"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

White men suffer the best cognitive loss after retirement

July 20, 2023 – White Americans experience 3 times as much cognitive decline after retirement as black Americans, a brand new study suggests. And the declines are twice as large for men as for girls, based on a study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Cognitive decline affects mental abilities resembling considering, remembering and learning.

The researchers followed 2,226 people over a period of ten years.

The largest declines were seen amongst white men and the smallest amongst black women.

“Lifelong structural inequalities may actually facilitate the transition to retirement in terms of cognitive aging,” lead writer Ross Andel of Arizona State University told Bloomberg“This is because long-standing racial inequalities in education and hiring in the United States mean that black workers face significant barriers to accessing more attractive jobs.”

Black Americans may additionally experience less cognitive loss after retirement because they've access to “better-established social support networks and cultural practices that promote community cohesion more than is typical for white adults,” the study said.

“Surprisingly, the decline was greater among people who had attended college than among people who had not attended college,” News from Neuroscience reported.

The research suggests that some people experience a “mental retirement,” a period of unemployment before they really retire. Men who earn more cash, especially white men, also experience cognitive decline near retirement, the researchers found.

“White workers, and particularly white men, may experience a greater loss of identity, engagement and life direction as they approach retirement,” the study says.