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The Relationship between Work Decisions and Location Later in Life


  • Kevin E. Cahill

    () (Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College)

  • Michael D. Giandrea

    () (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Joseph F. Quinn

    () (Boston College)


To what extent does continued work later in life in the form of bridge job employment impact the relocation decisions of older Americans? Continued work later in life has been suggested as a way for older workers to help maintain their standard of living in retirement, by increasing income in the near term and simultaneously delaying the date at which assets are drawn down. While the financial benefit of continued work is straightforward and potentially large, the ripple effects of continued work can impact the lives of older Americans in many other ways. This paper focuses on relocation decisions following career employment. We use the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), an ongoing nationally-representative longitudinal survey of older Americans that began in 1992, to explore the frequency and determinants of relocations among career workers who moved to a bridge job relative to those who exited from the labor force directly. For both groups we find that long-distance relocations following career employment were infrequent, as less than one in twenty career workers moved to a new Census Division. Moves that involved a change in “area” or change in residence, however, were much more common, with a frequency at the time of transition from career employment of 9 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Most importantly, the frequency of moves was similar for those who took bridge jobs and those who exited directly, as were key determinants of moves, suggesting that continued work does not significantly limit or promote relocations.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2012. "The Relationship between Work Decisions and Location Later in Life," Working Papers 458, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec120070

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2008. "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 684, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, November.
    3. Tunga Kantarci & Arthur Soest, 2008. "Gradual Retirement: Preferences and Limitations," De Economist, Springer, vol. 156(2), pages 113-144, June.
    4. F. Thomas Juster & Richard Suzman, 1995. " An Overview of the Health and Retirement Study," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages s7-s56.
    5. Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2011. "How Does Occupational Status Impact Bridge Job Prevalence?," Working Papers 447, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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    More about this item


    Economics of Aging; Partial Retirement; Gradual Retirement;

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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