Retirement sounds like a dream for many of us who have been working for what seems like eons but is it all it’s cranked up to be?

Early retirement is supposed to be a gift you give to yourself to do anything your heart desires. Not! According to a very popular study that was conducted a few years ago on Shell Oil Company employees, those who retire at age 55 and live to be at least 65, die sooner than people who retire at 65. The early retirees had a 37% higher risk of death than their counterparts who retire at 65.

But wait one minute; there’s more!

The study went on to reveal that those who retire at age 55 were 89% more likely to die in the ten years after retirement than those who retire at 65. The researchers examined the life situations of all past employees of Shell Oil who retired at ages 55, 60, or 65. The study also stated that the link between early retirement and early death was more significant for men.

In yet another famous study that took place in Greece comparing male retirees to men who still punched the clock, none suffered from major health conditions at the time. Retirees had a 51 percent increase in their risk of death. The primary causes of death for the retirees was associated with cardiovascular illnesses.

Should retirement be a bad word?

Believe it or not, there are countries where folks do not believe in stopping work. People who live in places like South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, and Indonesia, strongly believe that working longer will keep them physically and mentally fit. Many researchers also suspect that the lack of retirement and a healthy diet are what continuously fuel folks who refuse to put the brakes on work.

If you want a healthy retirement…

The bottom line for a retiree is to live your best life by staying active and eating right. If you are not making healthy moves in your life, then you need to examine how you’re living and make some changes pronto!

Eat right. Consume healthy eats like fruits, veggies, whole grains, and foods that contain fiber every single day.

Exercise. Get out and get moving, try walking, cycling, running. Developing a good exercise regimen builds stamina, flexibility, and keeps the heart pumping as it should.

Rev up your brain. Stimulate your mind by learning new things like playing an instrument, taking a class at a local college or university, or joining a book club.

Chill out. Find some relaxation time to read a book, see a movie, or take a yoga class.

Get some shuteye. Make sure to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours every night. As you age, sleeping becomes difficult especially if you are on certain meds or have an illness. Avoid taking long naps so that your nighttime sleep is not impacted negatively.

Maintain social ties. According to researchers, surrounding yourself with healthy relationships helps you live longer. Continue nurturing connections with family and friends who have meant so much to you. Expand your social circle and add volunteering to your retirement repertoire!