Degree Granting Department
Sandra L. Reynolds, Ph.D.
Retirement decision making, Retirement self-efficacy, Push factors, Health outcomes, Health promotion
Researchers consistently conclude that finances and health are the two most significant factors associated with retirement decision-making and a successful retirement experience. Retirement planning is one mechanism by which individuals prepare for the retirement transition; however, retirement planning routinely emphasizes financial concerns, often to the exclusion of health or other significant aspects of retirement. Retirement planning is an increasingly relevant topic at a time when the population is aging, company-sponsored pensions and retiree benefits have diminished significantly, and reform is being sought for the long-standing social programs that have provided support for generations of older Americans. From a financial perspective, few would question the positive benefits associated with retirement planning; however, preparing for a healthy retirement is equally important. If a relationship between retirement planning and health status were to be established, Americans
might find increased public and private support for individual retirement planning efforts, particularly among more vulnerable populations such as minorities and women. This dissertation explores the notion that engagement in retirement planning is associated with health status through three studies. Utilizing data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the first article explores prevalence of plans for retirement among worker and retiree respondents, and compares health and other key characteristics associated with planning among the two sub-samples. The second and third articles focus on time order relationships between health status and retirement planning, with article two addressing the question of whether onset of poor health precedes planning for retirement and article three examining health status of planners versus non-planners, over time, to determine whether those who engage in retirement planning are more likely to realize better health outcomes. A brief review of th
e health, retirement, and retirement planning literature provides the theoretical framework for these research questions and related hypotheses.This dissertation consists of five chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the retirement planning and health literature, Chapters 2-4 describe the series of three studies conducted, and Chapter 5 discusses the overall conclusions as well as future directions for research.
Scholar Commons Citation
Albert, Linda Christine, "A three part study on the relationship between retirement planning and health" (2006). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.