Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Retirement better than bad job

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An elderly mechanic repairs a vehicle.

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An elderly mechanic repairs a vehicle.

In his June 17 column, Work, not retirement, saves lives, Peter Orszag generalizes that work -- any work -- will extend your life and retirement shorten it.

Surely reality is more nuanced.

Some years back, we saw a similar generalization from corporate marketing: change is good.

A more sensible view would be change is inevitable, but whether it's good or not depends on the change.

And whether or not work extends your life compared to retirement surely depends on the qualities of the work, the qualities of the retirement, and the individual.

Have researchers concluded that unfulfilling work in a dysfunctional, disrespectful workplace is more healthful than retirement? Such workplaces are common enough.

Regardless, if the choice were living longer by labouring in one of these workplaces, versus retirement, I know which I would choose.

I'll suffer in the idleness of retirement. But cry no tears for me.

RON SWAINE

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2013 A8

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