Bryan Caplan  

Another Reason I Will Never Retire

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My Short Class Autobiography... Class Autobio of Mark Thoma...

According to a study that "account[s] for biases due to unobserved selection and endogeneity," retirement really is bad for your health. Just as I suspected. (Next I'd like to see a study confirming the obvious fact that retirement leads to massive atrophy of social skills!) With luck, I'll traumatize your great-grandchildren in 2072 when I collapse during my final lecture... preferably while diagramming the effect of price controls.

Thanks to Mankiw for the tip.


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COMMENTS (8 to date)
anonymous writes:

2072? That's it?!? By that time life expectancy will be around 200. What will you do then?

Robert Schwartz writes:

I talked like that 30 years ago. I don't anymore.

alcibiades writes:

"With luck, I'll traumatize your great-grandchildren in 2072 when I collapse during my final lecture... preferably while diagramming the effect of price controls."

Hopefully you'll have a Friedman family-like libertarian superstar line by then too. :)

jb writes:

My wife was taking a math class at Georgia State, and the professor had a heart attack and died right in front of the class. She was quite tramautized, although she did end up meeting one of her best friends because of that incident.

So there's precedent!

Starting in your 90s, you could even begin the first class by discussing the economic impact of you dying in the middle of the semester.

Matt writes:

"Next I'd like to see a study confirming the obvious fact that retirement leads to massive atrophy of social skills"

I am a sample of one who can verify that.

I don't remember where I read it (probably a norwegian newspaper), but I hear that university lecturers are among the people most happy with their job. Anyway, it's common sense.

My father was one, he used to say he would work as long as they let him. Well, they didn't let him... at 67 he was offered a generous retirement package for retiring six months early (few computer science students that year...)

Now he's bicycling through Europe. He used to do that every summer, now he's been on vacation since february, exploring Marocco, Spain, France, Germany and now Sweden and Norway.

I think he likes that just as much as lecturing.

So
1. You have a job that about everyone who has wants to stay in.
2. You don't have to isolate yourself just because you retire. (My father has met lots of other long-journey bikers.)
3. You can probably stay in shape a lot better if your retirement hobbies are healthier than your job.

MrGuest writes:

Better to retire today and live until the age of 70 than to retire at 90 and live until 100.

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