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