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It Takes Two to Plan A Successful Retirement

Posted Oct 07 2013 10:07pm
Posted on Oct. 4, 2013, 6 a.m. in Aging Lifestyle
It Takes Two to Plan A Successful Retirement

Many Baby Boomers who are entering retirement may find themselves unprepared for the transition. Angela L. Curl, from the University of Missouri (Missouri, USA), and colleagues find that spouses tend to have similar levels of planning for retirement. This planning can lead to more success and less stress when they leave the workforce. The team analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Study, which included information from married couples who were 45 years of age and older and worked full or part time. The data revealed that when one spouse planned, the other spouse also planned. Even though husbands planned more often than wives, the spouses influenced each other. The team also found that preparing for retirement helped the subjects to transition out of the workforce more smoothly. The study authors conclude that: “These findings identify couples that could most benefit from targeted efforts to increase anticipatory socialization, which predicts better retirement adjustment and satisfaction.”

Angela L. Curl, Jerry G. Ingram. “Anticipatory Socialization for Retirement: A Multilevel Dyadic Model.” Clinical Gerontologist, Volume 36, Issue 4, July 2013, pages 375-393.

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Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:

• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.

• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.

• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.

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