The Mortality Effects of Retirement

WSJ: What do the numbers show?

DR. FITZPATRICK: There’s a sizable, 2% increase in male mortality at age 62 in the U.S. Over the 34 years we studied, there were an additional 400 to 800 deaths per year beyond what we expected, or an additional 13,000 to 27,000 excess male deaths within 12 months of turning 62. That 2% is 2 of every 100 men in the whole male population who turn 62. We really think these deaths are concentrated among the 10% of men who retire at 62, so instead of 2 in 100, it’d be 2 in 10. So, the increase in the probability of death for men who retire could be as high as 20%. I actually think that’s a pretty big deal.

You can find the original WSJ article at this link. 

If you can’t get past the firewall or if you want to read the original study go here.

    Social Security eligibility begins at age 62.
    1/3 of Americans immediately claim benefits upon reaching this age.
    There is a discontinuous increase in male mortality at age 62 of 2%.
    This increase in mortality is closely connected to changes in labor force participation.
    Our results suggest mortality rises because men retire once Social Security is available.

 

 

 

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