Medical Tuesday Blog

Retiring early at 62 on Social Security May Shorten your life

Nov 9

Written by: Del Meyer
11/09/2017 12:44 PM 

Cornell-Melbourne Research: Retiring Early Just Might Kill You

We already know you’re better off financially the later you begin claiming Social Security.

Now it seems there’s another reason to hold off on collecting those checks: If you retire early you’re more likely to die early as well. 

A new study from Maria Fitzpatrick at Cornell University and Timothy Moore at the University of Melbourne shows a striking correlation between Social Security claims for early takers and a jump in mortality.

About a third of all Americans retire and start claiming Social Security benefits in their first month of eligibility when they turn 62. Fitzpatrick and Moore find this “may have an immediate, negative impact” on health.

The effect is biggest on men in this scenario, who see an increase in mortality risk of about 20 percent.

The authors found no rise in mortality among those for whom 62 was not the eligibility threshold for collecting Social Security.

Moreover, demographic groups with the highest rate of retirement at 62 had the highest mortality rate increases at that age.

The paper notes that the phenomenon may be linked partly to existing health problems that force some to stop working early.

Mortality Rates Have Increased for Working-age Rural Adults Since 2000

Mortality rates for Americans as a whole, and especially for children, were down in 2013-2015 from 15 years prior. But death rates went in the opposite direction for rural, working-age people after more than a century of decline, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Abuse of prescription medications, especially opioids, and related heroine-overdose deaths played a large role in the increase.

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 Government social security is not the solution to our problems, it is the problem.

– Ronald Reagan

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