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The impact of midlife educational, work, health and family experiences on men's early retirement

Damman, M. and Henkens, C.J.I.M. (2011) The impact of midlife educational, work, health and family experiences on men's early retirement. Journal of Gerontology: psychological sciences, 66, 617-627. ISSN 1758-5368.

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Objectives. In empirical studies on predictors of retirement, midlife experiences have often remained implicit or been neglected. This study aims to improve our understanding of retirement by examining the impact of midlife educational, work, health, and family experiences on early retirement intentions and behavior. We distinguish theoretically and empirically between financial and nonfinancial preretirement factors through which midlife experiences could affect retirement. Methods. Using panel data of 1,229 Dutch male older workers, we estimated linear regression models to explain retirement intentions and logistic regression models to explain retirement behavior. Results. Midlife experiences in all studied life spheres are related to retirement intentions. Educational investments, job changes, late transitions into parenthood, and late divorces are associated with weaker intentions to retire early. Midlife health problems are related to stronger early retirement intentions. For midlife work and family experiences, the relationships are (partly) mediated by the preretirement financial opportunity structure. In the educational, work, and health spheres, the preretirement nonfinancial situation has a mediating effect. Only some of the predictors of retirement intentions also predicted retirement behavior. Discussion. Given the destandardization of life courses, information on distal life experiences might become even more important toward understanding retirement in the future. key words: children; divorce; education; life course; retirement; work history.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Ned. Interdisc. Demografisch Instituut (NIDI)
ID Code:9827
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 14:54
Last Modified:24 Apr 2012 14:46

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