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Changes in Subjective Well-being with Retirement: Assessing Savings Adequacy in Australia

  • Garry F. Barrett
  • Milica Kecmanovic

Does retirement represent a state of relative prosperity or a time of unanticipated economic hardship? To assess whether individuals are successful in smoothing their well-being across the transition to retirement we analyse measures of relative subjective wellbeing (SWB) in the Australian HILDA Survey. Specifically, this research examines individual's self-reported change in their standard of living, financial security, and overall happiness over the transition to retirement. It is found SWB either improves or remains constant for the large majority of individuals as they retire from the labour force. However, there are significant disparities in changes in well-being with retirement among retirees. In particular, the subset of individuals who are forced to retire early due to job loss or their own health, and who find their income in retirement to be much less than expected, report marked declines in their well-being in retirement.

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File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/sedap/p/sedap296.pdf
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Paper provided by McMaster University in its series Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers with number 296.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:296
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