The impact of retirement on well-being varies between individuals, but also within individuals over time. Type of transition and individual differences in resource capability are two factors likely to influence the retirement adjustment process, but we still lack in our understanding of the importance of these factors in relation to each other. The aim of this study was to investigate interaction effects of transition type and individual resources on changes in life satisfaction in the retirement transition. We studied changes in life satisfaction over 1 year in a sample of 3,471 older adults from the population-based HEalth, Ageing, and Retirement Transitions in Sweden (HEARTS) study. The sample included participants retiring gradually (n = 360) or fully (n = 346) between the two measurement points as well those continuously working (n = 1,860) or retired (n = 905) in both waves. Resources evaluated for their role in the transition included baseline measures of self-esteem, autonomy, social support, self-rated physical health, self-rated cognitive ability, and basic financial assets. Results from multiple group latent change score models showed that retirement transition type and individual differences in resource capability variously influenced changes in life satisfaction. The six resources accounted for a larger proportion of individual differences in change among those who retired between the two waves (21.2%) than in those whose retirement status remained unchanged (12.6%). In addition, a larger proportion of variability in changes in life satisfaction were explained in abrupt (31.4%) than in gradual (11.7%) retirement.

SOURCE: Hansson, Isabelle; Buratti, Sandra; Thorvaldsson, Valgeir et al. “Changes in Life Satisfaction in the Retirement Transition: Interaction Effects of Transition Type and Individual Resources.” Work, Aging and Retirement, 24 October 2017,  https://doi.org/10.1093/workar/wax025

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