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What Makes Retirees Happier: A Gradual or 'Cold Turkey' Retirement?

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  • Esteban Calvo
  • Kelly Haverstick
  • Steven A. Sass

    () (Center for Retirement Research, Boston College)

Abstract

This study explores the factors that affect an individual’s happiness while transitioning into retirement. Recent studies highlight gradual retirement as an attractive option to older workers as they approach full retirement. However, it is not clear whether phasing or cold turkey makes for a happier retirement. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study, this study explores what shapes the change in happiness between the last wave of full employment and the first wave of full retirement. Results suggest that what really matters is not the type of transition (gradual retirement or cold turkey), but whether people perceive the transition as chosen or forced.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteban Calvo & Kelly Haverstick & Steven A. Sass, 2007. "What Makes Retirees Happier: A Gradual or 'Cold Turkey' Retirement?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-18, Center for Retirement Research, revised Oct 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-18
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andries De Grip & Maarten Lindeboom & Raymond Montizaan, 2012. "Shattered Dreams: The Effects of Changing the Pension System Late in the Game," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(559), pages 1-25, March.
    2. Raquel Fonseca & Arie Kapteyn & Jinkook Lee & Gema Zamarro, 2015. "Does Retirement Make You Happy? A Simultaneous Equations Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Insights in the Economics of Aging, pages 339-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yeniaras, Volkan & Akkemik, K. Ali & Yucel, Eray, 2016. "Re-considering the linkage between the antecedents and consequences of happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 176-191.
    4. Esteban Calvo & Kelly Haverstick & Natalia A. Zhivan, 2009. "Older Americans On The Go: Financial and Psychological Effects of Moving," Issues in Brief ib2009-9-19, Center for Retirement Research, revised 2009.
    5. Dolan, Paul & Layard, Richard & Metcalfe, Robert, 2011. "Measuring subjective well-being for public policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. de Grip, A. & Dupuy, A. & Jolles, J. & van Boxtel, M.P., 2012. "Retirement and cognitive development: are the retired really inactive?," Research Memorandum 009, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    7. Calvo, Esteban & Haverstick, Kelly & Sass, Steven, 2007. "A Gradual Exit may Not Make for a Happier Retirement?," MPRA Paper 5605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. de Grip, Andries & Dupuy, Arnaud & Jolles, Jelle & van Boxtel, Martin, 2015. "Retirement and cognitive development in the Netherlands: Are the retired really inactive?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 157-169.
    9. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Special Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    10. repec:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9803-4 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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