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People who retire early due to back problems face long-term financial disadvantage
Date:1/31/2012

Philadelphia, PA, January 31, 2011 Back problems are a highly prevalent health issue, and people with the condition have a significantly greater chance of retiring early from the workforce, much more so than for any other health condition. A group of Australian researchers reports that not only does early retirement limit the immediate income available to these individuals, but it also reduces their long-term financial capacity, by reducing their ability to accumulate wealth to a significant degree. Their study is published in the January issue of Pain.

"Relative to those who retired early due to other health problems, there are more than twice as many people who have retired early due to back problems who are estimated to have no savings by the time they reach the traditional retirement age of 65," according to lead investigator Professor Deborah Schofield, PhD, Chair of Health Economics at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Australia. "For most of the age and sex groups analyzed, even those who reported back pain and were working full time accumulated less wealth than full-time workers who suffered no chronic health conditions."

Researchers based their study on "Health&WealthMOD," a microsimulation model designed to measure the economic impacts of ill health on Australian workers aged 45-64 years. The model uses data from the nationally representative 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Careers (2003 SDAC). The authors estimated the value of retirement wealth that would be available to individuals at retirement age, and assumed that respondents converted their private retirement accounts, cash, shares, and investment properties into cash and invested it in an income stream, such as an annuity. This income stream, plus any government pension benefit, provided a basis for comparing different living standards in retirement.

The 2003 SDAC data included 147 individu
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Contact: Christine Rullo
painmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3709
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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