Janna Herron, from USA TODAY, explains the theory behind the FIRE movement – Financial independence, early retirement

Do you want to avoid dying early? If that's the case, it's time to rethink retirement.

Early retirement is a popular dream to which a whole movement is devoted: FIRE, or financial independence, retires earlier. Advice abounds to retire at 60, 50 or even 35 years. Soon, people will ask for 25, I'm sure. But be careful. Recent research shows that early retirement kills. Literally.

For years, conventional wisdom – plus research – has supported FIRE's momentum. Studies have shown that pre-retirees lived longer and were happier. A more recent research is not in agreement.

An article published in December 2017 by Professors Maria D. Fitzpatrick and Timothy J. Moore for the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that male mortality rates increased by 2% from the month when men reached 62 years of age. the workforce and the associated lifestyle changes. "

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These changes included less physical activity, mental stimulation, and social interaction. In October, Alice Zulkarnain and Matthew Rutledge, researchers at Boston College's Center for Retirement, documented that working longer means living longer.

In retirement, find something you like to do. Then work on it, whether for money or not. (Photo: Getty images)

These studies may have baked twists. People in better health can probably work longer. A delayed retirement could be an effect, not a cause, of a longer life. Those who retire early will probably want to do something else. They have the spirit. Those who continue to work after age 65 probably like their work. They also have a different mind.

For me, the lesson is not to work longer or shorter. Rather have the mind. Find something you like to do. Then work on it, whether for money or not. If you like your concert from 9h to 17h, your fellowship and your intellectual stimulation, continue. But if your job is just money and you're desperate to quit once you've saved enough, put your retirement letter back and plan your hard work. You can volunteer, change domains or start a business by giving yourself an air of jazz.

Whatever the case may be, the key is to retire from work without joy – and to work on something joyful. Being sedentary invites premature death. Even if you are active at home, you risk social isolation, which can cause depression. If you do not use your brain, cognitive functions decline, which increases the risk, such as early dementia. Crosswords and puzzles, while popular, are not enough to duplicate the mental problems that our brain suffers in the office.

To maximize your retirement, make a list of all the things you will need to stay fit and happy. Social interaction. Physical movement. Challenges for your brain Then go get them. Crafts? Leather goods courses? Ceramic? Jewelry making? OK, but work on it. Maybe start your own Etsy shop. But work on it. Volunteering? Try the AARP volunteer search engine, Create the Good. Search subject and zip code for what is near you. Then walk or bike there.

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Are you outdoors, like me? Perhaps you are heading for hikes in your local nature reserve. Golf enthusiasts can be "rangers" or "beginners" – often earning free tee times. Plant lovers can create community gardens. Bibliophiles may enjoy working in local stores or reading clubs. Gourmands could get into simple neighborhood cafes (but avoid wasting those calories). Or perhaps launching a tech startup in your 60s, as did legendary multi-billionaire David Duffield with Workday. As long as you have the mind, vision and a dedicated activity, life lasts longer and better.

I am 68 years old and I just love to work. But even if you retire in decades, start discussing it now. If you are 40 years old and plan to leave your crazy race at age 55, start again now, increase your savings now to prepare yourself. And get ready for your love work modified by your lifestyle. Imagine the work of your dreams, set goals, reach it and you will probably get an exalted and elongated life.

Ken Fisher is the founder and executive chairman of Fisher Investments, author of 11 books, including four New York Times bestsellers, and ranks No. 200 on Forbes' list of 400 richest Americans. Follow him on Twitter: @KennethLFisher

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

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