This is a continuation of a post from last week where we discussed careers where retirement can be enjoyed longer and happier. In addition to nurses and teachers (analyzed previously), others include:
Now this one may come as a bit of a surprise, given the highly stressful and life-threatening nature of the occupation. However, studies repeatedly indicate that military service members retire younger than their peers and receive some of the best lifelong benefits available to such young retirees. For instance, an enlisted soldier who joined at 18 is generally eligible to retire at just 38. With that retirement comes free enrollment in lifelong health benefits called CHAMPUS, a steady pension, and the ability to start a second career early in life.
Some retired service members choose to go into state or local government, such as police officers, postal employees, or other federal jobs. These individuals have the opportunity to “double-dip” by purchasing credits for their prior service. This means possibly getting two retirement checks by the time the rest of us get one. Beginning around 2000, the military began instituting a strong anti-smoking policy among the ranks. And while many soldiers, especially in combat arms occupations, still smoke, the rigorous physical training and strong policies favoring cessation programs make smoking much less prevalent than in previous years.
Moreover, the constant physical training leads to healthier lifestyles and better health outcomes. Obesity is practically nonexistent. Unfortunately, many service members are injured, suffer from combat or training related illnesses or medical conditions that make it necessary to leave before retirement. Thus, it may be difficult to paint a completely accurate portrait of lifelong health outcomes.
Farmers & Forestry Workers
This one is strange. Many do not think of farmers as having a career, because it is in many cases a family business, inherited from one generation and passed down through the family. The job, if one can call it that, is more or less a combination of thousands of jobs. Although large co-ops and international corporations have greatly changed the face of farming, those workers who still operate family farms are among some of the healthiest and happiest retirees. Although smoking rates among farmers are still around 30%, obesity is nil, and satisfaction is high. Perhaps it is something about seeing the fruits of one’s labor (pun intended) or perhaps it is simply the amount of time spent outside, but farmers generally do not see themselves as retired. Even once they have done their last year, they still see themselves as a part of a small community for the rest of their lives.
Forestry workers are among the most smoke-free professions, with only about 2% self-reporting that they smoke. This is likely because smoking in state and national forests is strictly prohibited for workers. Likewise, obesity is rare, and overall job satisfaction is high.