If you are now looking at the picture and thinking « This is how I want my retirement to look like », think again! A recent paper with the title “Mental Retirement” is currently suggestingthat early retirement may lead to quicker memory decline.
According to Laura L. Carstensen from Stanford University, « [The study] suggests that work actually provides an important component of the environment that keeps people functioning optimally. » The analysis of the data which was collected for the study suggested people may have to engage in stimulating activities to preserve memory and reasoning skills after their retirement.
The study which was published by economists Susann Rohwedder and Robert J. Willis in The Journal of Economic Perspectives supports the « use it or lose it » theory as well as the idea that cognitively stimulating activities may delay cognitive aging. It was started about 20 years ago by the National Institute on Aging on a sample of 22,000 Americans who were submitted to memory tests every two years. Several European then started their own national studies and are being followed by countries such as Japan and Corea, using similar proceedings in order to obtain comparable data. It was found that « the longer people in a country keep working, the better, as a group, they do on the tests when they are in their early 60s ».