Beyond Wealth and Health
Retirement is a significant transition in an individual’s life course. More and more people are working past traditional retirement ages. Planning before retirement has been shown to relate to a number of positive outcomes and lead to a smoother transition to a retired life, such as more retirement savings, better retirement satisfaction, better social life, health, and mental health. However, most of the studies about retirement to date have focused on the impact of health and wealth in preparing for a successful retirement. This dissertation examines three issues related to retirement planning and expectations: (1) How do work and family relationships relate to having a plan to reduce or stop work and expected retirement timing in late life, and are there gender and occupational differences in these relationships? (2) How do workplace experiences relate to expectations to retire earlier or later than what is normative in different occupations? (3) Does sense of control explain the relationship between involuntary retirement and retirement satisfaction? To answer the three questions, the author adopts the role theory, the age norm theory, and the theory of self-efficacy to explain the background and findings. The data for this dissertation comes from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a nationally representative dataset that captures the information about the health and retirement issues among adults over age 50 in the U.S. This proposed study uses pooled cross-sectional data from waves 2012 and 2014. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and logistic regression were used to examine the effect of work and family relationships and the plans/retirement timing of pre-retirees. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine workplace factors that contribute to the non-normative retirement age expectations. Mediation analysis was used to study how personal mastery, perceived constraints, and domain-specific control mediates the relationship between involuntary retirement and retirement satisfaction.