Retirement from work is a major life transition. For many, retirement is something to look forward to but for others, it can pose many challenges adjusting to new roles and circumstances. While many people enjoy the freedom that retirement offers, it has been estimated that approximately 25% of retirees experience difficulties resulting in adverse psychosocial outcomes.
The emergence of new forms of working in later life, such as partial retirement, bridge jobs and un-retirement present a range of opportunities for older workers. To ensure everybody can enjoy a good later life, we need to better understand what factors can impact on people’s adjustment to retirement.
Dr Martin Hyde (College of Human and Health Sciences) and Professor Katrina Pritchard (Swansea University’s School of Management), were amongst the team of multi-disciplinary, multinational researchers commissioned by The Centre for Ageing Better to conduct an extensive review to identify what factors impact on people’s attitudes towards their upcoming retirement and their experience of the period after they retire from paid work.
The team identified eight themes that impacted on retirement expectations and adjustment; i) gender, ii) socioeconomic position, iii) ethnic and cultural factors, iv) family situation, v) health, vi) attitudes to ageing, vii) work and occupation and, viii) preparedness and control.
Some of the key findings were:
- control over the retirement process led to more positive adjustment to retirement; thus, people need the resources to be able to take control of their retirement.
- those in less advantaged social positions tend to have more negative experiences of retirement consistent with research on social inequalities more generally.