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Work and Retirement Plans among Older Americans

In: Reinventing the Retirement Paradigm

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Abstract

We compare older workers' plans for work and retirement with their subsequent work and retirement outcomes using panel data from the Health and Retirement Study. Among those with retirement plans, about half indicate they would like to cut back on their work hours or otherwise change the type of work they do prior to, or instead of, fully retiring. Yet, the fraction that follows through on these alternative plans is dramatically lower than the fraction that realizes plans to stop working. Our analysis shows that individuals who likely would need to change jobs in order to reduce their work hours are much less likely to have plans to reduce hours and, conditional on having such plans, are much less likely to follow through on them. Instead, a large fraction of these individuals stop working entirely. Our findings suggest that older workers may face substantial barriers to job change, and we conclude with a discussion of potential policy implications.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: Robert L. Clark & Olivia S. Mitchell (ed.) Reinventing the Retirement Paradigm, Oxford University Press, pages 70-91, 2005.

This item is provided by W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in its series Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers with number kgasnhoxf.

Handle: RePEc:upj:uchaps:kgasnhoxf

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Keywords: older workers; retirement; work; social security;

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References

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  1. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2001. "Job Loss and Employment Patterns of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 484-521, April.
  2. Kathryn Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser & Joseph F. Quinn, 1986. "Do retirement dreams come true? The effect of unanticipated events on retirement plans," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(4), pages 518-526, July.
  3. Joseph F. Quinn, 1999. "Has the Early Retirement Trend Reversed?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 424, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-56, January.
  5. Debra S. Dwyer & Jianting Hu, . "Retirement Expectations and Realizations: The Role of Health Shocks and Economic Factors," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-18, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  6. Joseph Altonji & Christina Paxson, 1990. "Labor Supply, Hours Constraints and Job Mobility," Working Papers 651, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. B. Douglas Bernheim, 1989. "The Timing of Retirement: A Comparison of Expectations and Realizations," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Aging, pages 335-358 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Ameriks & Andrew Caplin & John Leahy, 2002. "Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan," NBER Working Papers 8920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Marjorie Honig & Giora Hanoch, 1985. "Partial Retirement as a Separate Mode of Retirement Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(1), pages 21-46.
  10. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1983. "Retirement Flows," NBER Working Papers 1069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer, 2003. "What to Expect when you are Expecting Rationality: Testing Rational Expectations using Micro Data," Working Papers wp037, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  12. Gary Burtless & Joseph F. Quinn, 2002. "Is Working Longer the Answer for an Aging Workforce?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 550, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1990. "Bridge Jobs and Partial Retirement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 482-501, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Katharine G. Abraham & Susan N. Houseman, 2008. "Removing Barriers to Work for Older Americans," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Timothy J. Bartik & Susan N. Houseman (ed.), A Future of Good Jobs? America's Challenge in the Global Economy, chapter 5, pages 161-202 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Conny Wunsch, 2013. "The effect of firms' partial retirement policies on the labour market outcomes of their employees," Working papers 2013/12, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. David Neumark, 2008. "The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population Aging," NBER Working Papers 14317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blau, David M. & Shvydko, Tetyana, 2007. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Employment Behavior of Older Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 2996, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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