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Refexive Planning for Later Life: A Conceptual Model and Evidence from Canada


  • Margaret A. Denton
  • Susan French
  • Amiram Gafni
  • Anju Joshi
  • Carolyn Rosenthal
  • Sharon Webb


In this paper, we present a conceptual model to describe an individual's preparations for later life. Situated in the life course perspective, this model invites a comprehensive and systematic study of later life planning. It describes a dynamic process that portrays the interplay between social structure and human agency. Through its consideration of collective preparations (the public protection programs offered by the state), individual preparations (financial and non-financial), and the interplay between them, this model provides fresh insight into the existing literature on retirement planning, the timing of retirement, savings, and consumption patterns in later life. Moreover, the model may be used to structure research questions, to guide policy decision making and to point the direction for the design and content of future research studies. While the purpose of this paper is primarily the development of a conceptual model, we illustrate the model using the results of a self-completion semi-structured questionnaire on this topic that was completed by a convenience sample of 240 seniors in Canada. We conclude by suggesting a number of research questions that may be generated from the model.

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  • Margaret A. Denton & Susan French & Amiram Gafni & Anju Joshi & Carolyn Rosenthal & Sharon Webb, 2001. "Refexive Planning for Later Life: A Conceptual Model and Evidence from Canada," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 359, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:359

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ronald Lee & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "Will Aging Baby Boomers Bust the Federal Budget?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
    2. Denton, Frank T. & Gafni, Amiram & Spencer, Byron G., 1995. "The SHARP way to plan health care services: A description of the system and some illustrative applications in nursing human resource planning," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 125-137, June.
    3. Lee, Ronald & Tuljapurkar, Shripad, 1998. "Uncertain Demographic Futures and Social Security Finances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 237-241, May.
    4. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1999. "Population Aging and Its Economic Costs: A Survey of the Issues and Evidence," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 1, McMaster University.
    5. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1997. "Death and Taxes: Longer life, consumption, and social security," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 67-81, February.
    6. Ronald Lee & Shripad Tuljapurkar, 1998. "Stochastic Forecasts for Social Security," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in the Economics of Aging, pages 393-428 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Frank T. Denton & Amiram Gafni & Byron G. Spencer, 2001. "Population Change and the Requirements for Physicians: The Case of Ontario," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(4), pages 469-485, December.
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    More about this item


    retirement planning; financial security; savings; independence;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies

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