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Retirement at 62 boosts well-being

Physical and emotional benefits to retiring on the early side

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4:55pm, August 16, 2010

ATLANTA — People who retire at or near age 62 receive a welcome but somewhat surprising benefit — a greater relative increase in physical and emotional well-being than those who retire at earlier or later ages, Esteban Calvo of Boston College reported August 15 at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Intriguingly, that’s the age at which U.S. citizens become eligible to receive partial Social Security benefits, Calvo noted. Retirements that occur at culturally and institutionally expected ages yield large dividends in well-being, he suggested.

“This isn’t good news for the Social Security Administration,” Calvo said. Officials there would prefer aging baby boomers to pay into Social Security until at least age 67, when full benefits kick in, he noted.

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