Work-to-Live Mentality on the Rise

In the past, people had to make a conscious effort not to let their job “define” them. Those serious about their occupation would often work late into the night and weekends and make themselves available to respond to work calls around the clock.

However, it’s now much more common for career aspirations to align with a “work-to-live” mentality rather than “living to work.” Many people, particularly millennials, say they’re more interested in living a full, well-rounded personal life and regard their job as a means to accomplish that.

Unlike career-oriented professionals apt to get caught up in a round-the-clock work cycle, members of today’s workforce set more boundaries in their personal lives in which work is not allowed to intrude.

What’s interesting is that some people may not even realize they fall into one of these two categories until they retire. A retiree who engages with family, friends and hobbies may not even miss the grind of day-to-day work. However, others may feel lost without that regular regimen, the constant contact with colleagues and clients, the intellectual stimulation and sense of responsibility. For them, it may be hard to take up new hobbies and relationships once they enter retirement.

Instead of being discouraged by the latter scenario, these workhorses may be encouraged by a new study reported in the “Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.” The survey, conducted by researchers at Oregon State and Colorado State, found strong evidence that older workers who delay retirement by even as little as one year tend to live longer than those who retire earlier.1

Interestingly, this was true regardless of the workers’ health status. The takeaway? Whether you decide to work longer (or begin a new post-retirement career) because you need the money or simply because you want to, the end result may be that you live a longer and more fulfilling life.

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1 Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. May, 17 2016. “The Secret to Longer Life: Keep Working.” Accessed May 25, 2016.

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