Social Engagement

To Retire or Not To Retire? That is The Question

Depending on where you live and how strenuous your job, by the age of 65, you may be considering retiring. We’re asking you to think again. Actually, we’re asking you to ask yourself the following questions first, and then think again:

1. Do you love your job?

2. Do you like your job but not the hours?

3. Do you hate your job?

4. Are you already retired?

If the answer to numbers 1 or 2 is yes, you may want to think about staying put, perhaps asking if you can cut down your hours from an average of 40-50 a week to 20-30 a week or whatever seems appropriate to you and your energy level. If your answer to number 3 or 4 is yes, you actually have a wonderful opportunity at age 65–or whatever your retirement age might be–to completely start over in a new profession, either in a full-time or part-time capacity.

Even a part-time job can help keep your brain sharp.

Evidence shows that those who keep working, in some capacity, show lower rates of cognitive decline than those who stop working. Why? The first answer is cognitive engagement: you’re using your brain in your job. The second answer, depending on the job, is social engagement: you’re interacting with others, thus decreasing the negative effects of loneliness.

In other words, even a part-time job can help keep your brain sharp. Even if you go from being the CEO of a multinational conglomerate to tutoring children or becoming a museum docent or even scooping ice cream (think of all the people you will meet that way!)


  • Dufouil, C., Pereira, E., Chêne, G., Glymour, M. M., Alpérovitch, A., Saubusse, E., … Forette, F. (2014). Older age at retirement is associated with decreased risk of dementia. European Journal of Epidemiology, 29(5), 353–361.

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