What @bobakabob said rings true, although I don't know where he gets the evidence for retirees falling ill. Teaching is all-consuming, seeping into your 'free time' so that when you're not actually working on something concrete, you're thinking(or worrying) about it. Physically, you're with family but mentally you're with your Year 9 bottom set. I purposely mentally disengaged over my last two terms after 25 years as a HoD. After so long in the same job, I totally self-defined according to my role and took pride in it. However, I realised my commitment was being exploited which made it easier to leave. I still worked the hours, but the emotional engagement massively diminished over my last two terms. It was important to make short-term plans and longer-term ones for retirement. I rented a flat in Valencia for 3 months and then came home and sought out various seasonal/part-time jobs , none of them involving teaching . The whole process of retirement has been truly liberating. The pension and lump sum provide financial security and the possibilities are endless. When meeting former colleagues, I have to tone down how content and, most importantly, how free from stress I feel.