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The impact of (early) retirement on the subsequent physical and mental health of the retired: a survey among general practitioners in Belgium

  • Maes, Marjan

    ()

    (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium)

  • Stammen, Benjamin

Objectives: to investigate, on the basis of the perceptions of general practitioners (GPs) in Belgium, the impact of (early) retirement on subsequent physical and mental health. Method: A cross-sectional survey on the basis of a self-completed anonymous questionnaire sent at random to 120 GPs in Flanders (Belgium) to which 81 responded. Results: According to GPs, the mere fact of retiring early may be a (very) important cause of mental health problems, in particular depressions (due to the disappearance of social networks) and deterioration of cognitive capacities. GPs claim that most physical health problems that appear after retirement, like obesity and cardiovascular diseases, are due to insufficient adaptation (in terms of food consumption and physical activities) of the retired to a new lifestyle.Conclusion: GPs claim that health problems may frequently arise as a consequence of the retirement event. Since the factors causing these problems point to unhealthy behaviour, there is scope for health improvement: firstly, by stimulating older people to postpone retirement or to continue some professional activities during retirement and secondly, by making them aware of the role of social networks, physical activity and food consumption. At the same time, this would help to control increasing pension and health care expenditures.

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File URL: https://lirias.hubrussel.be/bitstream/123456789/4672/1/11HRP03.pdf
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Paper provided by Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management in its series Working Papers with number 2011/03.

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Length: 8 page
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:201103
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://research.hubrussel.be
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  1. Bonsang, Eric & Adam, Stéphane & Perelman, Sergio, 2012. "Does retirement affect cognitive functioning?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 490-501.
  2. Susann Rohwedder, 2009. "Mental Retirement," Working Papers 711, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  3. Behncke S, 2009. "How Does Retirement Affect Health?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/11, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Mazzonna, Fabrizio & Peracchi, Franco, 2012. "Ageing, cognitive abilities and retirement," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 691-710.
  5. Dhaval Dave & Inas Rashad & Jasmina Spasojevic, 2006. "The Effects of Retirement on Physical and Mental Health Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mads Meier Jæger & Anders Holm, . "How Stressful is Retirement? New Evidence from a Longitudinal, Fixed-effects Analysis," CAM Working Papers 2004-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics, revised Sep 2004.
  7. Coe, Norma B. & Zamarro, Gema, 2011. "Retirement effects on health in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 77-86, January.
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