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Retirement experience, retirement satisfaction and life satisfaction of baby boomers

Amberyce Ang (SR Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)
Cynthia Chen (Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore)
Kalyani Mehta (SR Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 14 September 2022

52

Abstract

Purpose

The practice of mandatory retirement age implies that some retirees may be forced to retire or are compelled to continue working. Retirement would then be determined by age and not by their personal choices. Against this backdrop, this study aims to understand the associations retirement transition types (voluntary or involuntary retirement) with retirement satisfaction and life satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed research study seeks to understand how the retirement transition type in the form of voluntary or involuntary retirement is associated with retirement satisfaction and life satisfaction. In this study, 103 Singapore baby boomer retirees were interviewed and a questionnaire was administered.

Findings

Results showed that voluntary retirement and high social–emotional resources had significant positive associations with retirement satisfaction, and that financial resources and retirement satisfaction had significant associations with life satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

Based on this study’s findings, a synthesized conceptual model was designed to illustrate the different roles and associations of resources with retirement satisfaction and life satisfaction. A retirement trajectory model was also created to cater for policy design at various stages of the retirement experience.

Practical implications

The retirement experience is multi-dimensional. It is highly relevant to almost every older adult. The relevance of this topic also meant that the findings in this study carry a potentially higher impact. Using the life span and multi-level perspectives to examine retirement, the findings in this study invite several timely human resources (HR) and national policy reviews. This paper proposed HR policy practices at three main points – late-career, retirement and bridge employment.

Originality/value

A unique feature of this study was to differentiate and compare “retirement satisfaction” with “life satisfaction”, and the differentiation of “retirement transition”, “retirement adjustment” and the “retirement trajectory”. The differentiation of these concepts can better shape policies targeted at different phases of the retirement experience. In addition, the resource-based dynamic perspective was used to identify and understand the types of resources that have significant associations with retirement and life satisfaction. For example, social–emotional resources were found to be significantly associated with retirement satisfaction, and financial resources were found to be significantly associated with life satisfaction.

Keywords

Citation

Ang, A., Chen, C. and Mehta, K. (2022), "Retirement experience, retirement satisfaction and life satisfaction of baby boomers", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-03-2022-0014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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