement: Evidence from Social Security Eligibility at Age 62” paper analyzes whether age 62, when Social Security eligibility begins, is associated with a discontinuous change in aggregate mortality. Researchers looked at data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ Multiple Cause of Death.

According to the paper, unmarried men and men with low education levels see the highest increase in mortality rates after turning 62. The biggest causes of death are traffic accidents, COPD and lung cancer. Researchers say those causes of death are related to job loss. In addition, males participate in more unhealthy behaviors once they retire.

According to researchers, their results suggest an increase in the age at which Social Security is available may increase life expectancy.