A colleague from the financial world recently announced on Facebook that he had retired to the woodsy north-east of the US and that he was looking forward to spending his days fishing and hiking in a sylvan landscape far from Wall Street.

but I had to wonder what the medical record shows for people who have unplugged from their busy careers and left behind a mentally stimulating life.

This is not an idle question: as the baby boomer generation ages, the number of people of retirement age in the US is projected to double from 36m in 2003 to 72m in 2030. Governments everywhere are debating whether and how far to raise the age of eligibility for state pensions because of the effect on the public purse.It turns out that health studies of retirement are a mixed bag. One study in 2012 that received a lot of attention came from the Harvard School of Public Health. It looked at 5,422 individuals in the US and found there was a 40 per cent increase in heart attacks and strokes among those who had retired, compared with those of a similar age still working. A colleague from the financial world recently announced on Facebook that he had retired to the woodsy north-east of the US and that he was looking forward to spending his days fishing and hiking in a sylvan landscape far from Wall Street.

but I had to wonder what the medical record shows for people who have unplugged from their busy careers and left behind a mentally stimulating life.

This is not an idle question: as the baby boomer generation ages, the number of people of retirement age in the US is projected to double from 36m in 2003 to 72m in 2030. Governments everywhere are debating whether and how far to raise the age of eligibility for state pensions because of the effect on the public purse.It turns out that health studies of retirement are a mixed bag. One study in 2012 that received a lot of attention came from the Harvard School of Public Health. It looked at 5,422 individuals in the US and found there was a 40 per cent increase in heart attacks and strokes among those who had retired, compared with those of a similar age still working.