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The Retirement Expectations of Middle-Aged Individuals

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Stillman, Steven

    ()

    (University of Otago)

We use the first three waves of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey to examine the retirement plans of middle-aged workers (aged 45–55). Our results indicate that approximately two-thirds of men and more than half of women appear to be making standard retirement plans. At the same time, more than one in five individuals seem to have delayed their retirement planning and approximately one in ten either do not know when they expect to retire or expect to never retire. Retirement plans are closely related to current labor market position. Specifically, forming expectations about the age at which one will leave the labor market appears to be easier for workers in jobs with well-defined pension benefits and standard retirement ages. Moreover, those who report that they do not know when they expect to retire do in fact appear to face greater uncertainty in their retirement planning. Those who anticipate working forever seem to do so out of concerns about the adequacy of their retirement incomes rather than out of increased job satisfaction or a heightened desire to remain employed. Finally, men alter their retirement plans in response to labor market shocks, while women are more sensitive to their own and their partners' health changes.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2449.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Record, 2009, 85(269), 146-163
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2449
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  1. Lixin Cai & Guyonne Kalb, 2007. "Health status and labour force status of older working-age Australian men," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 10(4), pages 227-252, December.
  2. Debra S. Dwyer & Olivia S. Mitchell, . "Health Problems as Determinants of Retirement: Are Self-Rated Measures Endogenous?," Pension Research Council Working Papers 98-7, Wharton School Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2001. "Imperfect Knowledge, Retirement and Saving," NBER Working Papers 8406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alicia H. Munnell & Robert K. Triest & Natalia Jivan, 2004. "How Do Pensions Affect Expected and Actual Retirement Ages?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2004-27, Center for Retirement Research, revised Nov 2004.
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  6. Honig, Marjorie, 1998. "Married Women's Retirement Expectations: Do Pensions and Social Security Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 202-06, May.
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  8. Arthur van Soest & Michael Hurd, 2004. "A Test for Anchoring and Yea-Saying in Experimental Consumption Data," NBER Working Papers 10462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Lixin Cai & Guyonne Kalb, 2004. "Health Status and Labour Force Participation: Evidence from the HILDA Data," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n04, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  11. Kristin J. Kleinjans & Jinkook Lee, 2006. "The link between individual expectations and savings: Do nursing home expectations matter?," Economics Working Papers 2006-05, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  12. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Roger Wilkins, 2004. "The Effects of Disability on Labour Force Status in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 37(4), pages 359-382, December.
  14. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Measuring Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1329-1376, 09.
  15. Hugo Benítez-Silva & Debra S. Dwyer, 2003. "Expectation Formation of Older Married Couples and the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Working Papers wp062, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  16. 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.
  17. Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," NBER Working Papers 9317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. Jeff Borland, 2005. "Transitions to Retirement: A Review," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n03, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  20. Guyonne Kalb & Lixin Cai, 2004. "Health status and labour force participation: evidence from HILDA data," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 130, Econometric Society.
  21. Hugo Benitez-Silva & Debra Dwyer, 2002. "Retirement Expectations Formation Using the Health and Retirement Study," Department of Economics Working Papers 02-04, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics, revised 18 Jun 2002.
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