Research coming out of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston last week is showing evidence that mature adults who stay engaged with work activity that promotes brain power and mental acuity have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

The study included 429,000 workers’ records in France where some of the best worldwide research on Alzheimer’s is coming from (due to a governmental focus on the disorder).

Researchers in the U.S. concur with the study results (the largest to date) and say that working keeps anyone active. There is physical engagement, mental engagement, people-to-people engagement, and more social connectivity to help people delay or prevent mental decline.

Retirement used to be about work stoppage; people regarded the golden years as couch potato days. There is still a misnomer about those who retire early; however, in a blog post written recently by Retiree Health Choices, we know that people who retire earlier are launching new careers in philanthropy or volunteerism and even as mentors and coaches to young people.

Other news reports indicate that the retirement age of 65-years-old holds less weight for adults. People are working into their late ’70s and still enjoying it.

How is that affecting health insurance? For sure, those who remain at work in their ’70s and ’80s need fewer benefits from Medicare as working also promotes a healthier lifestyle.

This research is encouraging for everyone looking down the road at “retirement.” It’s no longer a black hole people dive into; it’s opportunity to stay young and healthier.