Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Should I retire now or keep working as long as I am able?

Q. My wife says I should slow down and retire, but I hope I can work forever. What's your take?


A. It's a question I get asked a lot, from boomers and pre-boomers, and one I've asked myself.

Surely people are working into later ages than was true 50 years ago. In part, I suppose that's because the work most people do is less physically demanding than it was 50 years ago. In part, it's because we are living longer—at least, in most of the developed nations. In part, it's because (at least, in the United States) mandatory retirement has been generally unlawful for the past several decades. Still, only one in 10 Americans remains in the labor force at age 75.

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