Retirement Satisfaction for Retirees and Their Spouses: Do Gender and the Retirement Decision-Making Process Matter?

Deborah B. Smith, Phyllis Moen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates factors related to retirees' and their spouses' individual and joint retirement satisfaction using decision-making theory and a life course perspective. The sample includes 421 retired respondents (ages 50 to 72) and spouses from the Cornell Retirement and Well-Being Study. Although 77% of retirees report retirement satisfaction, only 67% of their spouses are satisfied; even fewer couples (59%) report joint satisfaction. Multivariate logistic regression analyses reveal that retirees' and spouses' individual and joint reports of retirement satisfaction are related to perceptions of spousal influence on the retirement decision, with effects varying by gender. Those couples most likely to report being satisfied with retirement, individually and jointly, are retired wives and their husbands where wives reported that their husbands were not influential in their retirement decision. The results underscore the importance of regarding retirement as gendered and as both an individual- and a couple-level experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-285
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Keywords

  • Couples
  • Decision making
  • Gender
  • Retirement
  • Satisfaction

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