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Retirement and rural living

A recent NSW study shows that retirement due to ill health is more likely in rural areas.

You would think that people who retire outside of cities and major urban areas would be healthier, but the ‘tree change’ is looking more like a bit of a myth.

Sadly, men and women of working age who live in regional areas are more likely to be fully retired because of ill health than their city counterparts, says a report recently published in the Journal of Public Health.

The study estimated that 663,235 older Australians were not working because of ill-health, reducing the nation’s GDP by $14.7 billion per year.

Set up as a long-term collaborative resource to examine healthy ageing, including in retirement, the NSW study analysed data from 21,719 women and 16,393 men aged 45 to 65, and it showed the proportion of men retired due to ill-health in cities is five per cent, while eight per cent for inner regional areas and nine for outer regional areas. Likewise, for fully retired working-aged women, it’s four per cent for the city, five per cent for inner regional and six per cent for outer regional areas.

The main health culprits? Stroke and cancer.

More information on the study is available at phaa.net.au.

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