Work can be detrimental to your mind especially if you are a workaholic or just simply over the age of 40. Yes, it has been proven that we should consider retiring early!
In February 2016, a study was conducted at the University of Melbourne to determine the effect of working hours on cognitive ability. Cognition is the mental process of gaining knowledge and understanding, which includes thinking, problem solving, remembering, etc. After examining over 6,000 Australian men and women over 40 years old, researchers concluded that working over 25 hours per week has a negative impact on cognition while working under 25 hours has a positive impact. Those that worked over 55 hours per week had very poor cognitive skills, which were worse than those who were retired or unemployed.
40 years old is still fairly young, but this does make sense – just as we are prone to more injuries from physical activity as we get older, we also experience a decline in thinking and understanding from mental activity.
If you are in a position to retire early, do it for your brain! It may be difficult to even fathom cutting down your hours at this age because of society and social norms, but hopefully with more research this will change over time.
Remember, you will need your mind to fully enjoy the retired (or semi-retired) life. It will take you many places when you’re free! As quoted by Robert Delmontagne, “For many, retirement is a time for personal growth, which becomes the path to greater freedom.”