While retiring ahead of schedule may be easier on the body, a new set of research has found that it may not be so beneficial for the mind. The study, conducted at Binghamton University, finds that an early retirement can accelerate the usual rate of cognitive decline among the elderly. Study Finds reports:
The research team analyzed China’s new rural pension scheme (NRPS), as well as China’s most recent Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS), in order to investigate the effects of early retirement and pension benefits on individual cognition among adults over the age of 60. For reference, CHARLS is a representative national survey of China’s population over the age of 45 that tests respondents regarding mental cognition, episodic memory, and overall mental wellbeing.
After going over all of the data, the research team noted a clear trend: individuals receiving pension benefits were experiencing much more rapid mental decline than their counterparts still on the workforce. The most prominent indicator of mental decline among retirees was delayed recall, a trait widely considered to be an accurate predictor of dementia. Surprisingly, females seemed to experience even sharper mental decline after retiring early. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that decreased mental activity accelerates cognitive decline.