Economist James Banks of the University of Manchester says it depends on what you have come from and what you are going to. If you have had a highly paid, high-status job but little time or inclination to cultivate social activities or friends outside work, then retirement could be a negative step even if you have a huge pension pot. “You may walk all day and do sudokus all night once retired, but still miss the social and intellectual stimulation of the workplace,” he says. However, if you have given up a physically demanding and hazardous manual job, or one with little control and lots of stress, then retirement may be a positive step. UK, European, US and international studies show a mixed picture; it depends on an individual’s change of status when they leave the workplace. And it is possible it may not even change your life much; if you can maintain your standard of living, interactions and sense of purpose, then retirement may not have an impact on your quality of life.