Aging and Social Isolation – How Can Planners Help

24 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2018

See all articles by Yuanshan Cheng

Yuanshan Cheng

Winthrop University

Tao Guo

William Paterson University

Philip Gibson

Winthrop University

Date Written: September 28, 2018


One area that has not received much attention in financial planning research is social isolation. This study is the first empirical study to our knowledge that bridges social isolation with time use activities, using the leave-behind survey from Health and Retirement Study. We found that retirees do suffer from loneliness, notably in the middle to late retirement, and can potentially impact their life quality and financial planning process. We found that other than family structure, the purpose of life and whether respondents engage in active leisure are the dominant predictors of social isolation. We also contribute to the literature by providing evidence that even after controlling for marital relationship and purpose of life, those active leisure activities still can help reduce loneliness.

Keywords: aging, social isolation, financial planning

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Yuanshan and Guo, Tao and Gibson, Philip, Aging and Social Isolation – How Can Planners Help (September 28, 2018). 2019 Academic Research Colloquium for Financial Planning and Related Disciplines. Available at SSRN: or

Yuanshan Cheng

Winthrop University ( email )

304 Thurmond Bldg.
Rock Hill, SC 29773
United States

Tao Guo (Contact Author)

William Paterson University ( email )

1600 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
United States

Philip Gibson

Winthrop University ( email )

Rock Hill, SC 29733-0001
United States

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