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Why Putting Off Retirement Might Help Ward Off Dementia

We've all heard someone say it: they've decided to keep working beyond retirement age to "keep their mind sharp." Now, that widely held notion has some science behind it.

Three researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany have released a study showing measurable differences in cognitive decline between those who bow out of the workforce earlier versus later in life. Some of the differences were stark.

"Oh, it's absolutely substantial," says Jo Mhairi Hale, a sociologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and the lead author on the study.

Hale's team drew its data from the massive Health and Retirement Study, an extensive ongoing trove of information of 20,000 Americans maintained by the University of Michigan.

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