The Influence of Specific Physical Health Conditions on Retirement Decisions
International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Vol. 65(2) 149-161, 2007
13 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2015
Date Written: September 2007
Physical health has consistently been shown to strongly influence the retirement decision-making process. Unfortunately, “physical health” is typically operationalized in global terms. As a result, we know little about the specific aspects of physical health that influence the decision to retire. Therefore, in the present study, data from three waves of the Americans' Changing Lives (ACL) data set was examined to determine which specific health conditions are associated with retirement, continued work in the same job, or continued work but in a different job. The major health conditions most strongly related to retirement were lung disease and cancer, while only lung disease was predictive of job change at older ages. In contrast, arthritis and diabetes were the minor health conditions most strongly related to both changing jobs and retiring over an eight-year period. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of better understanding why specific health factors are associated with retirement and job changes during one's late career.
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