Taking early retirement does not help ex-workers live longer, research has suggested.
Research in the US has suggested that early retirement at 55 may actually make them more likely to die earlier than if they had carried on working.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, involved more than 3,500 employees working for Shell Oil in Texas.
The workers retired at either 55, 60 or 65 and were monitored for up to 26 years to see what effect their age at retirement had on their lifespan.
The study found that workers who retired at the earlier age had a significantly higher mortality compared with staff who left work at 65.
In fact, the death rate was almost twice as high in the first 10 years after retirement at 55 compared with those who continued to work. But the study concluded that ill-health leading to early retirement may play a part in their findings.