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A Gradual Exit may Not Make for a Happier Retirement?

  • Calvo, Esteban
  • Haverstick, Kelly
  • Sass, Steven

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.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/5605/1/MPRA_paper_6729.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5605.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5605
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  1. Jacob Arendt, 2005. "Income and “Outcomes” for Elderly: DO the Poor have A Poorer Life?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 327-347, 02.
  2. Martin Pinquart, 2001. "Age Differences in Perceived Positive Affect, Negative Affect, and Affect Balance in Middle and Old Age," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 375-405, December.
  3. 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.
  4. Constantijn W.A. Panis, 2003. "Annuities and Retirement Satisfaction," Working Papers 03-17, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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