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A wish come true?: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Relationship between Retirement Preferences and the Timing of Retirement
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Population Ageing, ISSN 1874-7884, ISSN 1874-7884, Vol. 6, no 1-2, 99-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines the relationship between retirement preferences, expressed as preferred retirement age, and actual retirement age in Sweden. The data were drawn from the Swedish Panel Survey of Ageing and the Elderly (PSAE). The PSAE was fielded in 2002 and 2003 with the aim of mapping living conditions of older people in Sweden. The data, which have a powerful longitudinal component, cover a broad spectrum of welfare indicators such as health, daily activities, social interactions, labour market and working conditions, and attitudes towards and experiences of retirement. Cox regression analysis was employed to explore whether and to what extent retirement preferences had any impact on actual retirement age. The results imply that retirement preferences do represent, in relation to other known key factors, an isolated influence on retirement patterns. The introduction of time-dependent variables strengthened this argument by showing how the “hazard” for the timing of retirement varied during the study period: those who preferred to retire close the end point of the study period were more likely to retire at this time than those who preferred to retire after the end of the study period and those who preferred to retire at the beginning of the study period. The results also indicated that the categories that wished to retire close to the beginning of the study period were more likely to retire at this point of time. The study thus provides empirical support for those researchers, debaters and policymakers who have addressed the importance of changing preferences towards later retirement in order to prolong working life.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 6, no 1-2, 99-118 p.
Keyword [en]
Retirement preferences - Timing of retirement – Postponed retirement age - Older workers
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-64066DOI: 10.1007/s12062-012-9075-7OAI: diva2:587119
Available from: 2013-01-14 Created: 2013-01-14 Last updated: 2013-09-26Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The long and winding road: A life course approach to retirement behaviour
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The long and winding road: A life course approach to retirement behaviour
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: This thesis explores the retirement behaviour of older people approaching retirement decisions. The research questions in focus deal with the attitudes toward work, the retirement preferences and the subjective well-being of the "youngest old", i.e. people aged 55–64. The included studies analyse the social determinants of these subjective evaluations and how they predict the timing of retirement and post-retirement well-being.

Methods: In the included studies, methods are used that allow us to follow developments over time. Repeated cross-sectional analyses are employed to examine general developments pertaining to the older work force. These include OLS and logistic regression analysis. Longitudinal analyses are used to follow individual developments over time. These include Structural equation modelling and Cox regression analysis.

Results: The results indicate that subjective evaluations such as attitudes to work and retirement preferences, as well as subjective well-being, are closely related to the structural conditions to which individuals are exposed, i.e. class position and work environment. The results also indicate that subjective evaluations such as preferred exit age and subjective well-being reported while in the work force are determinants of both the timing of retirement (in the case of preferred exit age and pre-retirement subjective well-being) and post-retirement subjective well-being (in the case of pre-retirement subjective well-being).

Also, results indicate that recent policy changes in the Swedish pension systems are reflected in the retirement preferences of the older work force. A comparison of two time-points representing the incentive structure of the old and the new pension systems indicates that preferences were delayed with pension reform.

Conclusion: The thesis contributes a temporal perspective to a research field that is dominated by research studying retirement behaviour at a single point of in time. The included studies underline the value of understanding retirement behaviour as a process rather than an isolated event. The way people evaluate their work, their well-being and their retirement prospects is intimately intertwined with their earlier experience. These subjective evaluations affect future retirement outcomes. Life course approaches offer illuminating tools for examining and explaining the significance of the biographies behind retirement behaviour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2013. 63 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508
Retirement Ageing Life course Well-being Work
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-80798 (URN)978-91-7459-720-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-10-18, Humanisthuset hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Panel Survey of ageing and the elderly
Available from: 2013-09-27 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2013-09-26Bibliographically approved

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Örestig, JohanStrandh, MattiasStattin, Mikael
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