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Differences in expected and actual retirement age among older men

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Title:
Differences in expected and actual retirement age among older men
Creator:
Beck, Scott H ( Scott Herman ), 1954-
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English
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xi, 175 leaves : ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Early retirement ( jstor )
Happiness ( jstor )
Mandatory retirement ( jstor )
Mathematical variables ( jstor )
Old age benefits ( jstor )
Pension plans ( jstor )
Retirement ( jstor )
Retirement age ( jstor )
Retirement income ( jstor )
Workforce ( jstor )
Retirement age ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1981.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 167-174).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Scott H. Beck.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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ABS3656 ( NOTIS )
08371862 ( OCLC )

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DIFFERENCES IN EXPECTED AND ACTUAL
RETIREMENT AGE AMONG OLDER MEN









BY

SCOTT H. BECK


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1981






























This dissertation is

lovingly dedicated to my wife

Rubye.















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This research, and my graduate education at the University of Florida,

has benefitted from the assistance of many.

First of all, I would like to thank my chairman, Dr. John Henretta,

for his encouragement, sharing of knowledge and, most importantly, for

his patience with me over the past three years. I would also like to

thank him for his aid and encouragement in obtaining outside support for

this dissertation and for his aid in securing the post-doctoral fellowship

that I have received.

This research was supported by Administration of Aging Dissertation

Grant 90 ATO 0 49/01. Also, the support of the Department of Sociology

and the Center for Gerontological Studies has been of considerable impor-

tance in the completion of this dissertation. I would like to give special

thanks to Ray Jones of the University of Florida Library for obtaining the

data tapes used in this study. Data were analyzed using the Statistical

Analysis System (SAS) and the computing was done using the facilities of

the Northeast Regional Data Center of the State University System of

Florida.

I would like to express appreciation to the other members of my doc-

toral committee. Dr. Gordon F. Streib was primarily responsible for intro-

ducing me to the field of social gerontology and his enthusiasm for all

aspects of research in this area has been of considerable importance in

my graduate education. I would also like to thank Dr. Streib for his










efforts, on my behalf, in obtaining the post-doctoral fellowship at the

Midwest Council for Social Research in Aging. Dr. Benjamin Gorman has

also been of assistance throughout my three years here at the University

of Florida. I would like to express special thanks to Dr. Alan Agresti,

whose comments and criticisms on statistical aspects of this study have

been very helpful. Dr. Agresti is also one of the best teachers I have

ever known and his clear and patient style of presentation has often

helped me to understand otherwise difficult concepts and procedures.

Dr. Cynthia Rexroat has also been a valuable committee member who gracious-

ly agreed to serve on my committee after the dissertation had begun. Other

faculty members not on my committee but who have been of great assistance

throughout my three years here at the University of Florida are Dr. Joseph

Vandiver and Dr. Charles Wood.

I would like to express gratitude to my cohort of sociology graduate

students here at the University of Florida. Their willingness to lend

assistance in academic matters and to be sources of support throughout

the trials and tribulations of graduate school has been of unmeasureable

importance.

Finally, I would like to express my debt of gratitude to my family.

My mother has always been a source of strong and consistent support for

whatever I attempted to accomplish and her love is never ceasing. To
4V
Rubye, my wife, I owe the greatest debt of graditude. As a fellow grad-

uate student, she has been supportive and helpful in my academic pursuits

and her love has been the greatest source of strength and motivation

throughout this dissertation.


I

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. .

LIST OF TABLES .

LIST OF FIGURES .

ABSTRACT .

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL
Introduction .
Statement of Problem .
Conceptual Approach .
The Process of Retirement .
Attitudes, Intentions and Behavi
Adjustment After Retirement. .
Summary .

CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF LITERATURE .
Timing of Retirement .
Structural Factors .
Health Status .
Financial Considerations. .
Family Status .
Attitudes Toward Work .
Attitudes Toward Retirement .
Expected Age of Retirement .


Adjustment to Retirement


Retirement and Life Satisfaction.
Health Status .
Financial Status .


Social and Demographic Characteristics.
Social Interaction .
Psychological Correlates. .

CHAPTER III: DATA, MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES AND


. iii


. viii

. ix


APPROACH.






or. .
. .
. .


METHODS OF ANALYSIS


Data . .
Correction for Sample Bias . .


.
.
.










Measurement of Variables ..
Factors in the Analysis of Expected and Actual
Age of Retirement . .
Factors in the Analysis of Adjustment to
Retirement. . ... ..
Methods of Analysis. . .
Bivariate Analyses. . .
OLS Analysis of Expected and Actual Retirement Age. .
Analysis of Adjustment Measures .
Summary. . .

CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS OF EXPECTED AND ACTUAL AGE OF RETIREMENT.
Introduction . .
Prediction of Sample-Bias Term .
Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual Age. .
The Relationship Between Expected and Actual Age .
The Stability of Expected Age Over Time. .
Analysis of Differences in Expected and Actual
Age of Retirement . .
Analysis of Expected Age in 1966 .
Analysis of Differences in Expected and Actual Age. ..
Summary. . .


CHAPTER V: ADJUSTMENT TO RETIREMENT. .
Introduction .
Prediction of Sample-Bias Term .
Happiness with Life. .
Analysis of Happiness Measure for
and Not-Retired Men .
Analysis of Happiness Measure for
Evaluation of Retirement Experience.
Summary. .

CHAPTER VI: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS. .
Introduction .
The Conceptual Approach. .
NLS Data and Measurement of Factors.
Summary of Findings. .
The Expected and Actual Age .
Adjustment to Retirement. .


Retired

Retired Men
. .
. .


. 152
. 156


51

51

58
65
66
67
70
72

73
73
75
77
80
84

92
93
100
114

120
120
122
125

126
130
135
145

150
150
150
151
152










Conclusions ... .. ... 158
Suggestions for Future Research ... 165

REFERENCES . ... 167

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. . ... ..... 175

















































vii















LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

3-1 Distribution of Original Sample in 1966
by Interview Status. . ... 44

4-1 Logit Regression for Prediction of Retirement. ... 76

4-2 Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual
Retirement Age for Retired and Not-Retired Men 78

4-3 Regression of Actual Age on Expected Age for Full
Group and by Age Cohort. ... 82

4-4 Regression of Actual Age on Categories of Expected Age 83

4-5 Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected
Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966 for Full Group and
Selected Subsamples. . ... 86

4-6 Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected
Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966 by Age Cohort. ... 87

4-7 Standardized Residuals of Independence and Quasi-
Independence Log-Linear Models for Expected
Age-1966 by Expected Age-1976 for Age Cohorts. .... .90

4-8 OLS Regression of Expected Age of Retirement in 1966
for Sample of Retired Men and Selected Subsamples. 95

4-9 OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement for Full
Group and Selected Subsamples. ... 102

4-10 OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement with
Cross-Sectional and Change Variables for Full
Group and Selected Subsamples. ... 109

5-1 Logit Regression for Prediction of Retirement. ... 124

5-2 Logit Regression of Happiness Measure for Full Sample. 127

5-3 Logit Regression of Happiness Measure for Retired Men. 131

5-4 Logit Regression of Pi/P2 Contrast (Negatives Excluded) 138

5-5 Logit Regression of P3/P2 Contrast (Positives Excluded) 141


viii















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure Page

1-1 Atchley's Schema of the Process of Retirement. 7

1-2 Conceptual Model of Factors Involved in Relationship
Between the Expected and Actual Age of Retirement. 17















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



DIFFERENCES IN EXPECTED AND ACTUAL
RETIREMENT AGE AMONG OLDER MEN

By

Scott H. Beck

December, 1981

Chairman: Dr. John C. Henretta
Major Department: Sociology

This thesis is a study of retirement that analyzes the discrepancy

between the expected age and the actual age of retirement. The con-

ceptual model used combines Atchley's (1979) general model of the re-

tirement process with the approach of attitude-behavior theory. Three

general factors are hypothesized to determine both the expected age and

actual age. The factors are: 1) constraint factors, 2) job-related

factors and 3) social and psychological factors. A secondary hypothesis

concerns adjustment to retirement. It is hypothesized that discrepancies

between the actual and expected age of retirement, especially earlier-

than-expected retirement, will lead to less successful adjustment to

retirement.

Panel data collected between 1966 and 1976 on men aged 45-59 in 1966,

were used to investigate these relationships. Because of the truncated

age range of the respondents, the average age of retirement was 61 years,

while the average expected age was about 65 years. A low correlation










was found between expected and actual age. An analysis of change in

expected age over the ten years of the survey, using panel members who

had not retired, showed a large degree of instability in expected age.

In a regression analysis of the expected age among men who had retired,

predictors in all three of the general factors significantly affected

the expected age. Mandatory retirement policies and pension eligibility

reduced the expected age while commitment to work increased the expected

age. Older workers expected to retire later, but this finding may be an

artifact of the data. In the regression analysis of actual age only

work-related health limitations, which reduce the age of retirement, was

significant. In considering the discrepancy between the actual and ex-

pected age, mandatory retirement policies, eligibility for a pension and

higher assets reduced the negative difference between the actual and

expected age, while the existence of a work-related health limitation

and high commitment to work increased the negative discrepancy. With

respect to retirement satisfaction, earlier-than-expected retirement

led to lower satisfaction with retirement.














CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL APPROACH



Introduction

The retirement of workers from the labor force has become an increas-

ingly important social issue in the United States. Concern about the

viability of the Social Security system has led to proposed changes in

the age at which workers can receive social security benefits and in the

levels of these benefits. Laws passed by Congress during the past two

decades have reduced the age at which social security benefits are avail-

able and increased the levels of these benefits quite dramatically. The

consequence of these changes, along with macroeconomic changes, is an

underfinanced social security program that is quickly depleting its

financial reserves. Two of the most common types of proposals for rec-

tifying this situation are the reduction in levels of benefits and in-

creasing the age at which workers can receive benefits.

The importance of retirement for social and economic policies has

arisen for a number of reasons. Retirement has not only become more com-

mon among older workers but there has also been a long-term trend toward

earlier ages of retirement (Sheppard, 1976; Walker and Lazer, 1978).

The reduction from 65 to 62 as the minimum age that men can begin re-

ceiving social security benefits, is generally recognized as one of

the most important factors in producing earlier ages of retirement.

Since this change occurred, over half of all new social security










beneficiaries have been under 65 years old (Bixby, 1976). The reduction

or elimination of minimum age requirements for private pensions has

accompanied the age reduction for social security benefits and there-

fore is also considered a factor in the trend toward earlier ages of

retirement (Kleiler, 1978; Atchley, 1980).

The trend toward earlier ages of retirement has been concurrent

with two demographic trends. The proportion of elderly persons has

been increasing in this country and the length of life has also in-

creased (Hauser, 1976). The combination of these demographic changes

with earlier retirement results in a larger proportion of the population

in retirement for longer periods of time. The demographic trends are

not likely to be reversed and therefore patterns of retirement have

been given the most attention by people concerned with the increasing

economic consequences of a greater proportion of retired persons. Nu-

merous solutions have been suggested but the major policy implication

is the need to change governmental and industry policies in order to

promote later retirement and discourage early retirement (Sheppard and

Rix, 1977; Kleiler, 1978).

The timing of retirement is therefore an important issue for re-

search. In this thesis, the timing of retirement will be analyzed in

the framework of the "process of retirement." Some important issues

related to factors that influence the age of retirement will be investi-

gated. For example, the recent liberalization of mandatory retirement

rules was predicated in part on the belief that these rules reduce the

age of retirement for some people. Most social gerontologists doubt

that the liberalization of mandatory retirement will actually result

in later ages of retirement (Smedley, 1979; Atchley, 1980). The effect










of coverage under a mandatory retirement plan on the age of retirement,

controlling for other factors, will be tested in this research by con-

trasting the group of men covered by mandatory retirement rules to the

group of men who are not covered. Furthermore, the impact of mandatory

retirement will be separated from the effect of pension coverage, which

has been posited as one of the major factors in early retirement. A

number of other factors will also be tested for their effects on the

timing of retirement.

As the title of this thesis suggests, the focus of this research

is not retirement timing itself but the relationship between the expected

or planned age of retirement and the actual age of retirement. The rela-

tionship between planned age and actual age of retirement and the factors

that produce discrepancies between these ages is considered to be impor-

tant for a number of reasons. The strength of the relationship between

planned or expected age and actual age of retirement gives an indication

of how accurate individuals' plans, some years before retirement, are

in relation to the actual timing of retirement. This is important

because this relationship, in a general way, indicates whether those

who retired early planned to retire early. At the aggregate level the

degree-of correspondence between the average expected age and the average

actual age may provide an informal estimate of how well trends in the

expected age of retirement foreshadow trends in the actual timing of

retirement.

The investigation of how external factors may lead to earlier-than-

expected or later-than-expected retirement is also important. In the

context of early retirement, the results of this analysis may give an

indication of how programs or policies can help some workers retire










closer to the age that they planned, and probably preferred, to retire

at rather than dropping out of the labor force early.

The analysis of the timing of retirement in the context of discrep-

ancies between the planned and actual age of retirement is also important

because of possible individual consequences. The adjustment to retire-

ment is one of the most important concerns of social gerontologists

and policy makers in the aging field. Many retirees have some diffi-

culty in adjusting to retirement and the discrepancy between the planned

age and the actual age may be one factor leading to adjustment problems.



Statement of Problem

This research will be primarily concerned with the strength of the

relationship between the expected age and the actual age of retirement

and how external factors may affect this relationship. Therefore, the

research will center around a causal analysis of discrepancies between

the expected and actual age of retirement. This analysis will also re-

veal the important determinants of the expected age and the actual age

of retirement.

Retirement is viewed as a process that encompasses both pre-

retirement and post-retirement phases (Atchley, 1980). This research

will incorporate the full process of retirement by analyzing the effect

of discrepancies between expected and actual age of retirement on ad-

justment to retirement.

In the remainder of this chapter a conceptual model of the process

of retirement is developed. The relevant literature on retirement is

reviewed in Chapter II. The third chapter deals with the data set to be

used in this analysis, the definition of variables and the hypothesized










relationships, and the statistical methods of analysis. The next two

chapters present the results of the analysis of the expected age and

actual age of retirement and of adjustment to retirement. In the

final chapter, the findings are summarized, general conclusions are

drawn and implications of the research are discussed.



Conceptual Approach


There has been relatively little theorizing about retirement timing

and the retirement process. Atchley (1979) has brought together the

ideas of a number of scholars to produce a model of the process of re-

tirement that identifies the important factors that are involved in the

process. This model will be used as a general guide to the interrela-

tionships among social and social psychological factors in the develop-

ment of hypotheses and empirical measures to be used in this research.

Within this general retirement framework, the approach of social psy-

chologists interested in attitude-behavior relationships will be used

to develop the conceptual framework that will guide this research.

Finally, the process of retirement will be extended to include adjust-

ment after retirement. The issues involved in adjustment to retirement

will be discussed in the context of the three main conceptual approaches

in social gerontology: activity, disengagement and continuity theories.

The relevance of the discrepancy between expected and actual age of

retirement for adjustment to retirement is the final topic of discussion.


The Process of Retirement

According to Atchley (1979), the process of retirement involves three

elements: 1) the process by which individuals come to consider retirement,










2) factors that influence the decision to retire and 3) factors that

influence the timing of retirement. Figure 1-1 partially reproduces

the model that Atchley presents. People consider retirement for many

reasons, but primarily because it is a desired goal. Certainly manda-

tory retirement policies, pension plans, health and functional disabil-

ities, layoffs, and peer and employer pressures often play a central

part in the individual's consideration of retirement. In these latter

cases, Atchley maintains that retirement may be considered a result of

external pressures. The decision to retire results from social, eco-

nomic and psychological factors, most of which are shown in Figure 1-1.

Atchley maintains that there are two primary comparisons that

workers consider in deciding the timing of retirement. The first com-

parison is between the worker's financial needs in retirement and his

expected income in retirement. Second, the individual compares his or

her present satisfaction as a worker with what life in retirement is

expected to be like. As shown in Figure 1-1, a number of factors may

affect these two comparisons.

The information the worker has about retirement timing, finances

in retirement and activities after retirement may affect the two types

of comparisons and therefore affect the timing of retirement. The

availability of this kind of information as well as the accuracy of

information will vary widely among workers. Those workers with more

education, those whose company has a retirement planning program and

those covered by pension benefits are more likely to have access to

accurate information about retirement issues.

The individual's personality may also affect the consideration of

these two comparisons. An example given by Atchley is that those persons
















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who are active as opposed to passive in relation to their environment

are more likely to plan for retirement. These "planners" are expected

to have more accurate conceptions about financial needs and resources

and also to have more accurate ideas about life in retirement.

The "social/psychological" and "rewards of employment" factors

are posited to affect only the comparison between current situation as

a worker and the expected situation in retirement. The worker's attitude

toward retirement may be especially important in how retirement compares

with current satisfaction as a worker. While job satisfaction and the

meaning of the job to the worker are only applicable to the comparison

of current situation to expectations of life in retirement, financial

rewards of the job may plausibly have an impact on expectations of

financial need and how these needs compare with expected resources

in retirement.

As indicated in Figure 1-1, some trade-offs between the two pri-

mary comparisons can be expected. Workers who want to stop working and

look forward to retirement may forego more adequate retirement income

to retire early. On the other hand, some workers with good financial

prospects for retirement may delay the time of retirement because work

is much more satisfying than the kind of life expected in retirement.

Atchley proposes that if retirement appears more favorable to the in-

dividual than continued employment, the decision to retire will be

made. The two primary comparisons set forth by Atchley may not be

fully considered by some workers. Many workers may only have a general

idea of how much income will be needed in retirement and may not be

sure how much they will receive from social security or the amount of

pension benefits. Also, expectations about retirement may be ambiguous










or not clearly formulated so that for some individuals a comparison be-

tween current situation as a worker and life in retirement is never an

important consideration. Because the two types of comparisons may not

always be considered in the timing of retirement, the set of intervening

factors are also posited to have direct effects on the timing of retire-

ment.

One drawback of this model is that it underemphasizes the importance

of the "constraint" factors such as mandatory retirement and health lim-

itations. A worker who knows that the mandatory age is 65 may never

seriously consider needs versus resources or satisfaction with job to

what retirement will be like, but may simply accept the mandatory age

as the time of retirement. Social influences such as marital status

and dependents for whom the worker has financial responsibility are not

explicitly shown as factors but are recognized as potentially important

in the timing of retirement.

The conceptualization of the process of retirement presented above

may be even more applicable to the determination of the expected or

planned age of retirement. If workers do take such factors into account

in the actual decision to retire, then such factors may be considered

some time before retirement when the probable age of retirement is

determined. The main issues in this research involve the relationship

between the expected age and the actual age of retirement and the factors

that are important in explaining the discrepancy between expected and

actual age. A related issue involves differences in the importance of

factors in explaining the expected age and the actual age of retirement.

Because the issues to be addressed in this research are not all en-

compassed within Atchley's model, two approaches to individual behavior










that are usually labelled under "attitude-behavior" theory will be

utilized. By using these more general approaches, it is possible to

develop a conceptual model of the process of retirement that addresses

the primary issues in this research.


Attitudes, Intentions and Behavior

Following LaPiere's (1934) research on discrimination that documented

the large discrepancy that may exist between what people say they will

do and what they actually do, the strength of the relationship between

attitudes or intentions and behavior has been questioned. Psychologists

such as Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) have developed more precise definitions

of "verbal behavior" and more rigorous measures of both verbal behaviors

and actual behavior. Sociologists,on the other hand, have tended to

look for external or intervening factors that may explain behavior, and

consequently explain the discrepancy between attitude and behavior. Both

of these approaches will be discussed and elements of both will be used

to formulate a conceptual model of the retirement process centered

around the relationship between the expected and actual age.

Fishbein (1966) was one of the first to differentiate the concepts

of beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions from the general concept

of attitude. These concepts are most definitively presented in Fishbein

and Ajzen (1975). Beliefs are ideas formed around some object (e.g.,

retirement) based on perceived attributes of that object. The totality

of beliefs serves as an information base in the development of attitudes.

An attitude toward some object is an evaluation of the attributes of

that object. Therefore, an attitude by definition encompasses either

positive or negative feelings toward the object. Behavioral intentions

are simply the individual's intention to perform behaviors with respect










to an object. Behavioral intentions are expected to be directly related

to behavior, while beliefs and attitudes are at best indirect determi-

nants. Fishbein and Ajzen conceive the relationships among these con-

cepts as a causal path where beliefs lead to a general attitude that

results in a certain behavioral intention which precedes the actual

behavior.

One of the main arguments of Fishbein and Ajzen is that an attitude

is only a general predisposition that does not correspond to specific

behaviors but only leads to certain intentions. It should be noted that

intentions and behaviors are only specifically related. That is, some

generalized intention will not necessarily be related to specific behav-

iors. Fishbein and Ajzen explicitly allow for social and other external

influences in their model only through the specification of normative

beliefs concerning a behavior. These normative beliefs result in sub-

jective norms concerning behavior that, in turn, partly determine be-

havioral intentions. The other direct determinant of behavioral inten-

tions is attitude toward the performance of the behavior.

It is apparent that the expected age of retirement is a behavioral

intention while the actual age of retirement is the specific behavior

of interest. In this discussion, therefore, the focus is on Fishbein

and Ajzen's formulation of the relation between intention and behavior.

First, as noted above, the intention and the behavior must be at the

same level of specificity. Second, the intentions and behaviors, if

they involve a single act (e.g., the act of retirement), consist of

four elements: 1) the behavior itself, 2) the target of the behavior,

3) the situation in which the behavior occurs and 4) the time interval

between the two. The third and fourth elements are especially important










in the strength of the relationship between intention and behavior.

According to Fishbein and Ajzen, there should be a high correlation

between an intention and a behavior if three conditions exist. First,

intention and behavior must correspond in level of specificity; second,

the intention should be relatively stable over time; and third, the

carrying out of the intention should be under the person's control. The

expected and actual age of retirement are at the same level of specificity.

The conditions of stability of intention and degree of individual control

over behavior are problematic however. This is where the psychologists

must allow for outside influences in their model.

The stability of an intention is closely related to the amount of

time between the measurement of the intention and the actual behavior.

"The longer the time interval between measurement of intention and ob-

servation of behavior, the greater the probability that the individual

may obtain new information or that certain events will occur which will

change his intention" (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975:370). The way that

Fishbein and Ajzen handle this "problem" is to greatly restrict the

time interval between statement of intention and the actual behavior

through experimental or quasi-experimental designs.

The degree to which an individual has the ability to carry out

intentions is always problematic. This is bound to be even more true

in natural settings than in experimental situations. In the case of

the timing of retirement, some individuals will have a large degree of

control over their timing of retirement while others will have little

or no control.

For sociologists it is the external influences, especially social

and social psychological factors, that are of greatest interest. Some










sociologists have pursued this matter and formed an approach to the

attitude-behavior relationship that differs from Fishbein and Ajzen's

approach.

Much of the impetus for looking at other factors that may be in-

volved in behavior was provided by research on racial attitudes and

actions. DeFleur and Westie (1958) were one of the first to pursue

this and found that most of the discrepancy between what was stated

(liberal attitudes) and later behavior (refusal to engage in integrated

activities) was the result of constraints by reference groups or the

family of the respondents. Fendrich (1967) carried out an experimental

design on racial attitudes, degree of commitment, and behavior. He

found that the situational context of the measurement of attitudes and

behaviors is very important. The situation of an interviewer asking

hypothetical questions is much different from actual situations that

demand an action of some kind.

Warner and DeFleur (1969) present the postulate of contingent

consistency as a framework for attitude-behavior research. This postulate

simply states that intervening variables that modify the relationship be-

tween attitudes (or intentions) and behavior must be taken into account.

In general, this means that the attitudes or intentions of an individual

are only one factor from among a larger set of factors which play a

part in determining the individual's behavior. These intervening fac-

tors are not necessarily occurrences within the period of time between

measurement of attitude or intention and behavior; such influences as

peer or reference groups may have existed before the measurement of the

attitude, but their influence is only exhibited when the action is to

occur.










Acock and DeFleur (1972) tested the contingent consistency approach

with data on student's attitudes and behavior toward marijuana. In

analyzing the "behavior" of voting for or against legalization of mari-

juana among college students, the researchers found that perceived

family and peer group support for legalization of marijuana was very

important in whether the student voted "yes" or "no." In this particular

example, it is easy to see how such influences could be included under

the "normative beliefs" factor in Fishbein and Ajzen's model. However,

because Fishbein and Ajzen allow for only an indirect effect of norms

and group pressure on behavior, this effect would be underestimated in

their model.

Two sociologists, Albrecht and Carpenter (1976), tested much of

Fishbein and Ajzen's model with the same data that Acock and DeFleur

used above. For the most part, Albrecht and Carpenter support Fishbein

and Ajzen's model, especially the specification of intentions as con-

ceptually distinct from attitude. They warn that the very short inter-

val between measurement of intention and behavior may lead to an un-

realistically high correlation between the two. In most of the

experimental designs, the lapse of time is a number of weeks. This

not only greatly restricts the amount of change in external influences

that may occur but also may cause greater reactivity effects, especially

in non-natural settings. A person who self-reports a behavior that is

directly related to a question on the intention to perform that behavior

asked only a few weeks earlier, is not likely to give a contradictory

report.

There have been a number of sociological studies that test the re-

lation between an intention and later behavior, although the research did


1










not emanate from either of the above conceptual frameworks. Some of

these studies also looked at other factors that may be considered inter-

vening factors in the relationship between intention and behavior.

Bayer (1969) utilized panel data to analyze the relationship between

expected age and actual age of marriage. Bayer regressed actual age

on expected age, an aptitude measure, parental SES and respondent's

educational aspirations. Expected age was the best predictor but edu-

cational aspirations also had a significant effect. Gasson, Haller and

Sewell (1972) used panel data on high school students to test how edu-

cational and occupational aspirations predict future educational and

occupational attainment. Aspirations were significantly related to

attainment but parent's SES, significant other's aspirations and the

student's aptitude were equally important. Freedman et al. (1965) and

Bumpass and Westoff (1969) looked at expected and desired family size

among women and their later completed family size. There were moderate

correlations between the intended and the actual family size and it did

appear that some intervening changes, such as unemployment of the hus-

band, had an effect on behavior. All of these studies were from

surveys where the time interval was years. The correlations between

intention and behavior were smaller than in Fishbein and Ajzen's re-

search. These lower correlations may actually reflect a more realistic

social psychological process in which intentions to act in a certain

way and the actual action differ because the conditions under which

the two occur are different.

This research centers around the single act of retirement that

occurs at a specific time and in a social context. It is virtually

impossible to set up the experimental or quasi-experimental designs










that are most often used by social psychologists in this type of research

to investigate how intended age relates to actual age. -First, the time

reference is years instead of weeks. Second, although many people may

have some experience with minorities or with marijuana, there is little

"experience" with retirement until it actually occurs. As Tittle and

Hill (1967) point out, the degree of correspondence between attitude or

intention may depend to some degree on the extent that the behavior

constitutes action within the common range of experience. In the case

of retirement, this is usually not true. Because of the time lapse and

lack of experience with retirement, a very strong relationship between

the expected age and the actual age of retirement is not expected. Fish-

bein and Ajzen report correlations of .65 to .85 between intentions and

behaviors. Such high correlations between expected and actual age are

not likely, but some positive relation between these two measures is

expected.

The concepts of intention and behavior as derived from Fishbein and

Ajzen, the situational approach of Warner and DeFleur (and others), and

the model of the process of retirement by Atchley are combined to form

the conceptual model that will guide this research. A representation

of the conceptual approach is presented in Figure 1-2.

The constraining, job-related and social and psychological factors

shown in Figure 1-2 are aggregations of Atchley's more detailed model.

All of the specific factors or types of factors that might be important

in the process of retirement will be discussed in the literature review.

These external factors should directly affect the expected age of retire-

ment. The broken arrow between expected and actual age represents a

contingent relationship that may be large or small.




















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The constraining, job-related and social and psychological factors

are shown to influence the actual age, above and beyond their effect on

the expected age. A more appropriate way to think of these external

effects in the context of intention and behavior is that they explain

some of the difference between the expected and actual age.

The external factors may change between the measurement of expected

age and the time of retirement. Therefore, the influences of these ex-

ternal variables may be in the form of changes that the individual exper-

iences, such as worsening of health or change in occupation, that may

help to explain differences between the expected and actual age of re-

tirement. Retirement is, therefore, seen as a process of forming an

expected age of retirement and then of retiring at an age that may or

may not correspond to the expected age. The actual age will often be

different from the expected age since retirement is a dynamic process

where change in the relevant factors, and in the individual's evaluation

of them is likely to occur between the formation of the expected age and

the time of retirement.


Adjustment After Retirement

The process of retirement does not end with retirement itself. The

individual's life is almost certainly changed in a number of ways after

retirement and adjustment to retirement is an important issue. In this

research there is special interest in the relation of the discrepancy

between expected and actual age and certain consequences of retirement

such as lowered income to adjustment of retirees.

It is clear that the major issue in adjustment to retirement is the

individual's adjustment to the loss of a job. There are, of course,










other consequences of retirement such as lower income and lower levels

of social activity. These other consequences do not necessarily occur

and they are usually considered separate factors in the determination of

satisfaction or happiness with life after retirement. Three basic theo-

retical approaches in the field of social gerontology posit different

hypotheses concerning the effects of retirement and these will be

briefly reviewed.

Activity theory is the oldest theoretical approach in gerontology

and was given much impetus by Friedmann and Havighurst's (1954) volume

on work and retirement. In this approach, the job is considered to be

an important and central role for men. In order to adjust to the loss

of the work role, the person must find a substitute that will fill this

void. Therefore, other meaningful activities are necessary for success-

ful adjustment after retirement. In general, retirement is seen as

problematic from this perspective. Shanas (1972) reviewed much of the

retirement literature and concluded that for most retirees the loss of

job is not problematic and in fact most accommodate themselves well to

the loss of their job.

Disengagement theory (Cumming and Henry, 1961) may be considered in

opposition to activity theory. The originators of this theory hold that

retirement is one of the natural occurrences in the process of mutual

withdrawal of the individual and society from one another. This mutual

withdrawal is ultimately based in the biological deterioration that

occurs with age and ends with death. Loss of job is not seen as proble-

matic for the large majority of individuals. This approach is ahistorical

since retirement rarely occurred before this century in this country and

many people today never stop working until they die. Based on their










analysis of longitudinal data on retirees, Streib and Schneider (1971)

proposed a process of differential disengagement. According to these

researchers, disengagement, even from the work role, is neither neces-

sary nor irreversible. People can work part-time and some retirees do

re-enter the labor force. Furthermore, retirement does not necessarily

signal disengagement from other activities or roles, and in fact the

loss of the work role may increase the individual's engagement in

other areas of life.

Continuity theory (Neugarten and Havighurst, 1969; Atchley, 1972)

approaches loss of job in the context of social roles and personality

development over the life cycle. By the time people reach retirement

age their personality, interests, activities and "role set" are relatively

stable. The loss of job will usually be handled by redistributing the

time and energy spent in the job to other roles or activities the person

is involved in. This hypothesis contrasts with the activity theory

assertion that new roles and activities will have to be substituted.

For most people, retirement should not be a cause of maladjustment or

decreased happiness with life, although those persons for whom the job

was very important and who do not have other well-developed roles or

interests, retirement may be a negative experience. Atchley's (1976)

tentative theory of adjustment is a further elaboration of continuity

theory. Atchley proposes that central to the process of adjustment is

the importance of the job in the individual's hierarchy of personal goals.

If job-related goals were unachieved at the time of retirement, there may

be problems adjusting to retirement. The degree of maladjustment will

primarily depend on how important the job-related goals were in the

individual's hierarchy of personal goals. Atchley maintains that most










retirees reorganize their personal goals and drop the importance of a

job from this hierarchy.

Most research indicates that individuals are generally successful

in adjusting to the loss of a job (Atchley, 1976). However, some people

do have problems adjusting to retirement and the reasons for these prob-

lems are not clearly understood. Whether discrepancies between the ex-

pected and actual age of retirement have a negative impact on adjustment

to retirement is of specific interest in this research.

The theories reviewed above do not address the issue of how a dis-

crepancy between the expected and actual age of retirement may affect

adjustment. Atchley's tentative theory does suggest that earlier-than-

expected retirement may have a negative effect on adjustment if the in-

dividual has not achieved a work-related goal. In the Barfield and

Morgan (1969) study of auto workers, it was found that men who planned

to retire early and did so enjoyed retirement somewhat more than those

men who did not plan to retire so early but did. The earlier-than-

expected retirements were usually due to health problems. Price et al.

(1979) categorized a sample of retirees into four groups: "early volun-

tary" (ages 55-61), "early involuntary" (ages 55-61), "on-time voluntary"

(ages 62-65) and "on-time involuntary" (ages 62-65). Those categorized

as early involuntary retirees reported significantly lower satisfaction

with retirement than the other groups. The fact that their retirement

was involuntary suggests that they had to retire before they expected.

These results lead to the hypothesis that discrepancies between the ex-

pected and actual age, especially earlier-than-expected retirement, will

result in a more problematic adjustment to retirement.










Summary

The primary purpose of this research is to investigate differences

between the expected age and the actual age of retirement. This re-

search is important for two basic reasons. First, the degree of con-

sistency between the expected and actual age gives some indication of

how accurate individuals' plans some years before retirement are in

relation to the actual timing of retirement. In this context, the

analysis of differences in the expected and actual age may result in

the identification of factors that produce greater consistency in these

two ages. Such an analysis may indicate where planning for retirement

would be more helpful to individuals still in the labor force. Second,

the discrepancy between expected and actual age may have consequences

for adjustment in retirement. Whether such differences do have negative

consequences for individuals will be investigated. Other conditions of

retirement that may affect personal adjustment will also be investigated.

Using a detailed schema of the factors involved in the process of

retirement by Atchley (1979) and the conceptual approaches of Fishbein

and Ajzen (1975) and sociologists such as Warner and DeFleur (1969) in

the analysis of intentions and behavior, a conceptual model was developed

of the factors involved in the determination of the expected and actual

age of retirement and the discrepancy between the two. Because retire-

ment is not a "common occurrence" for most people and the time interval

between measurement of expected age and the time of retirement is years,

a high correlation between the expected and actual age is not likely,

although a positive relationship should exist. Personal characteristics

and situational influences should cause discrepancies between the expected










and actual age. Certain types of influences were posited to be important

in explaining the difference between the expected and actual age of re-

tirement.

The personal adjustment and satisfaction of persons after retirement

is a part of the process of retirement and some issues and basic theo-

retical approaches were discussed concerning adjustment. While activity

theory suggests that adjustment to loss of job is problematic, the dis-

engagement and continuity theories indicate that for the large majority

of persons the adjustment is successful. The continuity approach, and

to a lesser extent disengagement theory, are supported by empirical re-

search more than activity theory. Of interest in this research is one

particular aspect of the conditions of retirement: the effect of a

discrepancy between the expected and actual age on adjustment to retire-

ment. Other factors related to retirement, such as lowered income, are

of interest because of their possible effect on adjustment to retirement.

In order to specify the important factors in the timing of retirement,

the expected age of retirement and adjustment after retirement, previous

research in these areas will be reviewed in the following chapter.















CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE



In this chapter, the relevant literature on retirement timing, the

expected age of retirement and adjustment or satisfaction after retire-

ment is reviewed. From this review, the relevant variables for the

analysis of the expected and actual age of retirement and satisfaction

after retirement will be determined. In Chapter III, findings from

previous studies are used to develop hypotheses and models for the

analysis.



Timing of Retirement


There have been a number of studies that address the issue of the

timing of retirement. The discussion of the findings of these studies

is best organized by the types of factors enumerated by Walker and Price

(1974). The authors first discuss certain structural factors that may

affect general retirement patterns as well as individual retirement

decisions. Walker and Price then group individual factors into five

types: 1) health status, 2) financial considerations, 3) family status,

4) attitudes concerning work and present job and 5) attitudes and expec-

tations concerning retirement.










Structural Factors

Included under this general category are governmental and industry

retirement policies and programs, age structure, and inflation and un-

employment rates. Some of these factors do not vary across individuals

and, therefore, cannot explain individual variation. The age structure

impacts on general retirement patterns over time but is not applicable

to the study of individual variation in retirement age. The government

policy on social security benefits varies so little across individuals

that it is not likely to have any measurable effect on individual varia-

tion in retirement timing.

Mandatory retirement policies are applicable only to some groups

of workers and, therefore, may affect individual retirement decisions.

The proportion of workers who were covered by mandatory retirement rules,

before the recent amendment in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,

is estimated to be between 33 and 40 percent (Reno, 1972; Schulz, 1976).

There have been many polemical arguments against mandatory retirement,

including the argument that it forces workers out of the labor force

sooner than if they had no such restriction. This argument may be true

for some workers but mandatory retirement does not seem to affect most

workers. Schulz (1976) estimates that for a cohort of retired male

workers, only a total of 7 percent were unwillingly retired by mandatory

retirement policies and could not find another job. Using the data to

be analyzed in this research, Parnes et al. (1979) estimate that no more

than 3 percent of men who had retired in their sample of older workers

were forced out by mandatory retirement. Because the retirees in the

sample analyzed by Parnes were disproportionately young retirees, the

3 percent figure probably underestimates the true proportion of workers










affected by mandatory retirement rules. The empirical evidence seems

to indicate that mandatory retirement does not generally reduce the age

of retirement.

Coverage under private pension plans may also be considered a

"structural" factor that varies across individuals. In one of the most

extensive studies of retirement decisions, Barfield and Morgan (1969)

found that the availability of pension benefits at ages earlier than 65

induced many auto-workers to retire early. As briefly noted in the intro-

duction of this thesis, the reduction of ages at which workers can receive

private pension benefits has followed the reduction in the minimum age

that workers are eligible to receive social security. Quinn (1977) found

that eligibility for a private pension was significantly related to the

probability of early retirement among men aged 58 to 63 in the Social

Security Administration's Retirement History Study. Parnes et al. (1975)

report that eligibility for a private pension was positively related to

the probability of retirement for men under 65. It does appear that

pension coverage promotes earlier retirement, mainly because the receipt

of these pensions is usually available before age 65.

Walker and Price (1974) and Sheppard and Rix (1977) maintain that

inflation will delay retirement for some workers. Although rates of

inflation may vary by regional location, this effect would be basically

the same for a cohort of men approaching the retirement decision and,

therefore, cannot explain individual variation in retirement timing.

Also, the indexing of social security benefits may greatly reduce the

delaying effect of inflation on retirement patterns over time. Quinn

(1977) tested the effect of local unemployment rates on the probability

of early retirement and found it to be nonsignificant. Large-scale










layoffs in certain industries may result in earlier retirement of workers

in those industries (Atchley, 1976) but the overall effect of this occur-

rence on retirement timing has not been estimated.


Health Status

Health status is usually measured as the respondent's subjective

evaluation of his ability to work. Health status has generally been

found to be the strongest predictor of early retirement (Palmore, 1964;

Parnes et al., 1975; Bixby, 1976). There may be problems with a subjec-

tive measure of health status,however, especially when it is based on

retrospective reports. Such reports may be deceptive, or used as a

legitimatory device if the respondent feels that he must present an

excuse for retiring early (Pollman, 1971; Quinn, 1977).

Analyzing the 1969 data from the Social Security Administration's

Retirement History Study, Quinn (1977) found that poor health was the

most important predictor of retirement among men aged 58-63. However,

Quinn also found that there was a significant interaction between health

status and pension eligibility, indicating that men in poor health with

a pension were more likely to retire than men in poor health without a

pension. Other research indicates that those who retire for negative

reasons, such as poor health, are more likely to return to the labor

force than are those who retire for positive reasons, such as receipt

of a private pension or a desire to pursue leisure activities (Stagner,

1979; Price et al., 1979; Motley, 1978).


Financial Considerations

The consideration of finances in retirement, especially income, is

a very important factor in the decision of when to retire. This assumes










that the individual does not retire because of poor health or some other

limitation on labor force participation. Barfield and Morgan's (1969)

major conclusion was that financial factors are of primary importance

in the timing of retirement. These researchers found that the level of

expected retirement income, the receipt of a private pension, home

equity and expected income from assets were important in the decision

to retire before 65.

As mentioned previously, a number of other researchers have found

private pension coverage to be related to earlier retirement. Quinn

(1977) also found that estimated income from assets was positively related

to the probability of retirement for men aged 58-63. Parnes et al. (1975),

however, found no relationship between level of assets and the probability

of retirement for men under 65. Bixby's (1976) analysis of the Social

Security Retirement History data showed that mortgage on a home delays

retirement. Surprisingly, the earnings level of the most recent job

does not appear to be related to the timing of retirement (Barfield and

Morgan, 1969; Parnes et al., 1975; Bixby, 1976).


Family Status

The additional financial responsibilities that are often present

when the person is married and has dependents may delay retirement. In

his review of the literature, Sheppard (1976) concludes that married

males remain in the labor force longer. Palmore (1971) found that,

controlling for age, married men worked more weeks than nonmarried men.

Bixby (1976) and Parnes et al. (1975) did not find any relation between

marital status and the probability of retirement for men under 65. The

number of dependents appears to delay the age of retirement for men

(Barfield and Morgan, 1969; Quinn, 1977).










The effect of being married on the timing of retirement for men may

in part depend upon whether the wife also works. The proportion of women

in the labor force has increased dramatically in the last 30 years and

the effect of two-earner families will be increasingly important in the

timing of retirement for men and women. There has not been much empirical

research on this subject. Anderson, Clark and Johnson (1980) used the

Social Security Retirement History data to investigate the reciprocal

effects of husband's and wife's labor force participation. The authors

found that wife's participation in the labor force raised the probability

of the husband's participation, and likewise, the husband's labor force

participation raised the probability of wife's labor force participation.


Attitudes Toward Work

The attitudes of a worker toward his present job, toward work in

general and toward nonwork activities such as leisure and recreational

pursuits, may affect the decision of when to retire. The effect of

these attitudinal variables on the actual timing of retirement has been

tested less than other factors because a panel design is necessary.

Barfield and Morgan (1969) found that workers dissatisfied with

their job were not more likely to have retired early when controlling

for other factors. However, the analysis by Parnes et al. (1975) showed

a significant relation between job dissatisfaction and early retirement.

The strength of commitment to work was also found to have a significant

net effect on the probability of early retirement in the analysis by

Parnes et al. (1975). Barfield and Morgan (1969) found that more spe-

cific attitudes about conditions of the job, such as feelings toward

supervisor and the repetitiveness of the job, did not have significant










net effects on the decision to retire early. Quinn (1977) used objec-

tive measures of job autonomy and hazardous working conditions and found

that these factors were not significant in predicting probability of

retirement for men 58-63.

The occupation of the worker has been found by some researchers to

be important in the timing of retirement. The effect of occupation may

often be linked to specific characteristics or consequences of the type

of work involved. For example, workers in lower skill jobs retire at

earlier ages, but this appears to be due to health limitations that are

the result of the kind of work performed. Some high status workers, such

as professionals, may have the financial means to retire early which is

due to higher lifetime earnings that result in greater wealth. Using

weeks out of the labor force as a measure of retirement, Palmore (1971)

found that those in higher status occupations retired later than other

workers. This effect may be due to the greater availability of part-

time work in many upper status occupations. Rubin (1973) analyzed those

persons receiving late entitlement to social security benefits (age 66

or later) and found that persons in lower skill occupations without pri-

vate pension coverage were overrepresented. White collar workers and

professionals were underrepresented in this group, probably because

they continued working full or part-time. Using a nine-category occupa-

tional classification, Bixby (1976) found that those in blue collar

occupations were more likely to have retired early than those in other

occupational groups. Reno (1971) found that those retiring at 65

tended to be in skilled blue collar or lower white collar occupations

and were covered by compulsory retirement and private pension plans.

In general, when controlling for factors such as health and private










pension coverage, there may be no differences in retirement timing

among occupational groups. The exception may be upper-status workers

such as professionals and businessmen who continue working at later ages.


Attitudes Toward Retirement

Atchley (1979) and Walker and Price (1974) maintain that those more

favorable to retirement will retire at earlier ages. As with attitudes

toward work, there has been relatively little empirical research on the

effects of attitudes toward retirement on the timing of retirement be-

cause of the necessity of a panel design. Bixby (1976) used general

attitude toward retirement in 1969 in her analysis of retirement over

the period 1969-1973. Those more positive towards retirement were found

to be significantly more likely to retire than those less favorable to

retirement. Barfield and Morgan (1969) did not have a direct measure of

attitudes toward retirement but did measure leisure and activity plans

after retirement. When controlling for other factors, those men plan-

ning to engage in hobbies or in charitable work of some kind were not

more likely to have retired early. It seems reasonable that persons

who view retirement favorably are more likely to retire at earlier ages

but further research is necessary to determine how important such an

attitude is in the decision of when to retire.

In summary, it appears that health status is the major determinant

of the age of retirement. Financial considerations such as the receipt

of a private pension and other unearned income are important in the tim-

ing of retirement. Family status may be important in the decision of

when to retire. The effects of attitudes toward work, toward the specific

job and toward retirement on retirement timing may be important but ad-

ditional longitudinal research is needed in these areas.










Expected Age of Retirement


Those factors that best explain the age of retirement, health and

financial status, are also important in explaining differences in the

expected age of retirement. Because of this complementarity, separate

sections on types of factors will not be used here.

Poor health does appear to result in younger expected or planned

ages of retirement (Barfield and Morgan, 1969; Barfield, 1970). Ekerdt's

(1979) analysis of preferred age, which is highly correlated with expected

age, showed that health status was related to the preferred age.

In the Barfield and Morgan (1969) study, financial factors were

important in the planned age of retirement. The level of expected retire-

ment income, the receipt of a private pension and assets were all related

to planning early retirement. Ekerdt (1979) also found that retirement

finances were related to the preferred age of retirement. In a later

survey, Barfield and Morgan (1978) report that pension eligibility re-

sulted in lower planned ages of retirement. In this later survey,

Barfield and Morgan also found that having mortgage payments resulted

in later planned ages.

The level of job satisfaction was found to be related to the expec-

tation of retiring before age 65 in the Barfield and Morgan study (1969).

Rose and Mogey (1972), however, did not find a significant net effect of

job satisfaction on the preferred age of retirement. Negative attitudes

toward present job and toward work were found to significantly reduce

the preferred age by Ekerdt (1979). In his analysis of the preferred

age, Ekerdt also found that workers looking forward to leisure activities

tended to prefer younger ages of retirement.










Rose and Mogey (1972) found both education level and occupational

status to be positively related to the preferred age of retirement.

Goudy, Powers, Keith and Reger (1980) found self-employed professionals

to have the highest mean age for "best age of retirement," with other

professionals and proprietors slightly lower and blue collar workers

with the lowest mean age. The authors also found that best age of re-

tirement was related to an "avoidance of retirement" scale, indicating

negative attitudes toward retirement lead to higher preferred ages of

retirement. Neither Rose and Mogey (1972) nor Goudy et al. (1980) take

into account coverage under mandatory retirement plans, which may reduce

the expected or preferred age of retirement.

One of the most important predictors of expected or preferred age

of retirement is age. Barfield and Morgan (1978) report that the "50-54"

and "55-59" cohorts were most likely to plan to retire early, while the

"60-64" cohort and cohorts under 50 had somewhat higher planned ages.

Because of this nonlinear relationship, Barfield and Morgan maintain

that this difference is a cohort effect and not due to aging. Rose and

Mogey (1972) also analyzed cross-sectional data and found that age was

positively related to preferred age. These authors explain this find-

ing primarily in terms of an aging effect wherein workers getting closer

to retirement delay the preferred age of retirement. Ekerdt, Bosse and

Mogey (1980) analyzed panel data and show that as individuals age, they

tend to change toward later preferred ages. Barb's (1977) analysis of a

panel of Iowa men also indicates that as respondents age, the'direction

of change in preferred age tends to be toward later ages. There prob-

ably are some differences among cohorts in the expected or preferred

age, just as there have been differences in the age of retirement among










cohorts. However, most of the difference found to exist between cohorts

in the expected or preferred age appears to be due to aging.

The relatively sparse research on the expected age of retirement

generally shows the same types of factors that are important in the tim-

ing of retirement are also important in the determination of the expected

age of retirement. In analyzing the expected and the actual age, the

same predictors will be used. It is clear that cohort must be taken into

account in the analysis of the expected age of retirement.



Adjustment to Retirement


Part of the retirement process entails what happens to the person

after retirement. One of the major interests in gerontological research

has been the study of factors that are important in determining adjust-

ment to retirement. In this research, investigation of the retirement

process is extended to include the analysis of adjustment to retirement.

The two primary questions in this analysis are whether differences exist

in the satisfaction or happiness of retirees and workers; and among re-

tirees, whether discrepancies between the actual and expected age affect

adjustment.

The review of previous research will begin with a discussion of the

effect of retirement on life satisfaction. Factors related to the satis-

faction or happiness of older people will be reviewed in the following

areas: 1) health status, 2) financial status, 3) social and demographic

characteristics, 4) social interaction and 5) psychological correlates.










Retirement and Life Satisfaction

Perhaps the most often studied aspect of retirement is the satisfac-

tion or happiness with life after retirement. The major issue in this

area has been whether the loss of the work role results in lowered satis-

faction. In one of the first longitudinal studies of retirement, Thompson,

Streib and Kosa (1960) investigated the impact of retirement on life sat-

isfaction. Using life satisfaction scores on respondents when all were

in the labor force and their scores years later when some of the respon-

dents had retired and others were still working, the authors found that

retirees did have somewhat lower scores. The authors analyzed this dif-

ference between retirees and workers by looking at a number of other

factors besides employment status. Lower income and poor health as well

as pre-retirement attitudes were found to affect life satisfaction, and

when one or more of these factors were controlled, no significant differ-

ence between workers and retirees was found.

Using cross-sectional data, Edwards and Klemmack (1973) did not find

any significant differences in satisfaction with life between retirees

and workers when controlling for other factors. Palmore and Luikart

(1972) also used cross-sectional data and did find that employed persons

were more satisfied with their life than retirees, although this differ-

ence was small. In general, the traditional hypothesis that the loss

of the work role itself is harmful to psychological well-being has been

discounted. The issue has not been settled however, and in this research

the possible effect of the loss of the work role will be tested.










Health Status

The research reviewed in the section on timing of retirement indi-

cates that health may be the most important determinant of age of re-

tirement. Health status also appears to be the most consistent and

strongest predictor of satisfaction or happiness with life (Barfield

and Morgan, 1978; Chatfield, 1977; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Bultena

and Oyler, 1971; Medley, 1976; Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Sauer, 1977;

Spreitzer and Snyder, 1974). It is no surprise that health is very

important since health problems can restrict the activities of a person

as well as affecting how they feel.

Palmore and Luikart (1972) were able to compare the effects of sub-

jective health status, which is the usual measure of health status, with

physicians' ratings of the respondent's health. The authors found that

subjective health status was more strongly related to life satisfaction

than ratings of the physicians. This seems to indicate that it is how

people feel about their health as opposed to their actual health condi-

tion that impinges on overall satisfaction.


Financial Status

The standard of living has generally been recognized as important

in the enjoyment of life and psychological well-being of people in all

age groups. Income has been found to have a significant positive effect

on satisfaction, although the size of this effect varies by study (Bar-

field and Morgan, 1978; Elwell and Maltbie-Crannel, 1981; Edwards and

Klemmack, 1973; Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Hutchinson, 1975; Spreitzer

and Snyder, 1974).










The relative level of income may be important for satisfaction

after retirement. Streib and Schneider (1971) show that the reduction

in income after retirement was a major factor in the reduction of life

satisfaction. Barfield (1970) reports that the ratio of retirement income

to pre-retirement income was positively related to satisfaction among

auto workers. In a national probability sample, Barfield and Morgan

(1978) did not find the ratio of retirement income to pre-retirement

income to have an effect on satisfaction, net of present income level.

Tissue (1970) found that middle-class elderly who had fallen into poverty

(defined by eligibility for old age assistance) were significantly less

satisfied with their life than were working-class persons who were also

poor. It may be that only steep drops in level of income produce a

lowering of satisfaction with life.


Social and Demographic Characteristics

Occupational status has often been found to have a positive effect

on life satisfaction or morale, even among retirees (George and Maddox,

1977; Alston and Dudley, 1973). Edwards and Klemmack (1973) found a

significant effect for occupation even when controlling for income. Edu-

cation level usually does not have its expected positive effect (Spreitzer

and Snyder, 1974; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Elwell and Maltbie-Crannel,

1981). In fact, George and Maddox (1977) found a slight negative effect

for education when controlling for occupation.

The loss of a spouse, either through death or divorce, appears to

have a detrimental effect on satisfaction or morale. Married persons

have been found to be more satisfied by some researchers (Hutchinson,

1975; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; George and Maddox, 1977). However,










other researchers have not found any significant difference between

married and nonmarried persons (Barfield and Morgan, 1978; Palmore and

Luikart, 1972). These differences in results may be due to fluctuations

in the distributions of the types of nonmarried persons. Those who are

widowed may be less happy than those who are divorced or separated, who

in turn may be less happy than never-married persons. Because these

types of marital statuses may constitute different proportions of the

general "nonmarried" category, the specific statuses should be used

whenever possible.

Two factors that do not appear to have any effect on life satisfac-

tion among older people are age (Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Spreitzer

and Snyder, 1974) and sex (Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Hutchinson, 1975;

Palmore and Luikart, 1972). Spreitzer and Snyder (1974) did not find

significant differences in satisfaction between blacks and whites;

however, Sauer's (1977) analysis by race of lower-class elderly in

Philadelphia did uncover different predictors of satisfaction for blacks

and whites.


Social Interaction

The degree and type of interaction with others have been regarded

as important factors in the satisfaction or happiness of older persons.

Most social interaction variables have been found at one time or another

to be significant predictors of satisfaction or happiness. Edwards and

Klemmack (1973) found that frequency of interaction with neighbors, fre-

quency of phone contacts with friends and relatives, and the number of

friendly neighbors all increased life satisfaction. These researchers

also report that participation in formal organizations, frequency of










contact with non-nuclear kin and the frequency of contact with offspring

not in the home had no effect on satisfaction. Spreitzer and Snyder

(1974) report that church attendance had no effect on satisfaction.

Palmore and Luikart (1972) report that the number of social activities

was a positive predictor of life satisfaction and also report that par-

ticipation in formal organizations increased the level of satisfaction,

a finding that contrasts with Edwards and Klemmack. Bultena and Oyler

(1971) found that greater social interaction was positively related to

satisfaction but the general measure of interaction used by Conner and

Powers (1975) was not significant. Elwell and Maltbie-Crannel (1981)

report that the degree of informal socializing and the participation in

formal organizations increases the level of satisfaction while family

interaction does not. The inconsistency in the above findings may be

due to differences in the measures used.


Psychological Correlates

In a review of the literature on correlates of life satisfaction,

Adams (1971) reports that the self-identidication as old by the elderly

is related to lower levels of satisfaction. Adams also finds that feel-

ings of inadequacy by older men and feelings of rejection by older women

are generally correlated with lower satisfaction. In the social-

psychological sphere, Adams reports that most research has found that

the "contraction of life space" leads to lower satisfaction. This lat-

ter finding is in direct contrast to the disengagement hypothesis of

Cumming and Henry (1961) who argued that disengagement, which includes

contraction of life space, is part of the normal process of growing old

and does not result in lowered happiness or satisfaction with life. One










psychological variable that Palmore and Luikart (1972) found to be sig-

nificant in predicting life satisfaction was internal-external locus

of control. This is a measure of the extent to which an individual

believes he has control over his own life. Those who did believe that

they have a great deal of control over their own lives (inner-directed)

were significantly more satisfied.

In summary, subjective health status is the most important determin-

ant of satisfaction with life. One aspect of this relationship that has

apparently not been tested is the effect of length of present health con-

dition on present satisfaction. It may be that those persons who have

chronic conditions or impairments for a number of years come to accept

and cope with such conditions and, therefore, are relatively more sat-

isfied than persons who have recently undergone a worsening of their

health. The standard of living appears to be important in the satisfac-

tion or happiness of older people. Occupational status appears to be

positively related to satisfaction while education and age and sex do

not seem to have an effect on levels of satisfaction. The impact of

retirement appears to work primarily through health status and income

levels, and there is not much empirical evidence to support the "role

loss" hypothesis concerning retirement. Marital status may have an

effect on satisfaction but more specific categories are needed to ade-

quately assess the impact of widowhood and divorce. Although inter-

action with others does seem to play a part in personal satisfaction

with fife, it is certainly not clear from the research which types of

social interaction make a difference in levels of satisfaction. One

factor that has not been previously tested is the effect of the







41


discrepancy between the expected and the actual age of retirement. As

stated in the previous chapter, it is expected that the larger the dis-

crepancy, especially negative discrepancies, the lower the level of

satisfaction or happiness. The specific relationships to be tested

in this research are stated in the following chapter.















CHAPTER III
DATA, MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES AND
METHODS OF ANALYSIS



In this chapter, the data to be analyzed will be described; methodo-

logical considerations will be discussed; the measurement of variables

will be enumerated; and the statistical methods of analysis will be pre-

sented.



Data


The data to be utilized in this research are from the National

Longitudinal Surveys of Mature Men, aged 45-59 in 1966. These longitu-

dinal surveys have been designed by Ohio State University for the Depart-

ment of Labor which commissioned the surveys (see Parnes et al., 1979).

The interviewing has been conducted by the Census Bureau. This national

probability sample is stratified by race in order to insure adequate

numbers of blacks for analysis. Thirty percent of the sample is black.

The data cover a period of ten years, 1966-1976, in which respondents

were interviewed eight times. Five of these surveys were face-to-face

interviews (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1976). In 1968 a mail-out

questionnaire was used, while in 1973 and 1975 telephone interviews

were conducted. Because the 1968 questionnaire contains so little of

the necessary information for this analysis, it is not used here.










The original sample size of approximately 5,000 men in 1966 dropped

to slightly under 3,500 in 1976. Of the 1,500 who were lost, over half

died during this ten year interval. The refusal rate has always been

low; cumulatively over the ten years less than 14 percent of the original

sample refused or could not be located for two consecutive waves. The

interview status of the original respondents and the labor force status

of respondents interviewed in 1976 are shown in Table 3-1. The loss of

respondents, whether by death or refusal, could cause bias in the char-

acteristics of the respondents who remain in the study. However, it does

not appear that any substantial variations in attrition of men by racial,

occupational or income characteristics occurred. Parnes et al. state,

"It seems fair to conclude that attrition has not departed sufficiently

from a random pattern to constitute a serious problem" (1979:9).

The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) data contain information on

labor force participation, income and financial matters, family structure,

health, attitudes toward work, and other areas of an individual's life.

The data contain the necessary information on whether the respondent is

retired. The age of retirement was never ascertained in this data set

and, therefore, it must be estimated with the use of longitudinal infor-

mation for each individual.

The decision concerning whether the respondent is retired is condi-

tional on two responses. In every wave a question was asked concerning

the labor force status of respondent. One of the responses to this

question is "retired." In most waves, those persons who responded any-

thing other than retired for their labor force activity were asked,

"At what age do you expect to retire from a (your) regular job?" One

of the responses was "already retired." Most of those responding















TABLE 3-1
Distribution of Original Sample in 1966 by Interview Status


Status (1976) Frequency Percentage

Not-Interviewed
Deceased 841 16.7
Dropped-out 692 13.8

Interviewed
Retired in 1966 139 2.8
Retired 1967-1976 1,246 24.8
In labor force in 1976 2,102 41.9


TOTAL 5,020 100.0










"already retired" were "unable to work" in the labor force activity

variable. Very few men who were "working," "unemployed" or "looking

for work" in the labor force activity variable responded that they were

retired in the question on expected age of retirement. Those men who

were in the labor force but responded that they were "already retired"

on the expected age of retirement question are considered to be retired.

The large majority of men classified as retired were not in the labor

force.

The first step in determining age of retirement is determining the

year of retirement. For those retired in 1976, this involves "stepping

back" one wave at a time until the respondent can no longer be classified

as retired. For example, a man may be retired in the 1976 and 1975 waves

but not in the 1973 wave. For some respondents, determining the year and

month of retirement was facilitated by questions in 1976, 1971 and 1969

that asked the year and month the person last held a regular job. If the

year given was within the time period the person went from not being re-

tired to being retired, that information was used to specify the respon-

dent's age of retirement. For some respondents, there was no information

on last regular job; or their last reported regular job preceded the last

survey year in which they reported themselves as being in the labor force;

or they gave a year for their last job that was later than the first sur-

vey that they reported themselves as retired. Those respondents for whom

there was no information on last job held, or for whom last job held

preceded the last survey year in which they were officially still in the

labor force, the midpoint between the survey year in which they were not

retired and the survey year in which they first reported being retired,

was used as the estimated time of retirement. The midpoint between the










1973 and 1975 surveys is July, 1974; the midpoint between the 1971 and

1973 surveys is July, 1972; the midpoint between the 1969 and 1971 sur-

veys is July, 1970; and the midpoint between the 1967 and 1969 surveys

is July, 1968. The reason for specifying the month of July is that

interviewing took place between the months of June and September, with

most interviews completed in July. For those few men who reported that

the last year they held a regular job was after the year they first re-

ported being retired, a determination of whether this job was full-time

was made (35 or more hours per week and more than 26 weeks a year),

based on information from the next survey wave. If a man had retired,

gone back to work full-time, and retired again within the span of two

survey waves, the latter date of retirement (month and year of last reg-

ular job) was used. Once the month and year of retirement was determined,

the month and year of birth of the respondent was used to determine his

estimated age of retirement. Using this method, it is unlikely that the

error in estimation of age of retirement is more than one year.

Based on these decision rules, a total of 1,246 retirees were iden-

tified. Most of these men retired from a full-time job and had no labor

force experience after retirement. There were very few men who retired,

returned to the labor force, and retired again. Only 84 of the 1,246

retirees (6.7%) worked part-time (less than 35 hours per week or less

than 26 weeks per year) after they had retired from a full-time job.

Most of these 84 men worked fewer than 20 hours per week and fewer than

20 weeks out of the year. Therefore, almost all of the 1,246 men iden-

tified as retired were not working, and those who were working identified

themselves as retired.










Correction for Sample Bias


It is the purpose of this research to estimate parameters of differ-

ent models that should apply to all members of the age cohort who were

45-59 in 1966. However, if the sample of retirees is nonrandom, the co-

efficients obtained will confound structural parameters with the deter-

minants of the probability of sample selection since those who are retired

may be different in unmeasured ways from respondents who are observation-

ally the same (Rexroat, 1980). Because the analysis of differences in

expected and actual age of retirement splits the representative sample

of men in the NLS survey into those who have retired and those who have

not, it is very likely that this sample selection rule (retired vs. not-

retired) results in a group of retirees in which some have a "propensity

to retire" that may bias the estimated parameters. Heckman (1980) sug-

gests treating bias as a specification error in the estimation of coeffi-

cients. His approach will be used to correct for this problem among the

"subsamples" of retired and not-retired men.

To illustrate his approach, an equation is presented in which the

age of retirement is posited to be a function of a set of predictor var-

iables, as well as a disturbance term;

Y = x'B + e, (1)

where x is a vector of exogenous regressors and B is the vector of param-

eters attached to the x's, and e is the error term in which the usual

OLS restriction that

E(e) = 0 (2)

is assumed to be true.

Heckman (1980) argues that in the case where respondents are missing

on the dependent variable, there is the possibility that the conditional










mean of the error term is not zero and that this nonrandom distribution

may be related to the selection rule (retired only) that causes some

cases to be eliminated from the analysis. The actual form of the equa-

tion (1) may then be;

Y = x'B + (x + u), (3)

where x and u are two separate components of the disturbance e. u is the

random error term that is not correlated with any of the x's. x on the

other hand, is a component that involves the person's propensity to be

retired; that is, to be in the sample. The pertinent question is whether

this x is in any way related to the x's in the regression equation, there-

fore biasing the coefficients. Most researchers have assumed away this

possible effect, or qualified their findings by verbally announcing that

there may be some selection bias. Heckman argues that there will usually

be some relation between x and the x's, especially when the same type of

factors that affect the dependent variable are also related to the prob-

ability of sample inclusion. Therefore, the estimate of x is a measure

of certain unmeasured characteristics that bring the person into the

sample; in this case, bring them into retirement. Heckman asserts that

the estimation of a sample bias term that is included in the regressions

should control for the effects of unmeasured characteristics on the

parameters estimated for the independent variables.

The problem is thus changed from one of missing cases on the de-

pendent variable, which is nonresolvable, to one of a missing exogenous

variable, x, in the regression equation. Based on the assumptions de-

veloped above, the estimate for x is in fact an estimate of the covari-

ance of the errors in the equation that predicts sample selection and

the errors in the equation that predicts age of retirement (Fligstein

and Wolf, 1978).










Though most researchers who have used this technique have derived

A from a probit equation, it is also possible to obtain it from a logit

model. The parameter estimate of x is a function of the predicted

probability of sample inclusion; in this case, the predicted probabil-

ity of being retired. The predicted probability can be obtained from

a logit analysis. This probability of being retired can be expressed

as

Pr = Prob(Y = 1) = F(xB), (4)

where F(xB) is the cumulative distribution function describing the rela-

tionship of the probabilities to the exogenous variables (see Hanushek

and Jackson, 1977). The logistic distribution is defined as Pr
1
(l+X where the predicted cumulative probabilities range from 0 to 1
(l+e-x)
as xB ranges from -- to +m. The predicted probabilities can then be

standardized to the normal distribution by the following equation:
(Pir u)
S(Pi) = ir ( 5)

where Pir is the predicted probability of retirement for the ith individ-

ual, u is the overall mean of the predicted probability of inclusion and

o is the standard deviation. These standardized probabilities, which are

Z scores, are used to estimate the area under the standard normal distri-

bution which is to the left of the standardized probability, and is

denoted as T. The value for the ith individual is the denominator of

x. The numerator is the ordinate (height) of the standardized probability

on the standard normal distribution at SPir and is expressed as

1 *[-.5(SP )21
Vir= (1) e [-(SPir)2 (6)

where SPir is the standardized probability for the ith individual. As

Heckman indicates, X is the ratio of the ordinate to the tail area of










the standard normal distribution. The formula for the bias-correction

estimate is therefore,

V.ir
A- r (7)
T.
lr

The values of x are a monotone decreasing function of the probability of

sample selection. Large values of x indicate a greater degree of "biased-

ness" and, therefore, reflect a lower probability of sample inclusion.

An example is given in order to more clearly show how the x term

may correct for bias. Consider the relationship between the actual age

and the expected age of retirement, which are hypothesized to be positive-

ly correlated. Higher values of expected age should result in lower

probabilities of sample inclusion, and consequently higher values of X.

That is, persons who are not very likely to be retired, but nonetheless

are retired, have a high A. Those persons with a high unmeasured "pro-

pensity to retire" (high values of x) will usually be young retirees and,

therefore, a negative relationship between the age of retirement and the

bias-correction term should exist. Using the well-known formula for a

partial correlation controlling for a third variable (Agresti and Agresti,

1979), possible correlations are entered to show the results of the inter-

relations posited above, y is the age of retirement, x is the expected

age and v is the estimate of A.


r v- ryx(ryv)(rxv .30-(-.40)(.15) .40.
yx-v [(l-r2 )(-r2xv)] [(1-.16)(1-.05)]12
yv xv

The result indicates that if the "true" correlation between actual

age and expected age is .40, in a biased sample it will be reduced to .30

given the negative relationship between actual age and the bias-correction










term and the positive relationship between expected age and the bias-

correction term. This bias-correction term will be added to the basic

regression model (1) which can now be written as

(1.a) Y = x' + X + e.

This equation should control for the potential bias that is due to the

sample selection rule. The exogenous variables to be used in obtaining

the predicted probabilities will be enumerated later in the chapter.



Measurement of Variables


The variables to be used, and the way in which they are measured,

will be explained in this section. In the first section, the variables

related to the analysis of the actual and expected age of retirement are

presented in the context of the conceptual model presented in Chapter I.

In the second section, those variables related to the analysis of adjust-

ment to retirement are presented.


Factors in the Analysis of Expected and Actual Age of Retirement

The dependent variables, expected and actual age, are discussed

first. The important control of cohort is then briefly discussed. The

predictor variables are presented in the context of the three general

types of factors presented in the conceptual model in Chapter I; con-

straining, job-related and social and psychological factors.

Actual age of retirement. The construction of this variable is

discussed extensively earlier in the chapter. The age of retirement

ranges from 47 to 70, even though the upper age for men in this sample

is 69. This occurs because some of those men who were 59 in 1966 were










interviewed shortly before their 60th birthday and in 1976 were inter-

viewed shortly after their 70th birthday.

Expected age of retirement. This variable is based on the question,

"At what age do you expect to retire from a (your) regular job?" The

responses to this question include actual age estimates as well as "al-

ready retired," "never retire" and "don't know." This question was asked

in every wave and the responses in 1966 will be used to estimate the re-

lationship between the expected and the actual age of retirement. Those

men who were retired in 1966, approximately five percent of the original

sample, are deleted. Those responding "never retire" are, for some analy-

ses, assigned an expected age of retirement based on life expectancy by

age and race. The values of these expected ages for the "never retire"

group range from 74 to 78. Those who responded "don't know" are assigned

the modal age of 65. A six-category classification of expected age is

also utilized.

Cohort. This variable is defined as three distinct groups: ages

45-49, 50-54 and 55-59 in 1966. This variable is to be used as a control

since both the expected and actual age may differ across cohorts, as may

the relationships between the two dependent variables and predictor vari-

ables.

Constraint factors. The first type of influence on the expected and

actual age of retirement to be considered concerns factors that restrict

the continued labor force participation of men. There are two constraint

variables measured in this research: coverage under a mandatory retire-

ment policy and work-related health limitation.

1. Mandatory Retirement Policy. Most of the literature re-

garding mandatory ages of retirement is polemical and suggests that mandatory










ages reduce the age at which people retire. Schulz (1976) and others

have shown that earlier-than-preferred retirement is a relatively rare

occurrence since the large majority of men covered by such policies re-

tire before the mandatory age or voluntarily retire at that age. It is,

therefore, hypothesized that men covered by a mandatory retirement policy

will expect to retire at earlier ages. However, it is not expected that

men covered by such policies will retire at earlier ages than men not

covered. Respondents in the NLS panel were asked in a number of waves

if they were covered by a mandatory retirement policy at their present

job. This variable is defined as a dichotomy, covered/not-covered.

2. Work-Related Health Limitation. The ability to work is

perhaps the most crucial constraint factor. Previous research consis-

tently shows that men in poor health retire at earlier ages. The hypoth-

esis is that men in poor health will expect to retire at earlier ages and

will retire at earlier ages than healthy men. Health of respondent can

be consistently measured over the waves only as a dichotomy of health

limitation/no health limitation. This is because only the basic ques-

tions asking men if their health limited the amount or kind of work they

could do were asked in all of the surveys.

Job-related factors. The second general type of influence on the

expected and actual age consists of factors directly related to the job

the individual holds. There are three variables contained in this type:

occupation, pension eligibility and satisfaction with job.

1. Occupation. The kind of occupation an individual is em-

ployed in may affect both the expected and and the actual age of retire-

ment. The research literature indicates that higher status occupations,

such as professionals and businessmen, both expect to retire, and do










retire, at later ages. Also, farmers tend to have higher expected and

actual ages of retirement. Occupational status, measured by the Duncan

Socio-Economic Index, should be positively related to both the expected

and the actual age of retirement. An 11 category classification of

occupations will also be used to investigate specific occupational

groups, such as farmers.

2. Pension Eligibility. Barfield and Morgan's research (1969,

1978) indicate that men who will receive a private pension (other than

social security) expect to retire earlier, and do retire earlier, than

men who are not eligible for pensions. It is hypothesized then, that men

who are eligible for a private pension will expect to retire earlier and

will have younger ages of retirement than those men who are not eligible.

In the 1966 survey, the following question was asked, "Will you be eligible

for any retirement benefits, such as from personal plans, private employee,

government employee or military retirement plans?" If the man responded

that he was eligible for one or more pension benefits, he is considered

eligible. The amount of pension benefits may vary widely but there is

not adequate information on this aspect of receipt of pensions. There-

fore, this variable is defined as a dichotomy, eligible/not-eligible.

3. Job Satisfaction. Previous research indicates that men

who are dissatisfied with their job expect to retire at younger ages com-

pared to men satisfied with their job. The evidence on how job satisfac-

tion affects the age of retirement is less clear, but if any conclusions

were to be reached, it does appear that dissatisfaction with job may lead

to earlier retirement. In this research it is expected that dissatisfac-

tion with job will result in earlier expected and actual ages of retire-

ment. In all waves except the 1973 and 1975 surveys, the employed










respondents were asked about satisfaction with present job. This vari-

able will be defined as a dichotomy, satisfied/dissatisfied.

Social and psychological factors. The third type of influence con-

cerns those social and psychological factors that are not directly related

to the job of the individual but may have some impact on the expected and

actual age of retirement. This third area contains nine different vari-

ables: marital status, number of dependents, education level, wife's

labor force status, race, assets, mortgage debt, the Rotter scale of

internal-external locus of control and commitment to work.

1. Marital Status. There is some evidence that married men

remain in the labor force somewhat longer than men who are not married.

It is believed that the additional responsibility of a spouse tends to

keep men in the labor force longer. Therefore, married men should have

later expected and actual ages of retirement. In the NLS data, there are

five marital status categories: married, widowed, divorced, separated

and never married. For most analyses, all of these categories will be

used; however, in some cases a married/not currently married dichotomy

will be used.

2. Number of Dependents. Previous research shows that having

more dependents results in later expected ages and also delays the age of

retirement. Having the financial responsibility of dependents should

delay retirement and, therefore, it is hypothesized that number of de-

pendents will be positively related to the expected and actual age of

retirement. The number of dependents is defined as those persons whom

the respondent claims as dependents in addition to his wife. This infor-

mation was obtained in every survey.










3. Education. Those persons with more years of education

often have greater attachment to their work, such as professionals. This

attachment may result in later expected and actual ages of retirement.

The education variable is defined as number of years of school completed

by the respondent.

4. Wife's Labor Force Status. There has been very little re-

search on how the employment of the wife may affect the retirement expec-

tations or retirement timing of men. The recent research by Anderson et

al. (1980) indicates that labor force participation by the wife tends to

result in men remaining in the labor force longer. Therefore, it is

hypothesized that those men with working wives will expect to retire

later and actually retire at later ages than men whose wives do not work.

A question concerning the earnings of the respondent's wife was included

in all waves except 1973. The variable will be measured as a dichotomy,

working (reported earnings)/not-working (no reported earnings).

5. Race. Net of all other factors, it is doubtful that there

will be differences between blacks and whites in the expected age of re-

tirement. However, the greater employment instability of blacks and

possible discrimination against blacks in the labor market may produce

younger ages of retirement for this group.

6. Assets. There have only been a few studies that have in-

vestigated the effect of assets on retirement and this evidence is unclear.

Higher assets may lead to younger expected ages of retirement and also to

younger actual ages of retirement, but some analyses show no effect of

assets on retirement. The hypothesized relationship is that assets is

negatively related to both the expected and actual age of retirement.

Information on asset holdings was obtained in 1966, 1969, 1971 and 1976.










Assets are defined as the sum of savings, savings bonds, estimated market

value of stocks and bonds, business assets and the estimated value of

real estate other than home. Business debts and debt on real estate is

subtracted from this sum.

7. Mortgage. As with assets, there has been relatively little

research on the effect of mortgage debt on retirement. The few studies

reported in the literature review indicate that the existence of a mort-

gage does delay the expected and actual age and, therefore, a positive

relation among these variables should exist. Information on the amount

of mortgage on a home was obtained in 1966, 1969, 1971 and 1976. Those

respondents who do not own a home are coded 0.

8. Rotter Scale. One of the specific factors that Atchley

(1979) discusses in his model of the retirement process is "orientation

to planning." This orientation may be related to an inner- versus other-

directed personality where those persons who are inner-directed tend to

plan more than those who are other-directed. Because those who are

"planners" should be less likely to respond "never retire" or "don't know,"

they would tend to have lower expected ages of retirement. Although this

is less certain, those persons more inner-directed should also have younger

actual ages of retirement. The Rotter scale is an 11-item measure of an

individual's internal-external locus of control. This scale was developed

to measure the individual's perception of the amount of control he has

over his own life. Those who are more "internally located" should be

more likely to plan for retirement. This is only an indirect measure of

"orientation to planning," but is the closest measure to this concept

available in the NLS data set. This scale was not included in the

questionnaire until 1969, and was included again in the 1971 and 1976










surveys. The 1969 scores will be used in the analysis of expected and

actual age.

9. Commitment to Work. One of the social-psychological fac-

tors in Atchley's model is "strength of work ethic." This type of factor

measures the degree to which an individual believes in work for the in-

trinsic value of working. Those who have a strong work ethic should have

later expected and actual ages of retirement. In the 1966 survey, the

following question was asked: "If, by some chance, you were to get enough

money to live comfortably without working, do you think that you would

work anyway?" Those men who responded affirmatively are considered to

be committed to work and should expect to retire later and actually re-

tire at later ages than those men who would not continue working. This

variable is defined as a dichotomy, committed/not-committed.

It is believed that most of the important factors related to retire-

ment are measured in this research. One specific area, attitudes toward

retirement, cannot be sufficiently measured because no information on

these attitudes was obtained on a regular basis in the NLS data. The

expected age of retirement includes to some degree the preferred age of

retirement. However, the expected age primarily encompasses the realis-

tic plans of individuals and their consideration of restrictions and

opportunities regarding the timing of retirement. No claim is made

that the expected age of retirement is a measure of attitudes toward

retirement.


Factors in the Analysis of Adjustment to Retirement

The two measures of adjustment are discussed first. Independent

variables for the full sample contain factors that measure "quality of










life," status, social characteristics and psychological orientation,

which are measured for both retirees and those men still in the labor

force. Finally, a set of variables that are specific to the conditions

of retirement are presented.

Happiness with life. The first dependent variable is a global hap-

piness with life measure. The following question was asked of all re-

spondents in 1976: "Taking things altogether, would you say you're very

happy, somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy or very unhappy these days?"

This question is taken from Gurin, Veroff and Feld's (1960) study of

mental health in America.

This life happiness measure is not the same as life satisfaction,

although the two are conceptually related and are also highly correlated.

Happiness with life tends to reflect the individual's affect (feelings)

about his current state of affairs (George and Bearon, 1980). The use

of one item to measure how happy a person is with life is questioned by

some researchers but has been used quite frequently in previous research.

Lohman (1977) reports that correlations of a single life satisfaction

measure with six scales of satisfaction among older people were relatively

low. Although the global happiness item refers to present circumstances,

Robinson and Shaver (1973) report studies that show relatively high test-

retest correlations of single-item measures with up to two years separ-

ating the measurements. This indicates that the responses are not

usually subject to ups and downs in daily life. Spreitzer and Snyder

(1974) defend the validity of a single item because it is straightfor-

ward while the use of scales often assumes that certain components of

happiness or satisfaction are equally important to the individual in

determining overall happiness with life. The straightforward question,










such as the one used in this research, allows the individual to evaluate

his life in a wholistic manner. The happiness with life measure will be

defined as a dichotomy of happy/unhappy due to the skew towards the "very

happy" and "somewhat happy" responses.

Evaluation of retirement experience. The second measure of adjust-

ment to retirement is specific to the retirement experience. In the 1976

survey, all retirees were asked, "All in all, how does your life in retire-

ment compare with what you expected it to be? Is it much better, somewhat

better, about what you expected, somewhat worse or much worse?" This

question asks the respondent for a relative evaluation of his retirement

experience. In general, such an evaluation will probably be congruent

with an evaluation of retirement that refers only to present satisfaction.

This "relative evaluation of retirement" item is considered to be a useful

measure for the analysis of panel data because it is more relevant to cer-

tain conditions of retirement, such as earlier-than-expected retirement,

the level of earnings replacement and the worsening of health. Those men

who responded "much better" and "somewhat better" are considered to have

a "positive evaluation" of retirement, those men who responded "about

what expected" have a "neutral evaluation" of retirement, and those men

responding "somewhat worse" or "much worse" have a "negative evaluation"

of retirement. These three types of responses--positive, neutral and

negative--constitute the categories of the evaluation of retirement

measure.

Independent variables for full sample.

1. Health. The general health of the older person has been

shown to be the most important predictor of satisfaction or happiness

with life. Those men in better health should be more likely to be happy










with their life and also to have a positive evaluation of retirement. A

basic categorical contrast of men who report one or more health problems

in 1976 to those who do not report any health problems is used to meas-

ure overall health. This variable does not measure the degree of ill

health, such as whether a man is disabled, but it does differentiate

between healthy men and men who have some health problems.

2. Change in Health. Another important aspect of a person's

health is the relative state of health at the present time compared to

the past. This kind of factor has rarely been tested among older people,

but it is clearly important for personal happiness. A recent worsening

of health may depress an individual, even if his overall state of health

is relatively good. Also, improvements in health by persons who are un-

healthy may result in more positive evaluations of life, and of retire-

ment. In the 1976 survey, the following question was asked of all

respondents: "During the past three years, has your health condition

become better, worse or remained about the same?" These three responses

are used to measure the relative state of health of the respondents.

3. Family Income. Previous research shows that higher income

results in higher levels of satisfaction or happiness with life. There

should also be a positive relation between income and the evaluation of

retirement because higher income allows for a better standard of living

and the opportunity to engage in certain activities, such as travel, in

retirement. The measure of family income is for the year 1975 and in-

cludes all sources of income for members of the respondent's household.

For those persons who are missing on this variable, a regression equation

is used to predict family income.










4. Occupational Status. The research literature indicates

that occupational status or prestige is positively related to happiness

with life and this should also be true for the evaluation of retirement.

Upper status workers tend to have greater autonomy, tend to receive more

nonpecuniary rewards and to live and work in more appealing environments.

For those who are retired, higher occupational status reflects more con-

tacts in the community, a greater retention of work contacts, more partic-

ipation in voluntary organizations and a greater variety of leisure time

pursuits. The Duncan SEI measure of occupational status is used to meas-

ure this factor.

5. Education. Most of the previous research indicates that

education level, net of occupation, is not a significant predictor of

happiness with life. There is some evidence, however, that education is

positively related to happiness with life and it is hypothesized in this

research that higher education will result in a greater probability of

happiness with life and a greater probability of a positive evaluation

of retirement.

6. Labor Force Status. One of the main issues in the retire-

ment literature is whether the loss of job results in lowered satisfaction

and happiness with life. As noted in the literature review, most empirical

research does not support this hypothesis. The possible negative effect

of being retired on happiness with life will be tested in this research.

The variable is a dichotomous contrast, retired/not-retired.

7. Marital Status. There is some evidence that married men

are more happy with their lives than nonmarried men. Very often men who

are divorced, separated, widowed and never married are categorized together

into a nonmarried classification. Therefore, the cause of this difference










in the tendency to be happy is not clearly understood. It would be ex-

pected that for men, as for women, widowhood is the most negative of non-

married statuses. Furthermore, the recency of widowhood may also be

important in the adjustment of the individual. In the 1976 survey,

widowed men were asked the year in which they did become widowed and

this information will be used to separate long-term widowers (more than

two years) from recent widowers (two years or less). Therefore, four

categories of nonmarried men--divorced or separated, never married, long-

term widowers and recent widowers--will be contrasted with married men.

All four nonmarried groups should have lower probabilities of being

happy, with the recent widowers being most likely to be unhappy. The

effect of marital status on the evaluation of retirement will also be

tested, but this effect should be smaller and perhaps nonexistent.

8. Rotter Scale. The description of this psychological meas-

ure of internal-external locus of control was given in the previous sub-

section on social and psychological variables related to the expected

and actual age. Those men more inner-directed are expected to have a

higher probability of being happy with their life and also more likely

to have a positive evaluation of retirement.

9. Race. Most of the research on satisfaction or happiness

with life does not show differences between blacks and whites, net of

other factors. It is expected that blacks are more likely to be unhappy

with their life and to have a negative evaluation of retirement. This

is expected because of the generally more depressed living environment

for blacks and the restricted opportunities for social participation.










Retirement-specific factors.

1. Difference in Actual and Expected Age. The primary motiva-

tion for the analysis of the adjustment to retirement measures is to test

the effect of the discrepancy between the expected and actual age of re-

tirement. It has been hypothesized that those men who retire earlier

than they expected will have a "less successful" adjustment to retire-

ment than on-time retirees. Those men who retire later than their ex-

pected age may also have a less successful adjustment to retirement. In

terms of the specific dependent measures, those who retire "on-time"

should have a higher probability of being happy and also a greater proba-

bility of a positive evaluation of retirement. Three categories are

constructed to measure the difference in actual and expected age.

Earlier-than-expected retirees are those who retired more than two years

before their expected age; on-time retirees are those who retired within

two years, plus or minus, of their expected age; and later-than-expected

retirees are those who retired more than two years after their expected

age.

2. Years Retired. Some previous research indicates that ad-

justment to retirement may be less successful shortly after the time of

retirement. This adjustment period has been suggested to last about one

year (Streib and Schneider, 1971). It is hypothesized that number of

years retired will be positively related to both probability of being

happy and also a positive evaluation of retirement. This variable is

measured two ways: the interval-level measure of number of years since

retirement and the categorical contrast of retired one year or less to

retired more than one year.










3. Commitment to Work. Those men who are committed to work,

whether their retirement was voluntary or not, may have a less success-

ful adjustment to retirement. Therefore, it is hypothesized that those

men who were committed to work before retirement will have a lower proba-

bility of being happy with life and more likely to have a negative evalu-

ation of retirement. This variable is a dichotomy as defined in the

previous subsection on the expected and actual age of retirement.

4. Income-Replacement Ratio. There have been very few studies

that have data on pre-retirement income because panel data is necessary

for the accurate collection of this information. Results from the Cornell

panel study (Streib and Schneider, 1971) did indicate that the drop in

income after retirement tended to reduce the life satisfaction of re-

tirees. It is expected that the higher the replacement ratio, the higher

the probability of being happy with life and of evaluating the retirement

experience positively. This measure is calculated by using the family

income measure for 1975 as the post-retirement measure of income and

taking the average family income of retirees before the year of their

retirement. For those men who retired in 1967, the family income in 1965

and 1966 are averaged; while for later retirees, additional years (1968,

1970 and 1972) are also averaged. Family income before 1975 is normed

to 1975 dollars with the use of the Current Price Index (U.S. Bureau of

the Census, 1980) in order to control for changes in money income.



Methods of AnaTysis


In this section, the statistical methods of analysis are delineated.

A number of parametric statistical methods will be used in this research,

with most models being tested with OLS regression.










Bivariate Analyses

One of the theoretical questions in this research concerns the cor-

relation between a behavioral expectation (expected age of retirement)

and behavior (age of retirement). Bivariate regression is used to test

this relationship, because it allows for the introduction of the bias-

correction term (x). The regressions will be conducted with both the

interval and the categorical definitions of expected age. The regression

of actual age on the categories of expected age will allow for the test-

ing of nonlinearity in the effect of expected age on actual age and also

give some indication of the viability of the assigned ages for the "don't

know" and "never retire" groups.

Also of interest is the stability of expected age of retirement over

time. The stability of expected age primarily involves an analysis of

the association between 1966 response and 1976 response. In the bivari-

ate regression analysis, the assignment rules for the "don't know" and

"never retire" groups, which were explained earlier, are used. To further

investigate consistency over this ten-year period, a log-linear analysis

is also conducted. The six-category classification previously delineated

will be used for the analysis of expected age in 1966 and expected age

in 1976. Log-linear analysis allows one to test models of association

between two or more variables. An attempt is made to fit the observed

cell frequencies (fij) with the most parsimonious and theoretically

meaningful model. With two variables (expected age at time 1 and at

time 2) there are only two models that can be tested, short of a satur-

ated model where all cells are fit exactly. The model of independence

posits no relation between the two variables and may be expressed

In(mij) = u + x + X, (1)
1j i










where ln(mij) represents the natural log of the sample expected fre-

quency for the cell ij, u is the grand mean of the log m.., x is the

effect of being in the ith row and X. is the effect of being in the jth

column. The row and column effects are deviations of each row and column

total from the grand mean (u). No relationship between the row variable

(expected age in 1966) and the column variable (expected age in 1976) is

allowed. This model is not expected to fit the observed data.

The quasi-independence model is one that allows for association in

some particular cells but maintains independence between the row and

column variables in the remaining cells. This is accomplished by requir-

ing the "dependent cells" to be fit exactly (m.. = f..) and using an

iterative procedure to calculate expected frequencies for the independent

cells. The quasi-independence model is used to postulate dependence

along the main diagonal (i = j) and independence in the off-diagonal

cells (i f j). This model may fit the observed data if there is no

definite pattern of change in expected age (earlier or later ages) over

time. If this model does not fit, the standardized residuals can be

computed, i.e., (fij-mij)/mij to investigate where association among
*ij
the categories still exists.

OLS Analysis of Expected and Actual Retirement Age

OLS estimation techniques are used to test models of expected age

and actual age of retirement. The effects of the independent variables
on the expected and actual age are analyzed in terms of their tendency

to produce larger or smaller differences between the actual and expected

age.










The analysis begins with a prediction equation for the expected age

of retirement among the subsample of retired men. The full prediction

equation for the expected age is

ExpAge = a + bi MandRet + b2 HlthLimit + b3 Occup +

b4 PenEligib + bs JobSat + b6 Marital + b7 No.Dep's +

b8 Educ + b9 Wife'sLFS + blo Assets + b11 Mortgage +

b12 Rotter + bl3 WorkCmmt + b14 Race + Lambda. (2)

Interactions between race and other predictors, and between the mandatory

retirement variable and other predictors, will be estimated for the ex-

pected age. The analysis of the expected age of men who have retired

allows for the estimation of the effects of characteristics that are also

used in the analysis of the actual age. The effects of some variables

on the expected age may be different from their effects on the actual

age.

The prediction of the actual age of retirement will be used in con-

junction with the prediction of the expected age to ascertain the factors

that increase or decrease the difference between the expected age and

the actual age of retirement. The regression of actual age on expected

age produces a residual that is explained in part by the previous predic-

tors of expected age, net of the intercorrelation between expected age

and the other predictors. In this sense a causal path model is estimated

in which the effects of social and economic characteristics at an earlier

time on the age of retirement are measured through their effect on the

expected age of retirement, and their effect net of the expected age.

The prediction equation for the actual age of retirement is










Actual = a + bl ExpAge + b2 MandRet + b3 HlthLimit

+ b4 Occup + bs PenEligib + b6 JobSat + b7 Marital +

b8 No.Dep's + b9 Educ + blo Wife'sLFS + bll Assets +

bl2 Mortgage + b13 Rotter + b14 WorkCmmt + b15 Race

+ Lambda. (3)

The above prediction equation proposes that characteristics and

expectations and attitudes at one point in time influence behavior at a

later period. One of the most important questions in this research, both

theoretically and practically, is how changes in individual characteris-

tics or situations may produce differences between expectations and be-

havior. These intervening changes may in fact be more important than

the characteristics or situations of individuals at a previous time.

Therefore, a complete model must include change terms for some of the

predictor variables. The prediction equation for the full model will

be in the following form:

Actual = a + b, ExpAge + b2 .. + b15 Race +

b16A HlthLimit + b17A Occup + b18A Marital + b19A

No.Dep's + b20A Assets + b21A Mortgage + b22A

Wife'sLFS + Lambda. (4)

The x regressor term must be estimated for the subsamples of retired

and not-retired men. Logit estimation allows one to calculate the prob-

ability of sample inclusion based on a set of exogenous variables. The

logit equation for the prediction of retirement in 1976 is

log( Pr ) = a + bi Age + b2 MandRet + b3 HlthLimit

+ b4 Occup + b5 PenEligib + b6 JobSat + b7 Marital +

b8 No.Dep's + b9 Educ + blo Wife'sLFS + b1, Assets +

b12 Mortgage + b13 Rotter + b14 WorkCmmt + b15 Race +

b 6 ExpAge. (5)










The probability of remaining in the labor force will be calculated

in the same manner, with the same exogenous variables, but where "work-

ing" = 1.


Analysis of Adjustment Measures

Logit estimation will be used in the analysis of the happiness meas-

ure (happy-unhappy) that was previously discussed. The happiness with

life measure is defined as a dichotomy between "happy" and "unhappy."

The logit prediction equation for the full sample (retired and not-

retired), where "happy" = 1, is

log(T r-) = a + bI HlthProb + b2 HlthBttr + b3 HlthWrse

+ b4 FamInc + b5 Occup + b6 Educ + b7 LFS + b8 DivSep +

b9 LongWid + blo RecentWid + b11 Never + b12 Rotter +

b13 Race, (6)

where HlthBttr and HlthWrse represent the effects of change in health

versus no change, LFS is the dichotomy of retired/not-retired and the

four marital statuses are represented in contrast to married men. An

interaction model for retired and not-retired men will also be tested.

Among men who are retired, the analysis of the satisfaction measure

will include more exogenous variables that are specific to being retired.

The income replacement ratio variable, the categorical contrasts of the

discrepancy between the actual and expected age, the number of years in

retirement and commitment to work before retirement are the additional

variables. These variables will be added on to the model for the full-

sample given in equation (6).

The analysis of the subjective evaluation of the retirement experi-

ence is difficult because there are three categories, and though they are










ordered in their degree of "positiveness," interval-level measurement

cannot be assumed. The difference between a "worse than expected" re-

tirement experience and an "about what expected" retirement experience

is not necessarily the same difference as that between a "better than

expected" and an "about what expected" retirement experience. The way

such responses are analyzed is by logit contrasts. In these logits

the denominator (1-Pr) is always the neutral response of "about what

expected." The positive and negative responses are, in turn, contrasted

to the neutral response. Therefore, logit equations will be estimated

for the contrasts PI/P2 and P3/P2, where P1 = "positive evaluation,"

P2 = "neutral evaluation" and P3 = "negative evaluation." The same

predictors are used in the analysis of the evaluation of retirement

measure as for the analysis of the happiness measure.

For the analysis of the happiness with life and retirement experi-

ence variables in the subsample of retired men, it will be necessary to

control for possible sample bias with the use of a X regressor term.

In this case, it is necessary to estimate the probability of being

retired with the basic set of predictors used in the full-sample analy-

sis of the happiness measure. Family income is not included, however,

because it is partially a function of retirement. Adding the necessary

factor of age to the exogenous variables, the logit estimation equation

for the prediction of retirement in 1976 is,

log(lPr) = a + bl Age + b2 HlthProb + b3 HlthBttr

+ b4 HlthWrse + b5 Occup + b6 Educ + b7 DivSep +

b8 LongWid + bg RecentWid + blo Never + b11 Rotter

+ b12 Race.










The x term will then be estimated from the predicted probabilities of

inclusion and entered into the logit equations for the analysis of the

happiness and evaluation of retirement variables.



Summary


In this chapter, the hypothesized relationships among the variables

and how these variables are to be measured have been delineated. The

methodological difficulties in the use of a panel survey have been dis-

cussed and the resolutions of the major problems have been presented.

The statistical methods of analysis have also been outlined and show the

way in which the dynamic process of the movement from a certain expecta-

tion regarding the timing of retirement to the actual timing of retire-

ment, and the possible attitudinal response to this experience will be

evaluated. Although not all of the possibly relevant factors can be

taken into account in the foregoing analysis, it is felt that the models

proposed in this chapter address the central sociological issues of the

retirement process.















CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS OF EXPECTED AND ACTUAL AGE OF RETIREMENT



Introduction


The main issue considered in this research is the discrepancy between

the expected or planned age of retirement and the actual age of retire-

ment. As stated in Chapter I, this discrepancy is important for a number

of reasons. First, the strength of the association between the expected

age and the actual age of retirement gives some indication of how well

men are able to predict the age at which they retire. This may be con-

sidered an indirect indicator of the extent older men make plans for re-

tirement and are able to carry out such long-range plans. In a theoreti-

cal context, the relationship between expected age and actual age tests

the usefulness of behavioral intentions as predictors of actual behavior

over long periods of time. Another important reason for considering the

discrepancy between expected and actual age is the possible effect that

such a discrepancy might have on personal adjustment to retirement. This

issue will be addressed in the next chapter.

While some association is expected between the expected and actual

age, a relatively large discrepancy between the two may occur for many

men. The reasons for such discrepancies are the main focus of the fol-

lowing analysis. Frequent change in expected age may occur between first

measurement of the expected age and the time of retirement. The insta-

bility in expected age may be caused by those factors that have been










hypothesized to affect the relationship between the expected age and

the actual age. Instability in expected age may also reflect the uncer-

tainty and tentativeness of the responses of men in late-middle age.

That is, changes in expected age over time and much of the discrepancy

between expected and actual age may reflect a widespread lack of serious

planning for the timing of retirement among men approaching retirement

age. The analysis of the discrepancy between expected and actual age

centers on the issue of what factors and events influence whether men

retire at the age at which they expect to retire. Health is expected to

be a major factor in the degree of discrepancy between expected and actual

age. Of more interest from a sociological viewpoint are the effects of

social and social-psychological characteristics and the effects of changes

in these characteristics on the ability of men to retire at or near their

expected age.

This chapter addresses explicitly the issues discussed above. First,

summary descriptive statistics regarding the expected and actual age of

retirement will be presented. Second, the relation between expected and

actual age will be investigated through bivariate regressions. Third,

the stability of expected age over time will be analyzed by using the

responses of men who have not yet retired. Fourth, the expected age of

the retired men will be analyzed in order to discern the types of factors

most important in determining such a behavioral intention. Finally, the

discrepancy between the expected and actual age will be analyzed.










Prediction of Sample-Bias Term


The problem of sample bias was discussed in the preceding chapter

and a method was presented in which a "bias-correction" variable is esti-

mated (lambda). Sample bias may affect the observed relationship between

the expected age and the actual age of retirement as well as the relation-

ship between these two variables and the predictor variables. The first

step in the estimation of the bias-correction term is to obtain predicted

probabilities of retirement, or of remaining in the labor force, for

each individual. The LOGIST procedure in the SAS computer package is

used for this, as well as all other logit analyses. This procedure uses

a maximum likelihood procedure to fit the logistic multiple regression

model. The logit regression for the prediction of being retired in 1976

is presented in Table 4-1. A total of 16 exogenous variables that are

used in the following analysis are included in the logit equation. Nine

of the sixteen exogenous variables significantly reduce the chi-square

value for the model. The predicted proportional change presented in the

table is the percent increase or decrease in the probability of retire-

ment for a one-unit change in the exogenous variable when evaluated at

the predicted mean of the dependent variable. As with OLS coefficients,

the proportional change should be interpreted with caution because the

units of measurement for the exogenous variables are quite different.

Age, occupation, number of dependents, assets, mortgage, education,

Rotter scale and the expected age of retirement are all interval leval;

the remaining variables are dichotomous contrasts. Age produces the

largest reduction in the likelihood-ratio test statistic, which indicates

that it has the greatest effect on the probability of retirement. The











Logit Regression for


TABLE 4-1
Prediction of


Retirement, n = 3348


Pred. Proportional
Variable Logit S.E. Change in Yt


Age .288* .013 .060
Hlth Limit. 1.662* .094 .349
Occupation -.001 .002 -.0002
Job (Dis)Satisf. -.095 .176 -.020
Work Cmmt. -.378* .103 -.079
Marital Status .140 .126 .029
No. of Dep's. -.083 .047 -.017
Assets ($1,000) -.001 .001 -.0002
Mortg. ($1,000) -.007 .007 -.001
Mand. Retire. .284** .113 .060
Pen. Eligib. .576* .111 .121
Wife Works -.373* .106 -.078
Race .274** .112 .057
Expected Age -.047* .010 -.010
Education -.047* .015 -.010
Rotter Scale .005 .009 .001
Intercept -12.860


* Significant at .01 level.
**Significant at .05 level.
The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change
in the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous vari-
able. The proportional change varies depending upon where the dependent
variable is evaluated along the logistic distribution. For this equa-
tion the predicted proportional change is evaluated at the predicted
mean of the dependent variable, P = .301. The predicted mean is cal-
culated by the formula P = a + (bX71) + (b2Y2) + + j(bXY). The
equation for the predicted proportional change is b [P(1-P)T, where
bk is the logit coefficient for the kth exogenous variable.










existence of a work-related health limitation is also important in the

prediction of retirement.

The logit regression for the prediction of being in the labor force

in 1976 (not retired) produces the same logit coefficients as the pre-

diction of being retired but with opposite signs. The resulting lambda

estimates from the predicted probabilities for the two dependent vari-

ables are not perfectly negatively correlated however (r = -.927), since

lambda is not a linear function of the probabilities, but is in fact

curvilinear. The lambda estimate from the prediction of retirement is

used in the equations that involve the subsample of men who are retired.

In the analysis of the stability of expected age over time, the lambda

estimate obtained from the prediction of remaining in the labor force

is used.



Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual Age


The mean, standard deviation and range of the expected age and the

actual age of retirement as well as percentage distributions of expected

age are presented in Table 4-2. For the expected age the mean, standard

deviation and range are presented when the "don't know" and "never re-

tire" respondents are excluded. The "full group" includes the "don't

know" and "never retire" respondents. The "don't know" group is assigned

age 65. Members of the "never retire" group are assigned their life

expectancy based on age and race (Public Health Service, 1975). The

average age of retirement is much lower than the average expected age

in 1966 for those already retired; the mean difference is -4.66. When

the sample is separated by cohort, the average age of retirement varies

widely. Men aged 45-49 in 1966 have an average age of retirement of










TABLE 4-2
Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual
Retirement Age for Retired and Not-Retired Men


Subsample Mean Std. Min. Max.


Retired
Age of retirement (n=1246)
Expected age (1966)
full group (n=1246)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1059)
Exclude N.R.'s (n=1056)
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
(n=869)

Not-Retired
Expected age (1966) full
group (n=2102)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1720)
Exclude N.R.'s (n=1732)
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
(n=1350)
Expected age (1971)
full group (n=2057)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1794)
Exclude N.R.'s (n=1673)
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
(n=1410)
Expected age (1976)
full group (n=2084)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1640)
Exclude N.R.'s (n=1688)
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
(n=1244)
Percentage Distribution


61.00
65.66

65.78
63.83
63.57


66.00

66.22
64.14
63.89

65.86

65.98
63.80
63.58

66.29

66.64
64.26
63.99


3.83
5.14

5.57
2.95
3.19


4.99

5.50
3.19
3.58

5.14

5.49
3.05
3.27

4.96

5.54
2.84
3.27


of Categories of Expected Aqe


Retired
1966
Not-Retired
1966
1971
1976


<62

12.12


11.13
11.42
7.05


62-64

13.32


8.18
15.85
22.84


65

39.65


39.20
36.46
21.35


>65 N.R.

4.65 15.25


5.71
4.81
8.44


17.60
18.67
19.00


D.K.

15.00


18.17
12.79
21.30










54.9; the middle cohort exhibit an average age of 60.1, while the oldest

cohort of men aged 55-59 have an average retirement age of 63.5 years.

The three cohorts reflect three different types of retirees. The young-

est cohort represents very early retirees; the middle cohort usually

contains early retirees; and the oldest cohort has an average retirement

age that is closer to "normal" retirement ages. It is apparent that in

analyzing the discrepancy between the expected and actual age the effects

of the predictors will be interpreted as either increasing the negative

discrepancy between actual and expected age or reducing this negative

discrepancy.

The average expected age in 1966 of those who have retired and the

average expected age in 1966 of those who have not retired are only

slightly different. In the not-retired subsample there are only small

differences in the mean expected age over the years 1966, 1971 and 1976.

This indicates that there is not a strong tendency for the expected age

to increase as the cohort ages. In order to understand why the rise is

so small over the ten years, the expected age is grouped into six cate-

gories and the percentage distribution is compared across years.

At the bottom of Table 4-2, the percentage distribution of expected

age indicates that men who have retired had similar expectations in 1966

to those who did not retire. There is a larger proportion of retired men

who expected to retire between 62 and 64, whereas a slightly larger pro-

portion of men who have not retired respond that they never expect to

retire or don't know. Among those men who have not retired by 1976,

there are some definite shifts in the distribution of expected age over

time. The aging of the sample results in a lower proportion of respon-

dents expecting to retire before 62 in 1976 than in previous years, but










a much larger proportion expect to retire between 62 and 64. Somewhat

surprisingly there is also a large decrease in the proportion of men who

expect to retire at 65 in the 1976 survey. This trend away from the

"normal age" of 65 may indicate that those who are closer to the retire-

ment decision specify ages that are more realistic for them rather than

the "normal age." Movement away from age 65 may also indicate a waning

of the normal age itself and the tendency for younger or older ages to

be more acceptable for the individual and for society. However, the

larger proportion of "don't knows"in 1976 may indicate increasing un-

certainty with older age.



The Relationship Between Expected and Actual Age

The attitude-behavior approach to the analysis of individual behav-

ior predicts a relationship between intended behavior (expected age) and

behavior (actual age). The psychologists Fishbein and Ajzen (1975)

expect this relation to be a close one, because there is a high degree

of congruency in the operationalization of the two measures. Sociologists

such as Acock and DeFleur (1972) propose that such a relationship is

highly contingent on intervening situational or social factors. The

simple bivariate relationship between actual and expected age is used

as a descriptive indicator of the ability of individuals to predict

their age of retirement. The presence of a strong relation or the lack

of one may both be due to characteristics of the individual and changes

over time that cannot be planned. The analysis of these other inter-

vening factors will be considered later.










In Table 4-3, the OLS coefficients and the standardized coeffi-

cients are presented for the full sample of retired men and for various

subgroups of this sample. When all cohorts are grouped significant re-

lationships are found but the correlations are relatively small and

indicate a large discrepancy between expected and actual age. The

lambda term does alter the size of these coefficients slightly. The

age range of this sample is not only truncated to 15 years but also

results in a "young" sample of retirees. Age of retirement is highly

correlated with cohort (r = .76), and more importantly, the expected

age is correlated with cohort (r = .18). Because of the intercorrela-

tions of age, expected age and actual age, the analysis of the relation-

ship between expected and actual age by cohort results in nonsignificant

relationships within cohorts. The only exception to this is the oldest

cohort where the regression estimates become significant when those who

responded "never retire" are excluded. The strength of this relation-

ship is, however, relatively low. The general increase in correlation

between expected and actual age when the "don't knows" and "never retires"

are excluded indicates that the assigned ages for these two groups are

more discrepant from the actual age than the estimates of those individ-

uals who did specify an age.

To investigate why the assigned ages of the "don't know" and "never

retire" groups tend to reduce the positive relation between expected age

and actual age, the six-category classification of expected age is used

to predict the actual age. The results in Table 4-4 indicate that men

who expected to retire before 62 and between 62 and 64 do retire at

significantly younger ages than men who expect to retire at 65. It is

important to note that the mean ages of retirement are below the expected








TABLE 4-3
Regression of Actual Age on Expected Age
for Full Group and by Age Cohort


Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted
Cohort b b w/x r r w/x R2 w/X

All Ages
Full group .114* .133* .153 .178 .032
(n=1246) (.021) (.018)
Exclude D.K.'s .112* .131* .168 .196 .038
(n=1059) (.030) (.018)
Exclude N.R.'s .319* .289* .241 .219 .048
(n=1056) (.039) (.034)
Exclude D.K.'s & .341* .305* .288 .257 .066
N.R.'s (n=869) (.038) (.036)
45-49
Full group .039 .056 .083 .116 .013
(n=182) (.035) (.036)
Exclude D.K.'s .048 .063 .113 .144 .021
(n=150) (.035) (.036)
Exclude N.R.'s .017 .032 .029 .052 .003
(n=159) (.048) (.049)
Exclude D.K.'s .053 .062 .095 .109 .012
N.R.'s (n=127) (.050) (.050)
50-54
Full group -.001 -.012 -.001 -.021 .000
(n=452) (.026) (.026)
Exclude D.K.'s -.002 -.013 -.003 -.026 .001
(n=390) (.025) (.026)
Exclude N.R.'s .069 .055 .077 .060 .004
(n=389) (.045) (.045)
Exclude D.K.'s & .086 .072 .107 .088 .008
N.R.'s (n=327) (.044) (.045)
55-59
Full group .007 -.003 .016 -.008 .000
(n=612) (.018) (.018)
Exclude D.K.'s .008 -.004 .020 -.010 .000
(n=519) (.018) (.018)
Exclude N.R.'s .240* .228* .236 .223 .050
(n=508) (.044) (.044)
Exclude D.K.'s & .245* .231* .265 .247 .061
N.R.'s (n=415) (.044) (.044)
* Significant at .01 level.










TABLE 4-4
Regression of Actual Age on Categories of Expected Age


Adjusted Adjusted
Expected Age Mean Mean w/X b b w/A

<62 58.92 61.36 -2.76* -2.36*
(.347) (.301)
62-64 61.05 62.96 .63 .76*
(.335) (.290)
65t 61.68 63.72

>65 61.69 64.20 .01 .48
(.519) (.449)
N.R. 61.04 63.87 .64** .15
(.319) (.278)
D.K. 60.62 63.05 -1.06* .67**
(.321) (.278)
Adjusted R2 w/X .043

* Significant at .01 level.
** Significant at .05 level.
t The "65" group is the contrast category and, therefore,
represents the intercept.










age for all groups. Those who responded "don't know" in 1966 retire at

significantly younger ages than the "65" group, which explains why the

assigned age of 65 for this group tends to reduce the correlation between

expected and actual age. The greatest deviation from a linear relation-

ship is the group responding "never retire." Although this group could

not have retired at their assigned ages (72 to 78), it was possible that

they would retire at later ages than other respondents, but this does not

occur. For the OLS equations that analyze effects of other factors on

the relationship between expected and actual age, one or both of the

"don't know" and "never retire" groups will be excluded from the analysis.


The Stability of Expected Age Over Time


One of the reasons that there is a small or no relation between the

expected and actual age of retirement may be that individuals frequently

change their expected age. This might be in response to situational

changes, additional or more accurate information about retirement, or

some individual re-evaluation process that occurs with the passing of

time. This instability may also be due to the lack of planning, includ-

ing the absence of any clear idea of the probable age of retirement,

among many of the men in the sample. Bivariate regressions are used

to estimate the relationship between expected age at one time and ex-

pected age at a later time. The years 1966, 1971 and 1976 are used to

evaluate the stability of expected age. The number of persons with an

expected age is lower in 1976 (n = 2084) and 1971 (n = 2057) than in

1966 (n = 2102). The nonresponses in 1976 are apparently due to some

not-retired respondents who were not working at the time of the survey,









being "skipped over" on the expected age of retirement question. The non-

responses in 1971 occur for two reasons. First, some respondents were

retired in 1971 but later returned to the labor force. Second, some re-

spondents were not interviewed in 1971 but were interviewed in the later

waves. These differences in sample size are not large and should not

appreciably affect the size of the coefficients.

Table 4-5 presents the results of the bivariate regressions across

three time periods. The strength of the relationship over ten years is

shown to be relatively low. This correlation increases to a moderate

level (between .40 and .60) when the time interval is reduced to five

years. The exclusion of those responding "don't know" in either of the

years increases the correlation between expected and actual age, indi-

cating that those who are undecided at one time but specify an age at

another time usually do not respond "65." When those who respond "never

retire" are excluded it is found that the correlations remain about the

same over the ten year period and decrease in the five year intervals.

As with the analysis of the relation between expected and actual

age, the subsample of men who have not retired is split into three

cohorts. OLS estimates and Pearson correlations for expected age over

three time periods within the cohorts are shown in Table 4-6. In

general, the stability of expected age is greater in the younger co-

hort and least in the oldest cohort when the "don't know" and "never

retire" groups are included. This pattern is virtually reversed when

the "don't know" and "never retire" groups are excluded. The oldest

cohort appears to have the lowest correlation in the 1971-1976 period

which probably reflects the larger effect that aging has on this cohort

compared to the younger cohorts.









TABLE 4-5
Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected Age-1971
on Expected Age-1966 for Full Group and Selected Subsamples

Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted
Cohort b b w/X r r w/X R2 W/X

Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966
Full group .271* .277* .272 .278 .077
(n=2084) (.021) (.020)
Exclude all D.K.'s .375* .381* .366 .372 .138
(n=1378) (.026) (.024)
Exclude all N.R.'s .257* .258* .276 .278 .077
(n=1455) (.023) (.023)
Exclude all D.K.'s & .305* .305* .322 .322 .104
N.R.'s (n=939) (.029) (.029)

Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971
Full group .404* .378* .419 .388 .151
(n=2042) (.019) (.019)
Exclude all D.K.'s .558* .524* .541 .502 .252
(n=1455) (.023) (.022)
Exclude all N.R.'s .360* .346* .384 .368 .135
(n=1444) (.023) (.023)
Exclude all D.K.'s & .468* .452* .458 .441 .195
N.R.'s (n=1013) (.028) (.028)

Expected Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966
Full group .506* .510* .492 .496 .246
(n=2057) (.020) (.020)
Exclude all D.K.'s .584* .588* .584 .588 .346
(n=1535) (.021) (.020)
Exclude all N.R.'s .452* .452* .462 .462 .213
(n=1515) (.022) (.022)
Exclude all D.K.'s & .495* .494* .514 .513 .263
N.R.'s (n=1123) (.025) (.024)


* Significant at the


.01 level.









TABLE 4-6
Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected Age-1971
on Expected Age-1966 by Age Cohort

Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted
Age Cohort b b w/x r r w/X R2 w/X

Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966


45-49
Full group
(n=1120)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=569)
50-54
Full group
(n=716)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=317)
55-59
Full group
(n=248)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=53)


.245*
(.027)
.221*
(.035)

.152*
(.034)


.230*
(.027)
.216*
(.036)

.165*
(.035)


.190* .196*
(.048) (.049)

.114 .120
(.060) (.063)
.310* .307*
(.104) (.109)


Expected Age-1976 on Expected Aqe-1971


45-49
Full group
(n=1101)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=627)
50-54
Full group
(n=707)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=344)
55-59
Full group
(n=234)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=42)


.381*
(.026)
.366*
(.034)


.370*
(.026)
.361*
(.034)


.301* .306*
(.033) (.033)


.355*
(.052)


.361*
(.052)


.101 .101
(.060) (.061)
.386* .380*
(.133) (.137)


.264

.256


.166

.217


.121

.386


.242

.246


.174

.220


.121

.367


.058

.061


.030

.048


.015

.135


.406

.396


.329

.345


.110

.418


.392

.387


.331

.349


.109

.404


.153

.150


.110

.121


.012

.164









TABLE 4-6 continued


Expected Age-1971


on Expected Age-1966


45-49
Full group
(n=1103)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=648)
50-54
Full group
(n=713)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=398)
55-59
Full group
(n=241)
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=77)


.470*
(.026)
.442*
(.033)


.463*
(.027)
.435*
(.033)


.482* .486*
(.033) (.034)


.393*
(.041)

.365*
(.060)


.386*
(.041)

.389*
(.063)


.669* .659*
(.079) (.083)


* Significant at .01 level.


.472

.468


.482

.437


.364

.697


.453

.456


.470

.421


.369

.661


.206

.208


.221

.177


.136

.437










A log-linear analysis is conducted to analyze which specific cate-

gories of expected age tend to be more stable over time and where move-

ment between categories is most common. Because of the importance of

cohort, shown through the regressions in Table 4-6, cross-tabulations

of expected age-1966 by expected age-1976 are created for each cohort.

Table 4-7 presents the standardized residuals of the independence

and quasi-independence models for the three cohorts. The independence

model assumes no relation between the two variables and the quasi-

independence model allows for association along the main diagonal (i = j),

but assumes no association in the off-diagonal cells (i # j). For all

three cohorts the independence model is rejected, indicating some asso-

ciation between the categories of expected age over time. For the 45-49

cohort and 50-54 cohort, the quasi-independence model is also rejected,

indicating some association in the off-diagonal cells. No quasi-

independence model was tested for the oldest cohort, which is necessarily

a six by four table due to the aging of the cohort.

In the youngest cohort, the stability of expected age is greatest

at the two extremes of the categorical distribution; the "before 62" and

"never retire" groups. The standardized residuals for the quasi-

independence model are in parentheses under the residuals for the inde-

pendence model. Using the standardized residuals of the quasi-independence

model, it is clear that movement tends to be to adjacent categories and

is less common across two or more categories. In the 50-54 cohort there

is less association along the main diagonal than in the 45-49 cohort,

especially in the two youngest age categories; a finding that is due to

the aging of the cohort. In this middle cohort, the off-diagonal associ-

ation tends to be stronger in the adjacent categories as was found for




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DIFFERENCES IN EXPECTED AND ACTUAL
RETIREMENT AGE AMONG OLDER MEN
BY
SCOTT H. BECK
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1981

This dissertation is
lovingly dedicated to
my wife
Rubye.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research, and my graduate education at the University of Florida,
has benefitted from the assistance of many.
First of all, I would like to thank my chairman, Dr. John Henretta,
for his encouragement, sharing of knowledge and, most importantly, for
his patience with me over the past three years. I would also like to
thank him for his aid and encouragement in obtaining outside support for
this dissertation and for his aid in securing the post-doctoral fellowship
that I have received.
This research was supported by Administration of Aging Dissertation
Grant 90 ATO 0 49/01. Also, the support of the Department of Sociology
and the Center for Gerontological Studies has been of considerable impor¬
tance in the completion of this dissertation. I would like to give special
thanks to Ray Jones of the University of Florida Library for obtaining the
data tapes used in this study. Data were analyzed using the Statistical
Analysis System (SAS) and the computing was done using the facilities of
the Northeast Regional Data Center of the State University System of
Florida.
I would like to express appreciation to the other members of my doc¬
toral committee. Dr. Gordon F. Streib was primarily responsible for intro¬
ducing me to the field of social gerontology and his enthusiasm for all
aspects of research in this area has been of considerable importance in
my graduate education. I would also like to thank Dr. Streib for his
i11

efforts, on my behalf, in obtaining the post-doctoral fellowship at the
Midwest Council for Social Research in Aging. Dr. Benjamin Gorman has
also been of assistance throughout my three years here at the University
of Florida. I would like to express special thanks to Dr. Alan Agresti,
whose comments and criticisms on statistical aspects of this study have
been very helpful. Dr. Agresti is also one of the best teachers I have
ever known and his clear and patient style of presentation has often
helped me to understand otherwise difficult concepts and procedures.
Dr. Cynthia Rexroat has also been a valuable committee member who gracious¬
ly agreed to serve on my committee after the dissertation had begun. Other
faculty members not on my committee but who have been of great assistance
throughout my three years here at the University of Florida are Dr. Joseph
Vandiver and Dr. Charles Wood.
I would like to express gratitude to my cohort of sociology graduate
students here at the University of Florida. Their willingness to lend
assistance in academic matters and to be sources of support throughout
the trials and tribulations of graduate school has been of unmeasureable
importance.
Finally, I would like to express my debt of gratitude to my family.
My mother has always been a source of strong and consistent support for
whatever I attempted to accomplish and her love is never ceasing. To
V
Rubye, my wife, I owe the greatest debt of graditude. As a fellow grad¬
uate student, she has been supportive and helpful in my academic pursuits
and her love has been the greatest source of strength and motivation
throughout this dissertation.
iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES viii
LIST OF FIGURES ix
ABSTRACT x
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL APPROACH 1
Introduction 1
Statement of Problem 4
Conceptual Approach 5
The Process of Retirement 5
Attitudes, Intentions and Behavior 10
Adjustment After Retirement 18
Summary 22
CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF LITERATURE 24
Timing of Retirement 24
Structural Factors 25
Health Status 27
Financial Considerations 27
Family Status 28
Attitudes Toward Work 29
Attitudes Toward Retirement 31
Expected Age of Retirement 32
Adjustment to Retirement 34
Retirement and Life Satisfaction 35
Health Status 36
Financial Status 36
Social and Demographic Characteristics 37
Social Interaction 38
Psychological Correlates 39
CHAPTER III: DATA, MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES AND METHODS OF ANALYSIS 42
Data 42
Correction for Sample Bias 47
v

Measurement of Variables 51
Factors in the Analysis of Expected and Actual
Age of Retirement 51
Factors in the Analysis of Adjustment to
Retirement 58
Methods of Analysis 65
Bivariate Analyses 66
OLS Analysis of Expected and Actual Retirement Age 67
Analysis of Adjustment Measures 70
Summary 72
CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS OF EXPECTED AND ACTUAL AGE OF RETIREMENT. . . 73
Introduction 73
Prediction of Sample-Bias Term 75
Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual Age 77
The Relationship Between Expected and Actual Age 80
The Stability of Expected Age Over Time 84
Analysis of Differences in Expected and Actual
Age of Retirement 92
Analysis of Expected Age in 1966 93
Analysis of Differences in Expected and Actual Age 100
Summary 114
CHAPTER V: ADJUSTMENT TO RETIREMENT 120
Introduction 120
Prediction of Sample-Bias Term 122
Happiness with Life 125
Analysis of Happiness Measure for Retired
and Not-Retired Men 126
Analysis of Happiness Measure for Retired Men 130
Evaluation of Retirement Experience 135
Summary 145
CHAPTER VI: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 150
Introduction 150
The Conceptual Approach 150
MLS Data and Measurement of Factors 151
Summary of Findings 152
The Expected and Actual Age 152
Adjustment to Retirement 156
VI

Conclusions 158
Suggestions for Future Research 165
REFERENCES 167
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 175

LIST OF TABLES
Table Page
3-1 Distribution of Original Sample in 1966
by Interview Status 44
4-1 Logit Regression for Prediction of Retirement 76
4-2 Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual
Retirement Age for Retired and Not-Retired Men 78
4-3 Regression of Actual Age on Expected Age for Full
Group and by Age Cohort 82
4-4 Regression of Actual Age on Categories of Expected Age . . 83
4-5 Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected
Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966 for Full Group and
Selected Subsamples 86
4-6 Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected
Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966 by Age Cohort 87
4-7 Standardized Residuals of Independence and Quasi-
Independence Log-Linear Models for Expected
Age-1966 by Expected Age-1976 for Age Cohorts 90
4-8 OLS Regression of Expected Age of Retirement in 1966
for Sample of Retired Men and Selected Subsamples. ... 95
4-9 OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement for Full
Group and Selected Subsamples 102
4-10 OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement with
Cross-Sectional and Change Variables for Full
Group and Selected Subsamples 109
5-1 Logit Regression for Prediction of Retirement 124
<
5-2 Logit Regression of Happiness Measure for Full Sample. . . 127
5-3 Logit Regression of Happiness Measure for Retired Men. . . 131
5-4 Logit Regression of Pi/P2 Contrast (Negatives Excluded) . 138
Logit Regression of P3/P2 Contrast (Positives Excluded) . 141
vi i i
5-5

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1-1 Atchley's Schema of the Process of Retirement 7
1-2 Conceptual Model of Factors Involved in Relationship
Between the Expected and Actual Age of Retirement. ... 17
ix

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
DIFFERENCES IN EXPECTED AND ACTUAL
RETIREMENT AGE AMONG OLDER MEN
By
Scott H. Beck
December, 1981
Chairman: Dr. John C. Henretta
Major Department: Sociology
This thesis is a study of retirement that analyzes the discrepancy
between the expected age and the actual age of retirement. The con¬
ceptual model used combines Atchley's (1979) general model of the re¬
tirement process with the approach of attitude-behavior theory. Three
general factors are hypothesized to determine both the expected age and
actual age. The factors are: 1) constraint factors, 2) job-related
factors and 3) social and psychological factors. A secondary hypothesis
concerns adjustment to retirement. It is hypothesized that discrepancies
between the actual and expected age of retirement, especially earlier-
than-expected retirement, will lead to less successful adjustment to
retirement.
Panel data collected between 1966 and 1976 on men aged 45-59 in 1966,
were used to investigate these relationships. Because of the truncated
age range of the respondents, the average age of retirement was 61 years,
while the average expected age was about 65 years. A low correlation
x

was found between expected and actual age. An analysis of change in
expected age over the ten years of the survey, using panel members who
had not retired, showed a large degree of instability in expected age.
In a regression analysis of the expected age among men who had retired,
predictors in all three of the general factors significantly affected
the expected age. Mandatory retirement policies and pension eligibility
reduced the expected age while commitment to work increased the expected
age. Older workers expected to retire later, but this finding may be an
artifact of the data. In the regression analysis of actual age only
work-related health limitations, which reduce the age of retirement, was
significant. In considering the discrepancy between the actual and ex¬
pected age, mandatory retirement policies, eligibility for a pension and
higher assets reduced the negative difference between the actual and
expected age, while the existence of a work-related health limitation
and high commitment to work increased the negative discrepancy. With
respect to retirement satisfaction, earlier-than-expected retirement
led to lower satisfaction with retirement.
xi

CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION AND CONCEPTUAL APPROACH
Introduction
The retirement of workers from the labor force has become an increas¬
ingly important social issue in the United States. Concern about the
viability of the Social Security system has led to proposed changes in
the age at which workers can receive social security benefits and in the
levels of these benefits. Laws passed by Congress during the past two
decades have reduced the age at which social security benefits are avail¬
able and increased the levels of these benefits quite dramatically. The
consequence of these changes, along with macroeconomic changes, is an
underfinanced social security program that is quickly depleting its
financial reserves. Two of the most common types of proposals for rec¬
tifying this situation are the reduction in levels of benefits and in¬
creasing the age at which workers can receive benefits.
The importance of retirement for social and economic policies has
arisen for a number of reasons. Retirement has not only become more com¬
mon among older workers but there has also been a long-term trend toward
earlier ages of retirement (Sheppard, 1976; Walker and Lazer, 1978).
The reduction from 65 to 62 as the minimum age that men can begin re¬
ceiving social security benefits, is generally recognized as one of
the most important factors in producing earlier ages of retirement.
Since this change occurred, over half of all new social security
1

2
beneficiaries have been under 65 years old (Bixby, 1976). The reduction
or elimination of minimum age requirements for private pensions has
accompanied the age reduction for social security benefits and there¬
fore is also considered a factor in the trend toward earlier ages of
retirement (Kleiler, 1978; Atchley, 1980).
The trend toward earlier ages of retirement has been concurrent
with two demographic trends. The proportion of elderly persons has
been increasing in this country and the length of life has also in¬
creased (Hauser, 1976). The combination of these demographic changes
with earlier retirement results in a larger proportion of the population
in retirement for longer periods of time. The demographic trends are
not likely to be reversed and therefore patterns of retirement have
been given the most attention by people concerned with the increasing
economic consequences of a greater proportion of retired persons. Nu¬
merous solutions have been suggested but the major policy implication
is the need to change governmental and industry policies in order to
promote later retirement and discourage early retirement (Sheppard and
Rix, 1977; Kleiler, 1978).
The timing of retirement is therefore an important issue for re¬
search. In this thesis, the timing of retirement will be analyzed in
the framework of the "process of retirement." Some important issues
related to factors that influence the age of retirement will be investi¬
gated. For example, the recent liberalization of mandatory retirement
rules was predicated in part on the belief that these rules reduce the
age of retirement for some people. Most social gerontologists doubt
that the liberalization of mandatory retirement will actually result
in later ages of retirement (Smedley, 1979; Atchley, 1980). The effect

3
of coverage under a mandatory retirement plan on the age of retirement,
controlling for other factors, will be tested in this research by con¬
trasting the group of men covered by mandatory retirement rules to the
group of men who are not covered. Furthermore, the impact of mandatory
retirement will be separated from the effect of pension coverage, which
has been posited as one of the major factors in early retirement. A
number of other factors will also be tested for their effects on the
timing of retirement.
As the title of this thesis suggests, the focus of this research
is not retirement timing itself but the relationship between the expected
or planned age of retirement and the actual age of retirement. The rela¬
tionship between planned age and actual age of retirement and the factors
that produce discrepancies between these ages is considered to be impor¬
tant for a number of reasons. The strength of the relationship between
planned or expected age and actual age of retirement gives an indication
of how accurate individuals' plans, some years before retirement, are
in relation to the actual timing of retirement. This is important
because this relationship, in a general way, indicates whether those
who retired early planned to retire early. At the aggregate level the
degree of correspondence between the average expected age and the average
actual age may provide an informal estimate of how well trends in the
expected age of retirement foreshadow trends in the actual timing of
retirement.
The investigation of how external factors may lead to earlier-than-
expected or later-than-expected retirement is also important. In the
context of early retirement, the results of this analysis may give an
indication of how programs or policies can help some workers retire

4
closer to the age that they planned, and probably preferred, to retire
at rather than dropping out of the labor force early.
The analysis of the timing of retirement in the context of discrep¬
ancies between the planned and actual age of retirement is also important
because of possible individual consequences. The adjustment to retire¬
ment is one of the most important concerns of social gerontologists
and policy makers in the aging field. Many retirees have some diffi¬
culty in adjusting to retirement and the discrepancy between the planned
age and the actual age may be one factor leading to adjustment problems.
Statement of Problem
This research will be primarily concerned with the strength of the
relationship between the expected age and the actual age of retirement
and how external factors may affect this relationship. Therefore, the
research will center around a causal analysis of discrepancies between
the expected and actual age of retirement. This analysis will also re¬
veal the important determinants of the expected age and the actual age
of retirement.
Retirement is viewed as a process that encompasses both pre¬
retirement and post-retirement phases (Atchley, 1980). This research
will incorporate the full process of retirement by analyzing the effect
of discrepancies between expected and actual age of retirement on ad¬
justment to retirement.
In the remainder of this chapter a conceptual model of the process
of retirement is developed. The relevant literature on retirement is
reviewed in Chapter II. The third chapter deals with the data set to be
used in this analysis, the definition of variables and the hypothesized

5
relationships, and the statistical methods of analysis. The next two
chapters present the results of the analysis of the expected age and
actual age of retirement and of adjustment to retirement. In the
final chapter, the findings are summarized, general conclusions are
drawn and implications of the research are discussed.
Conceptual Approach
There has been relatively little theorizing about retirement timing
and the retirement process. Atchley (1979) has brought together the
ideas of a number of scholars to produce a model of the process of re¬
tirement that identifies the important factors that are involved in the
process. This model will be used as a general guide to the interrela¬
tionships among social and social psychological factors in the develop¬
ment of hypotheses and empirical measures to be used in this research.
Within this general retirement framework, the approach of social psy¬
chologists interested in attitude-behavior relationships will be used
to develop the conceptual framework that will guide this research.
Finally, the process of retirement will be extended to include adjust¬
ment after retirement. The issues involved in adjustment to retirement
will be discussed in the context of the three main conceptual approaches
in social gerontology: activity, disengagement and continuity theories.
The relevance of the discrepancy between expected and actual age of
retirement for adjustment to retirement is the final topic of discussion.
The Process of Retirement
According to Atchley (1979), the process of retirement involves three
elements: 1) the process by which individuals come to consider retirement,

6
2) factors that influence the decision to retire and 3) factors that
influence the timing of retirement. Figure 1-1 partially reproduces
the model that Atchley presents. People consider retirement for many
reasons, but primarily because it is a desired goal. Certainly manda¬
tory retirement policies, pension plans, health and functional disabil¬
ities, layoffs, and peer and employer pressures often play a central
part in the individual's consideration of retirement. In these latter
cases, Atchley maintains that retirement may be considered a result of
external pressures. The decision to retire results from social, eco¬
nomic and psychological factors, most of which are shown in Figure 1-1.
Atchley maintains that there are two primary comparisons that
workers consider in deciding the timing of retirement. The first com¬
parison is between the worker's financial needs in retirement and his
expected income in retirement. Second, the individual compares his or
her present satisfaction as a worker with what life in retirement is
expected to be like. As shown in Figure 1-1, a number of factors may
affect these two comparisons.
The information the worker has about retirement timing, finances
in retirement and activities after retirement may affect the two types
of comparisons and therefore affect the timing of retirement. The
availability of this kind of information as well as the accuracy of
information will vary widely among workers. Those workers with more
education, those whose company has a retirement planning program and
those covered by pension benefits are more likely to have access to
accurate information about retirement issues.
The individual's personality may also affect the consideration of
these two comparisons. An example given by Atchley is that those persons

Figure 1-1: Atchley's Schema of the Process of Retirement

8
who are active as opposed to passive in relation to their environment
are more likely to plan for retirement. These "planners" are expected
to have more accurate conceptions about financial needs and resources
and also to have more accurate ideas about life in retirement.
The "social/psychological" and "rewards of employment" factors
are posited to affect only the comparison between current situation as
a worker and the expected situation in retirement. The worker's attitude
toward retirement may be especially important in how retirement compares
with current satisfaction as a worker. While job satisfaction and the
meaning of the job to the worker are only applicable to the comparison
of current situation to expectations of life in retirement, financial
rewards of the job may plausibly have an impact on expectations of
financial need and how these needs compare with expected resources
in retirement.
As indicated in Figure 1-1, some trade-offs between the two pri¬
mary comparisons can be expected. Workers who want to stop working and
look forward to retirement may forego more adequate retirement income
to retire early. On the other hand, some workers with good financial
prospects for retirement may delay the time of retirement because work
is much more satisfying than the kind of life expected in retirement.
Atchley proposes that if retirement appears more favorable to the in¬
dividual than continued employment, the decision to retire will be
made. The two primary comparisons set forth by Atchley may not be
fully considered by some workers. Many workers may only have a general
idea of how much income will be needed in retirement and may not be
sure how much they will receive from social security or the amount of
pension benefits. Also, expectations about retirement may be ambiguous

9
or not clearly formulated so that for some individuals a comparison be¬
tween current situation as a worker and life in retirement is never an
important consideration. Because the two types of comparisons may not
always be considered in the timing of retirement, the set of intervening
factors are also posited to have direct effects on the timing of retire¬
ment.
One drawback of this model is that it underemphasizes the importance
of the "constraint" factors such as mandatory retirement and health lim¬
itations. A worker who knows that the mandatory age is 65 may never
seriously consider needs versus resources or satisfaction with job to
what retirement will be like, but may simply accept the mandatory age
as the time of retirement. Social influences such as marital status
and dependents for whom the worker has financial responsibility are not
explicitly shown as factors but are recognized as potentially important
in the timing of retirement.
The conceptualization of the process of retirement presented above
may be even more applicable to the determination of the expected or
planned age of retirement. If workers do take such factors into account
in the actual decision to retire, then such factors may be considered
some time before retirement when the probable age of retirement is
determined. The main issues in this research involve the relationship
between the expected age and the actual age of retirement and the factors
that are important in explaining the discrepancy between expected and
actual age. A related issue involves differences in the importance of
factors in explaining the expected age and the actual age of retirement.
Because the issues to be addressed in this research are not all en¬
compassed within Atchley's model, two approaches to individual behavior

10
that are usually labelled under "attitude-behavior" theory will be
utilized. By using these more general approaches, it is possible to
develop a conceptual model of the process of retirement that addresses
the primary issues in this research.
Attitudes, Intentions and Behavior
Following LaPiere's (1934) research on discrimination that documented
the large discrepancy that may exist between what people say they will
do and what they actually do, the strength of the relationship between
attitudes or intentions and behavior has been questioned. Psychologists
such as Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) have developed more precise definitions
of "verbal behavior" and more rigorous measures of both verbal behaviors
and actual behavior. Sociologists, on the other hand, have tended to
look for external or intervening factors that may explain behavior, and
consequently explain the discrepancy between attitude and behavior. Both
of these approaches will be discussed and elements of both will be used
to formulate a conceptual model of the retirement process centered
around the relationship between the expected and actual age.
Fishbein (1966) was one of the first to differentiate the concepts
of beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions from the general concept
of attitude. These concepts are most definitively presented in Fishbein
and Ajzen (1975). Beliefs are ideas formed around some object (e.g.,
retirement) based on perceived attributes of that object. The totality
of beliefs serves asan information base in the development of attitudes.
<
An attitude toward some object is an evaluation of the attributes of
that object. Therefore, an attitude by definition encompasses either
positive or negative feelings toward the object. Behavioral intentions
are simply the individual's intention to perform behaviors with respect

n
to an object. Behavioral intentions are expected to be directly related
to behavior, while beliefs and attitudes are at best indirect determi¬
nants. Fishbein and Ajzen conceive the relationships among these con¬
cepts as a causal path where beliefs lead to a general attitude that
results in a certain behavioral intention which precedes the actual
behavior.
One of the main arguments of Fishbein and Ajzen is that an attitude
is only a general predisposition that does not correspond to specific
behaviors but only leads to certain intentions. It should be noted that
intentions and behaviors are only specifically related. That is, some
generalized intention will not necessarily be related to specific behav¬
iors. Fishbein and Ajzen explicitly allow for social and other external
influences in their model only through the specification of normative
beliefs concerning a behavior. These normative beliefs result in sub¬
jective norms concerning behavior that, in turn, partly determine be¬
havioral intentions. The other direct determinant of behavioral inten¬
tions is attitude toward the performance of the behavior.
It is apparent that the expected age of retirement is a behavioral
intention while the actual age of retirement is the specific behavior
of interest. In this discussion, therefore, the focus is on Fishbein
and Ajzen's formulation of the relation between intention and behavior.
First, as noted above, the intention and the behavior must be at the
same level of specificity. Second, the intentions and behaviors, if
they involve a single act (e.g., the act of retirement), consist of
four elements: 1) the behavior itself, 2) the target of the behavior,
3) the situation in which the behavior occurs and 4) the time interval
between the two. The third and fourth elements are especially important

12
in the strength of the relationship between intention and behavior.
According to Fishbein and Ajzen, there should be a high correlation
between an intention and a behavior if three conditions exist. First,
intention and behavior must correspond in level of specificity; second,
the intention should be relatively stable over time; and third, the
carrying out of the intention should be under the person's control. The
expected and actual age of retirement are at the same level of specificity.
The conditions of stability of intention and degree of individual control
over behavior are problematic however. This is where the psychologists
must allow for outside influences in their model.
The stability of an intention is closely related to the amount of
time between the measurement of the intention and the actual behavior.
"The longer the time interval between measurement of intention and ob¬
servation of behavior, the greater the probability that the individual
may obtain new information or that certain events will occur which will
change his intention" (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975:370). The way that
Fishbein and Ajzen handle this "problem" is to greatly restrict the
time interval between statement of intention and the actual behavior
through experimental or quasi-experimental designs.
The degree to which an individual has the ability to carry out
intentions is always problematic. This is bound to be even more true
in natural settings than in experimental situations. In the case of
the timing of retirement, some individuals will have a large degree of
control over their timing of retirement while others will have little
or no control.
For sociologists it is the external influences, especially social
and social psychological factors, that are of greatest interest. Some

13
sociologists have pursued this matter and formed an approach to the
attitude-behavior relationship that differs from Fishbein and Ajzen's
approach.
Much of the impetus for looking at other factors that may be in¬
volved in behavior was provided by research on racial attitudes and
actions. DeFleur and Westie (1958) were one of the first to pursue
this and found that most of the discrepancy between what was stated
(liberal attitudes) and later behavior (refusal to engage in integrated
activities) was the result of constraints by reference groups or the
family of the respondents. Fendrich (1967) carried out an experimental
design on racial attitudes, degree of commitment, and behavior. He
found that the situational context of the measurement of attitudes and
behaviors is very important. The situation of an interviewer asking
hypothetical questions is much different from actual situations that
demand an action of some kind.
Warner and DeFleur (1969) present the postulate of contingent
consistency as a framework for attitude-behavior research. This postulate
simply states that intervening variables that modify the relationship be¬
tween attitudes (or intentions) and behavior must be taken into account.
In general, this means that the attitudes or intentions of an individual
are only one factor from among a larger set of factors which play a
part in determining the individual's behavior. These intervening fac¬
tors are not necessarily occurrences within the period of time between
measurement of attitude or intention and behavior; such influences as
peer or reference groups may have existed before the measurement of the
attitude, but their influence is only exhibited when the action is to
occur.

14
Acock and DeFleur (1972) tested the contingent consistency approach
with data on student's attitudes and behavior toward marijuana. In
analyzing the "behavior" of voting for or against legalization of mari¬
juana among college students, the researchers found that perceived
family and peer group support for legalization of marijuana was very
important in whether the student voted "yes" or "no." In this particular
example, it is easy to see how such influences could be included under
the "normative beliefs" factor in Fishbein and Ajzen's model. However,
because Fishbein and Ajzen allow for only an indirect effect of norms
and group pressure on behavior, this effect would be underestimated in
their model.
Two sociologists, Albrecht and Carpenter (1976), tested much of
Fishbein and Ajzen's model with the same data that Acock and DeFleur
used above. For the most part, Albrecht and Carpenter support Fishbein
and Ajzen's model, especially the specification of intentions as con¬
ceptually distinct from attitude. They warn that the very short inter¬
val between measurement of intention and behavior may lead to an un¬
realistically high correlation between the two. In most of the
experimental designs, the lapse of time is a number of weeks. This
not only greatly restricts the amount of change in external influences
that may occur but also may cause greater reactivity effects, especially
in non-natural settings. A person who self-reports a behavior that is
directly related to a question on the intention to perform that behavior
asked only a few weeks earlier, is not likely to give a contradictory
report.
There have been a number of sociological studies that test the re¬
lation between an intention and later behavior, although the research did

15
not emanate from either of the above conceptual frameworks. Some of
these studies also looked at other factors that may be considered inter¬
vening factors in the relationship between intention and behavior.
Bayer (1969) utilized panel data to analyze the relationship between
expected age and actual age of marriage. Bayer regressed actual age
on expected age, an aptitude measure, parental SES and respondent's
educational aspirations. Expected age was the best predictor but edu¬
cational aspirations also had a significant effect. Gasson, Haller and
Sewell (1972) used panel data on high school students to test how edu¬
cational and occupational aspirations predict future educational and
occupational attainment. Aspirations were significantly related to
attainment but parent's SES, significant other's aspirations and the
student's aptitude were equally important. Freedman et al_. (1965) and
Bumpass and Westoff (1969) looked at expected and desired family size
among women and their later completed family size. There were moderate
correlations between the intended and the actual family size and it did
appear that some intervening changes, such as unemployment of the hus¬
band, had an effect on behavior. All of these studies were from
surveys where the time interval was years. The correlations between
intention and behavior were smaller than in Fishbein and Ajzen's re¬
search. These lower correlations may actually reflect a more realistic
social psychological process in which intentions to act in a certain
way and the actual action differ because the conditions under which
the two occur are different.
This research centers around the single act of retirement that
occurs at a specific time and in a social context. It is virtually
impossible to set up the experimental or quasi-experimental designs

16
that are most often used by social psychologists in this type of research
to investigate how intended age relates to actual age. . First, the time
reference is years instead of weeks. Second, although many people may
have some experience with minorities or with marijuana, there is little
"experience" with retirement until it actually occurs. As Tittle and
Hill (1967) point out, the degree of correspondence between attitude or
intention may depend to some degree on the extent that the behavior
constitutes action within the common range of experience. In the case
of retirement, this is usually not true. Because of the time lapse and
lack of experience with retirement, a very strong relationship between
the expected age and the actual age of retirement is not expected. Fish-
bein and Ajzen report correlations of .65 to .85 between intentions and
behaviors. Such high correlations between expected and actual age are
not likely, but some positive relation between these two measures is
expected.
The concepts of intention and behavior as derived from Fishbein and
Ajzen, the situational approach of Warner and DeFleur (and others), and
the model of the process of retirement by Atchley are combined to form
the conceptual model that will guide this research. A representation
of the conceptual approach is presented in Figure 1-2.
The constraining, job-related and social and psychological factors
shown in Figure 1-2 are aggregations of Atchley's more detailed model.
All of the specific factors or types of factors that might be important
in the process of retirement will be discussed in the literature review.
These external factors should directly affect the expected age of retire¬
ment. The broken arrow between expected and actual age represents a
contingent relationship that may be large or small.

Figure 1-2: Conceptual Model of Factors Involved in Relationship Between the
Expected and Actual Age of Retirement

18
The constraining, job-related and social and psychological factors
are shown to influence the actual age, above and beyond their effect on
the expected age. A more appropriate way to think of these external
effects in the context of intention and behavior is that they explain
some of the difference between the expected and actual age.
The external factors may change between the measurement of expected
age and the time of retirement. Therefore, the influences of these ex¬
ternal variables may be in the form of changes that the individual exper¬
iences, such as worsening of health or change in occupation, that may
help to explain differences between the expected and actual age of re¬
tirement. Retirement is, therefore, seen as a process of forming an
expected age of retirement and then of retiring at an age that may or
may not correspond to the expected age. The actual age will often be
different from the expected age since retirement is a dynamic process
where change in the relevant factors, and in the individual's evaluation
of them is likely to occur between the formation of the expected age and
the time of retirement.
Adjustment After Retirement
The process of retirement does not end with retirement itself. The
individual's life is almost certainly changed in a number of ways after
retirement and adjustment to retirement is an important issue. In this
research there is special interest in the relation of the discrepancy
between expected and actual age and certain consequences of retirement
such as lowered income to adjustment of retirees.
It is clear that the major issue in adjustment to retirement is the
individual's adjustment to the loss of a job. There are, of course,

19
other consequences of retirement such as lower income and lower levels
of social activity. These other consequences do not necessarily occur
and they are usually considered separate factors in the determination of
satisfaction or happiness with life after retirement. Three basic theo¬
retical approaches in the field of social gerontology posit different
hypotheses concerning the effects of retirement and these will be
briefly reviewed.
Activity theory is the oldest theoretical approach in gerontology
and was given much impetus by Friedmann and Havighurst's (1954) volume
on work and retirement. In this approach, the job is considered to be
an important and central role for men. In order to adjust to the loss
of the work role, the person must find a substitute that will fill this
void. Therefore, other meaningful activities are necessary for success¬
ful adjustment after retirement. In general, retirement is seen as
problematic from this perspective. Shanas (1972) reviewed much of the
retirement literature and concluded that for most retirees the loss of
job is not problematic and in fact most accommodate themselves well to
the loss of their job.
Disengagement theory (Cumming and Henry, 1961) may be considered in
opposition to activity theory. The originators of this theory hold that
retirement is one of the natural occurrences in the process of mutual
withdrawal of the individual and society from one another. This mutual
withdrawal is ultimately based in the biological deterioration that
occurs with age and ends with death. Loss of job is not seen as proble¬
matic for the large majority of individuals. This approach is ahistorical
since retirement rarely occurred before this century in this country and
many people today never stop working until they die. Based on their

20
analysis of longitudinal data on retirees, Streib and Schneider (1971)
proposed a process of differential disengagement. According to these
researchers, disengagement, even from the work role, is neither neces¬
sary nor irreversible. People can work part-time and some retirees do
re-enter the labor force. Furthermore, retirement does not necessarily
signal disengagement from other activities or roles, and in fact the
loss of the work role may increase the individual's engagement in
other areas of life.
Continuity theory (Neugarten and Havighurst, 1969; Atchley, 1972)
approaches loss of job in the context of social roles and personality
development over the life cycle. By the time people reach retirement
age their personality, interests, activities and "role set" are relatively
stable. The loss of job will usually be handled by redistributing the
time and energy spent in the job to other roles or activities the person
is involved in. This hypothesis contrasts with the activity theory
assertion that new roles and activities will have to be substituted.
For most people, retirement should not be a cause of maladjustment or
decreased happiness with life, although those persons for whom the job
was very important and who do not have other well-developed roles or
interests, retirement may be a negative experience. Atchley's (1976)
tentative theory of adjustment is a further elaboration of continuity
theory. Atchley proposes that central to the process of adjustment is
the importance of the job in the individual's hierarchy of personal goals.
If job-related goals were unachieved at the time of retirement, there may
be problems adjusting to retirement. The degree of maladjustment will
primarily depend on how important the job-related goals were in the
individual's hierarchy of personal goals. Atchley maintains that most

21
retirees reorganize their personal goals and drop the importance of a
job from this hierarchy.
Most research indicates that individuals are generally successful
in adjusting to the loss of a job (Atchley, 1976). However, some people
do have problems adjusting to retirement and the reasons for these prob¬
lems are not clearly understood. Whether discrepancies between the ex¬
pected and actual age of retirement have a negative impact on adjustment
to retirement is of specific interest in this research.
The theories reviewed above do not address the issue of how a dis¬
crepancy between the expected and actual age of retirement may affect
adjustment. Atchley's tentative theory does suggest that earlier-than-
expected retirement may have a negative effect on adjustment if the in¬
dividual has not achieved a work-related goal. In the Barfield and
Morgan (1969) study of auto workers, it was found that men who planned
to retire early and did so enjoyed retirement somewhat more than those
men who did not plan to retire so early but did. The earlier-than-
expected retirements were usually due to health problems. Price et al.
(1979) categorized a sample of retirees into four groups: "early volun¬
tary" (ages 55-61), "early involuntary" (ages 55-61), "on-time voluntary"
(ages 62-65) and "on-time involuntary" (ages 62-65). Those categorized
as early involuntary retirees reported significantly lower satisfaction
with retirement than the other groups. The fact that their retirement
was involuntary suggests that they had to retire before they expected.
These results lead to the hypothesis that discrepancies between the ex¬
pected and actual age, especially earlier-than-expected retirement, will
result in a more problematic adjustment to retirement.

22
Summary
The primary purpose of this research is to investigate differences
between the expected age and the actual age of retirement. This re¬
search is important for two basic reasons. First, the degree of con¬
sistency between the expected and actual age gives some indication of
how accurate individuals' plans some years before retirement are in
relation to the actual timing of retirement. In this context, the
analysis of differences in the expected and actual age may result in
the identification of factors that produce greater consistency in these
two ages. Such an analysis may indicate where planning for retirement
would be more helpful to individuals still in the labor force. Second,
the discrepancy between expected and actual age may have consequences
for adjustment in retirement. Whether such differences do have negative
consequences for individuals will be investigated. Other conditions of
retirement that may affect personal adjustment will also be investigated.
Using a detailed schema of the factors involved in the process of
retirement by Atchley (1979) and the conceptual approaches of Fishbein
and Ajzen (1975) and sociologists such as Warner and DeFleur (1969) in
the analysis of intentions and behavior, a conceptual model was developed
of the factors involved in the determination of the expected and actual
age of retirement and the discrepancy between the two. Because retire¬
ment is not a "common occurrence" for most people and the time interval
between measurement of expected age and the time of retirement is years,
a high correlation between the expected and actual age is not likely,
although a positive relationship should exist. Personal characteristics
and situational influences should cause discrepancies between the expected

23
and actual age. Certain types of influences were posited to be important
in explaining the difference between the expected and actual age of re¬
tirement.
The personal adjustment and satisfaction of persons after retirement
is a part of the process of retirement and some issues and basic theo¬
retical approaches were discussed concerning adjustment. While activity
theory suggests that adjustment to loss of job is problematic, the dis¬
engagement and continuity theories indicate that for the large majority
of persons the adjustment is successful. The continuity approach, and
to a lesser extent disengagement theory, are supported by empirical re¬
search more than activity theory. Of interest in this research is one
particular aspect of the conditions of retirement: the effect of a
discrepancy between the expected and actual age on adjustment to retire¬
ment. Other factors related to retirement, such as lowered income, are
of interest because of their possible effect on adjustment to retirement.
In order to specify the important factors in the timing of retirement,
the expected age of retirement and adjustment after retirement, previous
research in these areas will be reviewed in the following chapter.

CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
In this chapter, the relevant 'literature on retirement timing, the
expected age of retirement and adjustment or satisfaction after retire¬
ment is reviewed. From this review, the relevant variables for the
analysis of the expected and actual age of retirement and satisfaction
after retirement will be determined. In Chapter III, findings from
previous studies are used to develop hypotheses and models for the
analysis.
Timing of Retirement
There have been a number of studies that address the issue of the
timing of retirement. The discussion of the findings of these studies
is best organized by the types of factors enumerated by Walker and Price
(1974). The authors first discuss certain structural factors that may
affect general retirement patterns as well as individual retirement
decisions. Walker and Price then group individual factors into five
types: 1) health status, 2) financial considerations, 3) family status,
4) attitudes concerning work and present job and 5) attitudes and expec¬
tations concerning retirement.
24

25
Structural Factors
Included under this general category are governmental ana industry
retirement policies and programs, age structure, and inflation and un¬
employment rates. Some of these factors do not vary across individuals
and, therefore, cannot explain individual variation. The age structure
impacts on general retirement patterns over time but is not applicable
to the study of individual variation in retirement age. The government
policy on social security benefits varies so little across individuals
that it is not likely to have any measurable effect on individual varia¬
tion in retirement timing.
Mandatory retirement policies are applicable only to some groups
of workers and, therefore, may affect individual retirement decisions.
The proportion of workers who were covered by mandatory retirement rules,
before the recent amendment in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act,
is estimated to be between 33 and 40 percent (Reno, 1972; Schulz, 1976).
There have been many polemical arguments against mandatory retirement,
including the argument that it forces workers out of the labor force
sooner than if they had no such restriction. This argument may be true
for some workers but mandatory retirement does not seem to affect most
workers. Schulz (1976) estimates that for a cohort of retired male
workers, only a total of 7 percent were unwillingly retired by mandatory
retirement policies and could not find another job. Using the data to
be analyzed in this research, Parnés et al_. (1979) estimate that no more
than 3 percent of men who had retired in their sample of older workers
were forced out by mandatory retirement. Because the retirees in the
sample analyzed by Parnés were disproportionately young retirees, the
3 percent figure probably underestimates the true proportion of workers

26
affected by mandatory retirement rules. The empirical evidence seems
to indicate that mandatory retirement does not generally reduce the age
of retirement.
Coverage under private pension plans may also be considered a
"structural" factor that varies across individuals. In one of the most
extensive studies of retirement decisions, Barfield and Morgan (1969)
found that the availability of pension benefits at ages earlier than 65
induced many auto-workers to retire early. As briefly noted in the intro¬
duction of this thesis, the reduction of ages at which workers can receive
private pension benefits has followed the reduction in the minimum age
that workers are eligible to receive social security. Quinn (1977) found
that eligibility for a private pension was significantly related to the
probability of early retirement among men aged 58 to 63 in the Social
Security Administration's Retirement History Study. Parnés et a]_. (1975)
report that eligibility for a private pension was positively related to
the probability of retirement for men under 65. It does appear that
pension coverage promotes earlier retirement, mainly because the receipt
of these pensions is usually available before age 65.
Walker and Price (1974) and Sheppard and Rix (1977) maintain that
inflat-ion will delay retirement for some workers. Although rates of
inflation may vary by regional location, this effect would be basically
the same for a cohort of men approaching the retirement decision and,
therefore, cannot explain individual variation in retirement timing.
Also, tne indexing of social security benefits may greatly reduce the
delaying effect of inflation on retirement patterns over time. Quinn
(1977) tested the effect of local unemployment rates on the probability
of early retirement and found it to be nonsignificant. Large-scale

27
layoffs in certain industries may result in earlier retirement of workers
in those industries (Atchley, 1976) but the overall effect of this occur¬
rence on retirement timing has not been estimated.
Health Status
Health status is usually measured as the respondent's subjective
evaluation of his ability to work. Health status has generally been
found to be the strongest predictor of early retirement (Palmore, 1964;
Parnés et aj_., 1975; Bixby, 1976). There may be problems with a subjec¬
tive measure of health status,however, especially when it is based on
retrospective reports. Such reports may be deceptive, or used as a
legitimatory device if the respondent feels that he must present an
excuse for retiring early (Pollman, 1971; Quinn, 1977).
Analyzing the 1969 data from the Social Security Administration's
Retirement History Study, Quinn (1977) found that poor health was the
most important predictor of retirement among men aged 58-63. However,
Quinn also found that there was a significant interaction between health
status and pension eligibility, indicating that men in poor health with
a pension were more likely to retire than men in poor health without a
pension. Other research indicates that those who retire for negative
reasons, such as poor health, are more likely to return to the labor
force than are those who retire for positive reasons, such as receipt
of a private pension or a desire to pursue leisure activities (Stagner,
1979; Price et al., 1979; Motley, 1978).
Financial Considerations
The consideration of finances in retirement, especially income, is
a very important factor in the decision of when to retire. This assumes

28
that the individual does not retire because of poor health or some other
limitation on labor force participation. Barfield and Morgan's (1969)
major conclusion was that financial factors are of primary importance
in the timing of retirement. These researchers found that the level of
expected retirement income, the receipt of a private pension, home
equity and expected income from assets were important in the decision
to retire before 65.
As mentioned previously, a number of other researchers have found
private pension coverage to be related to earlier retirement. Quinn
(1977) also found that estimated income from assets was positively related
to the probability of retirement for men aged 58-63. Parnés et al. (1975),
however, found no relationship between level of assets and the probability
of retirement for men under 65. Bixby's (1976) analysis of the Social
Security Retirement History data showed that mortgage on a home delays
retirement. Surprisingly, the earnings level of the most recent job
does not appear to be related to the timing of retirement (Barfield and
Morgan, 1969; Parnés et_ al_., 1975; Bixby, 1976).
Family Status
The additional financial responsibilities that are often present
when the person is married and has dependents may delay retirement. In
his review of the literature, Sheppard (1976) concludes that married
males remain in the labor force longer. Palmore (1971) found that,
controlling for age, married men worked more weeks than nonmarried men.
Bixby (1976) and Parnés et a]_. (1975) did not find any relation between
marital status and the probability of retirement for men under 65. The
number of dependents appears to delay the age of retirement for men
(Barfield and Morgan, 1969; Quinn, 1977).

29
The effect of being married on the timing of retirement for men may
in part depend upon whether the wife also works. The proportion of women
in the labor force has increased dramatically in the last 30 years and
the effect of two-earner families will be increasingly important in the
timing of retirement for men and women. There has not been much empirical
research on this subject. Anderson, Clark and Johnson (1980) used the
Social Security Retirement History data to investigate the reciprocal
effects of husband's and wife's labor force participation. The authors
found that wife's participation in the labor force raised the probability
of the husband's participation, and likewise, the husband's labor force
participation raised the probability of wife's labor force participation.
Attitudes Toward Work
The attitudes of a worker toward his present job, toward work in
general and toward nonwork activities such as leisure and recreational
pursuits, may affect the decision of when to retire. The effect of
these attitudinal variables on the actual timing of retirement has been
tested less than other factors because a panel design is necessary.
Barfield and Morgan (1969) found that workers dissatisfied with
their job were not more likely to have retired early when controlling
for other factors. However, the analysis by Parnés et al_. (1975) showed
a significant relation between job dissatisfaction and early retirement.
The strength of commitment to work was also found to have a significant
net effect on the probability of early retirement in the analysis by
Parnés et_ al_. (1975). Barfield and Morgan (1969) found that more spe¬
cific attitudes about conditions of the job, such as feelings toward
supervisor and the repetitiveness of the job, did not have significant

30
net effects on the decision to retire early. Quinn (1977) used objec¬
tive measures of job autonomy and hazardous working conditions and found
that these factors were not significant in predicting probability of
retirement for men 58-63.
The occupation of the worker has been found by some researchers to
be important in the timing of retirement. The effect of occupation may
often be linked to specific characteristics or consequences of the type
of work involved. For example, workers in lower skill jobs retire at
earlier ages, but this appears to be due to health limitations that are
the result of the kind of work performed. Some high status workers, such
as professionals, may have the financial means to retire early which is
due to higher lifetime earnings that result in greater wealth. Using
weeks out of the labor force as a measure of retirement, Palmore (1971)
found that those in higher status occupations retired later than other
workers. This effect may be due to the greater availability of part-
time work in many upper status occupations. Rubin (1973) analyzed those
persons receiving late entitlement to social security benefits (age 66
or later) and found that persons in lower skill occupations without pri¬
vate pension coverage were overrepresented. White collar workers and
professionals were underrepresented in this group, probably because
they continued working full or part-time. Using a nine-category occupa¬
tional classification, Bixby (1976) found that those in blue collar
occupations were more likely to have retired early than those in other
occupational groups. Reno (1971) found that those retiring at 65
tended to be in skilled blue collar or lower white collar occupations
and were covered by compulsory retirement and private pension plans.
In general, when controlling for factors such as health and private

31
pension coverage, there may be no differences in retirement timing
among occupational groups. The exception may be upper-status workers
such as professionals and businessmen who continue working at later ages.
Attitudes Toward Retirement
Atchley (1979) and Walker and Price (1974) maintain that those more
favorable to retirement will retire at earlier ages. As with attitudes
toward work, there has been relatively little empirical research on the
effects of attitudes toward retirement on the timing of retirement be¬
cause of the necessity of a panel design. Bixby (1976) used general
attitude toward retirement in 1969 in her analysis of retirement over
the period 1969-1973. Those more positive towards retirement were found
to be significantly more likely to retire than those less favorable to
retirement. Barfield and Morgan (1969) did not have a direct measure of
attitudes toward retirement but did measure leisure and activity plans
after retirement. When controlling for other factors, those men plan¬
ning to engage in hobbies or in charitable work of some kind were not
more likely to have retired early. It seems reasonable that persons
who view retirement favorably are more likely to retire at earlier ages
but further research is necessary to determine how important such an
attitude is in the decision of when to retire.
In summary, it appears that health status is the major determinant
of the age of retirement. Financial considerations such as the receipt
of a private pension and other unearned income are important in the tim¬
ing of retirement. Family status may be important in the decision of
when to retire. The effects of attitudes toward work, toward the specific
job and toward retirement on retirement timing may be important but ad¬
ditional longitudinal research is needed in these areas.

32
Expected Age of Retirement
Those factors that best explain the age of retirement, health and
financial status, are also important in explaining differences in the
expected age of retirement. Because of this complementarity, separate
sections on types of factors will not be used here.
Poor health does appear to result in younger expected or planned
ages of retirement (Barfield and Morgan, 1969; Barfield, 1970). Ekerdt's
(1979) analysis of preferred age, which is highly correlated with expected
age, showed that health status was related to the preferred age.
In the Barfield and Morgan (1969) study, financial factors were
important in the planned age of retirement. The level of expected retire¬
ment income, the receipt of a private pension and assets were all related
to planning early retirement. Ekerdt (1979) also found that retirement
finances were related to the preferred age of retirement. In a later
survey, Barfield and Morgan (1973) report that pension eligibility re¬
sulted in lower planned ages of retirement. In this later survey,
Barfield and Morgan also found that having mortgage payments resulted
in later planned ages.
The level of job satisfaction was found to be related to the expec¬
tation of retiring before age 65 in the Barfield and Morgan study (1969).
Rose and Mogey (1972), however, did not find a significant net effect of
job satisfaction on the preferred age of retirement. Negative attitudes
toward present job and toward work were found to significantly reduce
the preferred age by Ekerdt (1979). In his analysis of the preferred
age, Ekerdt also found that workers looking forward to leisure activities
tended to prefer younger ages of retirement.

33
Rose and Mogey (1972) found both education level and occupational
status to be positively related to the preferred age of retirement.
Goudy, Powers, Keith and Reger (1980) found self-employed professionals
to have the highest mean age for "best age of retirement," with other
professionals and proprietors slightly lower and blue collar workers
with the lowest mean age. The authors also found that best age of re¬
tirement was related to an "avoidance of retirement" scale, indicating
negative attitudes toward retirement lead to higher preferred ages of
retirement. Neither Rose and Mogey (1972) nor Goudy et al_. (1980) take
into account coverage under mandatory retirement plans, which may reduce
the expected or preferred age of retirement.
One of the most important predictors of expected or preferred age
of retirement is age. Barfield and Morgan (1978) report that the "50-54'
and "55-59" cohorts were most likely to plan to retire early, while the
"60-64" cohort and cohorts under 50 had somewhat higher planned ages.
Because of this nonlinear relationship, Barfield and Morgan maintain
that this difference is a cohort effect and not due to aging. Rose and
Mogey (1972) also analyzed cross-sectional data and found that age was
positively related to preferred age. These authors explain this find¬
ing primarily in terms of an aging effect wherein workers getting closer
to retirement delay the preferred age of retirement. Ekerdt, Bosse and
Mogey (1980) analyzed panel data and show that as individuals age, they
tend to change toward later preferred ages. Barb's (1977) analysis of a
panel of Iowa men also indicates that as respondents age, the'direction
of change in preferred age tends to be toward later ages. There prob¬
ably are some differences among cohorts in the expected or preferred
age, just as there have been differences in the age of retirement among

34
cohorts. However, most of the difference found to exist between cohorts
in the expected or preferred age appears to be due to aging.
The relatively sparse research on the expected age of retirement
generally shows the same types of factors that are important in the tim¬
ing of retirement are also important in the determination of the expected
age of retirement. In analyzing the expected and the actual age, the
same predictors will be used. It is clear that cohort must be taken into
account in the analysis of the expected age of retirement.
Adjustment to Retirement
Part of the retirement process entails what happens to the person
after retirement. One of the major interests in gerontological research
has been the study of factors that are important in determining adjust¬
ment to retirement. In this research, investigation of the retirement
process is extended to include the analysis of adjustment to retirement.
The two primary questions in this analysis are whether differences exist
in the satisfaction or happiness of retirees and workers; and among re¬
tirees, whether discrepancies between the actual and expected age affect
adjustment.
The review of previous research will begin with a discussion of the
effect of retirement on life satisfaction. Factors related to the satis¬
faction or happiness of older people will be reviewed in the following
areas: 1) health status, 2) financial status, 3) social and demographic
characteristics, 4) social interaction and 5) psychological correlates.

35
Retirement and Life Satisfaction
Perhaps the most often studied aspect of retirement is the satisfac¬
tion or happiness with life after retirement. The major issue in this
area has been whether the loss of the work role results in lowered satis¬
faction. In one of the first longitudinal studies of retirement, Thompson,
Streib and Kosa (1960) investigated the impact of retirement on life sat¬
isfaction. Using life satisfaction scores on respondents when all were
in the labor force and their scores years later when some of the respon¬
dents had retired and others were still working, the authors found that
retirees did have somewhat lower scores. The authors analyzed this dif¬
ference between retirees and workers by looking at a number of other
factors besides employment status. Lower income and poor health as well
as pre-retirement attitudes were found to affect life satisfaction, and
when one or more of these factors were controlled, no significant differ¬
ence between workers and retirees was found.
Using cross-sectional data, Edwards and Klemmack (1973) did not find
any significant differences in satisfaction with life between retirees
and workers when controlling for other factors. Palmore and Luikart
(1972) also used cross-sectional data and did find that employed persons
were more satisfied with their life than retirees, although this differ¬
ence was small. In general, the traditional hypothesis that the loss
of the work role itself is harmful to psychological well-being has been
discounted. The issue has not been settled however, and in this research
the possible effect of the loss of the work role will be tested.

36
Health Status
The research reviewed in the section on timing of retirement indi¬
cates that health may be the most important determinant of age of re¬
tirement. Health status also appears to be the most consistent and
strongest predictor of satisfaction or happiness with life (Barfield
and Morgan, 1978; Chatfield, 1977; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Bultena
and Oyler, 1971; Medley, 1976; Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Sauer, 1977;
Spreitzer and Snyder, 1974). It is no surprise that health is very
important since health problems can restrict the activities of a person
as well as affecting how they feel.
Palmore and Luikart (1972) were able to compare the effects of sub¬
jective health status, which is the usual measure of health status, with
physicians' ratings of the respondent's health. The authors found that
subjective health status was more strongly related to life satisfaction
than ratings of the physicians. This seems to indicate that it is how
people feel about their health as opposed to their actual health condi¬
tion that impinges on overall satisfaction.
Financial Status
The standard of living has generally been recognized as important
in the enjoyment of life and psychological well-being of people in all
age groups. Income has been found to have a significant positive effect
on satisfaction, although the size of this effect varies by study (Bar-
field and Morgan, 1978; Elwell and Maltbie-Crannel, 1981; Edwards and
Klemmack, 1973; Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Hutchinson, 1975; Spreitzer
and Snyder, 1974).

37
The relative level of income may be important for satisfaction
after retirement. Streib and Schneider (1971) show that the reduction
in income after retirement was a major factor in the reduction of life
satisfaction. Barfield (1970) reports that the ratio of retirement income
to pre-retirement income was positively related to satisfaction among
auto workers. In a national probability sample, Barfield and Morgan
(1978) did not find the ratio of retirement income to pre-retirement
income to have an effect on satisfaction, net of present income level.
Tissue (1970) found that middle-class elderly who had fallen into poverty
(defined by eligibility for old age assistance) were significantly less
satisfied with their life than were working-class persons who were also
poor. It may be that only steep drops in level of income produce a
lowering of satisfaction with life.
Social and Demographic Characteristics
Occupational status has often been found to have a positive effect
on life satisfaction or morale, even among retirees (George and Maddox,
1977; Alston and Dudley, 1973). Edwards and Klemmack (1973) found a
significant effect for occupation even when controlling for income. Edu¬
cation level usually does not have its expected positive effect (Spreitzer
and Snyder, 1974; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Elwell and Maitbie-Crannel,
1981). In fact, George and Maddox (1977) found a slight negative effect
for education when controlling for occupation.
The loss of a spouse, either through death or divorce, appears to
have a detrimental effect on satisfaction or morale. Married persons
have been found to be more satisfied by some researchers (Hutchinson,
1975; Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; George and Maddox, 1977). However,

38
other researchers have not found any significant difference between
married and nonmarried persons (Barfield and Morgan, 1978; Palmore and
Luikart, 1972). These differences in results may be due to fluctuations
in the distributions of the types of nonmarried persons. Those who are
widowed may be less happy than those who are divorced or separated, who
in turn may be less happy than never-married persons. Because these
types of marital statuses may constitute different proportions of the
general "nonmarried" category, the specific statuses should be used
whenever possible.
Two factors that do not appear to have any effect on life satisfac¬
tion among older people are age (Palmore and Luikart, 1972; Spreitzer
and Snyder, 1974) and sex (Edwards and Klemmack, 1973; Hutchinson, 1975;
Palmore and Luikart, 1972). Spreitzer and Snyder (1974) did not find
significant differences in satisfaction between blacks and whites;
however, Sauer's (1977) analysis by race of lower-class elderly in
Philadelphia did uncover different predictors of satisfaction for blacks
and whites.
Social Interaction
The degree and type of interaction with others have been regarded
as important factors in the satisfaction or happiness of older persons.
Most social interaction variables have been found at one time or another
to be significant predictors of satisfaction or happiness. Edwards and
Klemmack (1973) found that frequency of interaction with neighbors, fre¬
quency of phone contacts with friends and relatives, and the number of
friendly neighbors all increased life satisfaction. These researchers
also report that participation in formal organizations, frequency of

39
contact with non-nuclear kin and the frequency of contact with offspring
not in the home had no effect on satisfaction. Spreitzer and Snyder
(1974) report that church attendance had no effect on satisfaction.
Palmore and Luikart (1972) report that the number of social activities
was a positive predictor of life satisfaction and also report that par¬
ticipation in formal organizations increased the level of satisfaction,
a finding that contrasts with Edwards and Klemmack. Bultena and Oyler
(1971) found that greater social interaction was positively related to
satisfaction but the general measure of interaction used by Conner and
Powers (1975) was not significant. Elwell and Maitbie-Crannel (1981)
report that the degree of informal socializing and the participation in
formal organizations increases the level of satisfaction while family
interaction does not. The inconsistency in the above findings may be
due to differences in the measures used.
Psychological Correlates
In a review of the literature on correlates of life satisfaction,
Adams (1971) reports that the self-identidication as old by the elderly
is related to lower levels of satisfaction. Adams also finds that feel¬
ings of inadequacy by older men and feelings of rejection by older women
are generally correlated with lower satisfaction. In the social-
psychological sphere, Adams reports that most research has found that
the "contraction of life space" leads to lower satisfaction. This lat¬
ter finding is in direct contrast to the disengagement hypothesis of
Cumming and Henry (1961) who argued that disengagement, which includes
contraction of life space, is part of the normal process of growing old
and does not result in lowered happiness or satisfaction with life. One

40
psychological variable that Palmore and Luikart (1972) found to be sig¬
nificant in predicting life satisfaction was internal-external locus
of control. This is a measure of the extent to which an individual
believes he has control over his own life. Those who did believe that
they have a great deal of control over their own lives (inner-directed)
were significantly more satisfied.
In summary, subjective health status is the most important determin
ant of satisfaction with life. One aspect of this relationship that has
apparently not been tested is the effect of length of present health con
dition on present satisfaction. It may be that those persons who have
chronic conditions or impairments for a number of years come to accept
and cope with such conditions and, therefore, are relatively more sat¬
isfied than persons who have recently undergone a worsening of their
health. The standard of living appears to be important in the satisfac¬
tion or happiness of older people. Occupational status appears to be
positively related to satisfaction while education and age and sex do
not seem to have an effect on levels of satisfaction. The impact of
retirement appears to work primarily through health status and income
levels, and there is not much empirical evidence to support the "role
loss" hypothesis concerning retirement. Marital status may have an
effect on satisfaction but more specific categories are needed to ade¬
quately assess the impact of widowhood and divorce. Although inter¬
action with others does seem to play a part in personal satisfaction
with fife, it is certainly not clear from the research which types of
social interaction make a difference in levels of satisfaction. One
factor that has not been previously tested is the effect of the

41
discrepancy between the expected and the actual age of retirement. As
stated in the previous chapter, it is expected that the larger the dis¬
crepancy, especially negative discrepancies, the lower the level of
satisfaction or happiness. The specific relationships to be tested
in this research are stated in the following chapter.

CHAPTER III
DATA, MEASUREMENT OF VARIABLES AND
METHODS OF ANALYSIS
In this chapter, the data to be analyzed will be described; methodo
logical considerations will be discussed; the measurement of variables
will be enumerated; and the statistical methods of analysis will be pre¬
sented.
Data
The data to be utilized in this research are from the National
Longitudinal Surveys of Mature Men, aged 45-59 in 1966. These longitu¬
dinal surveys have been designed by Ohio State University for the Depart
ment of Labor which commissioned the surveys (see Parnés et a]_., 1979).
The interviewing has been conducted by the Census Bureau. This national
probability sample is stratified by race in order to insure adequate
numbers of blacks for analysis. Thirty percent of the sample is black.
The data cover a period of ten years, 1966-1976, in which respondents
were interviewed eight times. Five of these surveys were face-to-face
interviews (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1976). In 1968 a mail-out
questionnaire was used, while in 1973 and 1975 telephone interviews
were conducted. Because the 1968 questionnaire contains so little of
the necessary information for this analysis, it is not used here.
42

43
The original sample size of approximately 5,000 men in 1966 dropped
to slightly under 3,500 in 1976. Of the 1,500 who were lost, over half
died during this ten year interval. The refusal rate has always been
low, cumulatively over the ten years less than 14 percent of the original
sample refused or could not be located for two consecutive waves. The
interview status of the original respondents and the labor force status
of respondents interviewed in 1976 are shown in Table 3-1. The loss of
respondents, whether by death or refusal, could cause bias in the char¬
acteristics of the respondents who remain in the study. However, it does
not appear that any substantial variations in attrition of men by racial,
occupational or income characteristics occurred. Parnés et al_. state,
"It seems fair to conclude that attrition has not departed sufficiently
from a random pattern to constitute a serious problem" (1979:9).
The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) data contain information on
labor force participation, income and financial matters, family structure,
health, attitudes toward work, and other areas of an individual's life.
The data contain the necessary information on whether the respondent is
retired. The age of retirement was never ascertained in this data set
and, therefore, it must be estimated with the use of longitudinal infor¬
mation for each individual.
The decision concerning whether the respondent is retired is condi¬
tional on two responses. In every wave a question was asked concerning
the labor force status of respondent. One of the responses to this
question is "retired." In most waves, those persons who responded any¬
thing other than retired for their labor force activity were asked,
"At what age do you expect to retire from a (your) regular job?" One
of the responses was "already retired." Most of those responding

44
TABLE 3-1
Distribution of Original Sample in 1966 by Interview Status
Status (1976)
Frequency
Percentage
Not-Interviewed
Deceased
841
16.7
Dropped-out
692
13.8
Interviewed
Retired in 1966
139
2.8
Retired 1967-1976
1 ,246
24.8
In labor force in 1976
2,102
41.9
TOTAL
5,020
100.0

45
"already retired" were "unable to work" in the labor force activity
variable. Very few men who were "working," "unemployed" or "looking
for work" in the labor force activity variable responded that they were
retired in the question on expected age of retirement. Those men who
were in the labor force but responded that they were "already retired"
on the expected age of retirement question are considered to be retired.
The large majority of men classified as retired were not in the labor
force.
The first step in determining age of retirement is determining the
year of retirement. For those retired in 1976, this involves "stepping
back" one wave at a time until the respondent can no longer be classified
as retired. For example, a man may be retired in the 1976 and 1975 waves
but not in the 1973 wave. For some respondents, determining the year and
month of retirement was facilitated by questions in 1976, 1971 and 1969
that asked the year and month the person last held a regular job. If the
year given was within the time period the person went from not being re¬
tired to being retired, that information was used to specify the respon¬
dent's age of retirement. For some respondents, there was no information
on last regular job; or their last reported regular job preceded the last
survey year in which they reported themselves as being in the labor force;
or they gave a year for their last job that was later than the first sur¬
vey that they reported themselves as retired. Those respondents for whom
there was no information on last job held, or for whom last job held
preceded the last survey year in which they were officially still in the
labor force, the midpoint between the survey year in which they were not
retired and the survey year in which they first reported being retired,
was used as the estimated time of retirement. The midpoint between the

46
1973 and 1975 surveys is July, 1974; the midpoint between the 1971 and
1973 surveys is July, 1972; the midpoint between the 1969 and 1971 sur¬
veys is July, 1970; and the midpoint between the 1967 and 1969 surveys
is July, 1968. The reason for specifying the month of July is that
interviewing took place between the months of June and September, with
most interviews completed in July. For those few men who reported that
the last year they held a regular job was after the year they first re¬
ported being retired, a determination of whether this job was full-time
was made (35 or more hours per week and more than 26 weeks a year),
based on information from the next survey wave. If a man had retired,
gone back to work full-time, and retired again within the span of two
survey waves, the latter date of retirement (month and year of last reg¬
ular job) was used. Once the month and year of retirement was determined,
the month and year of birth of the respondent was used to determine his
estimated age of retirement. Using this method, it is unlikely that the
error in estimation of age of retirement is more than one year.
Based on these decision rules, a total of 1,246 retirees were iden¬
tified. Most of these men retired from a full-time job and had no labor
force experience after retirement. There were very few men who retired,
returned to the labor force, and retired again. Only 84 of the 1,246
retirees (6.7%) worked part-time (less than 35 hours per week or less
than 26 weeks per year) after they had retired from a full-time job.
Most of these 84 men worked fewer than 20 hours per week and fewer than
20 weeks out of the year. Therefore, almost all of the 1,246 men iden- '
tified as retired were not working, and those who were working identified
themselves as retired.

47
Correction for Sample Bias
It is the purpose of this research to estimate parameters of differ¬
ent models that should apply to all members of the age cohort who were
45-59 in 1966. However, if the sample of retirees is nonrandom, the co¬
efficients obtained will confound structural parameters with the deter¬
minants of the probability of sample selection since those who are retired
may be different in unmeasured ways from respondents who are observation-
ally the same (Rexroat, 1980). Because the analysis of differences in
expected and actual age of retirement splits the representative sample
of men in the NLS survey into those who have retired and those who have
not, it is very likely that this sample selection rule (retired vs. not-
retired) results in a group of retirees in which some have a "propensity
to retire" that may bias the estimated parameters. Heckman (1980) sug¬
gests treating bias as a specification error in the estimation of coeffi¬
cients. His approach will be used to correct for this problem among the
"subsamples" of retired and not-retired men.
To illustrate his approach, an equation is presented in which the
age of retirement is posited to be a function of a set of predictor var¬
iables, as well as a disturbance term;
Y = x'3 + e, (1)
where x is a vector of exogenous regressors and 8 is the vector of param¬
eters attached to the x's, and e is the error term in which the usual
OLS restriction that
E(e) = 0 (2)
is assumed to be true.
Heckman (1980) argues that in the case where respondents are missing
on the dependent variable, there is the possibility that the conditional

48
mean of the error term is not zero and that this nonrandom distribution
may be related to the selection rule (retired only) that causes some
cases to be eliminated from the analysis. The actual form of the equa¬
tion (1) may then be;
Y^x'B+ÍA+u), (3)
where A and u are two separate components of the disturbance e. u is the
random error term that is not correlated with any of the x's. A on the
other hand, is a component that involves the person's propensity to be
retired; that is, to be in the sample. The pertinent question is whether
this A is in any way related to the x's in the regression equation, there¬
fore biasing the coefficients. Most researchers have assumed away this
possible effect, or qualified their findings by verbally announcing that
there may be some selection bias. Heckman argues that there will usually
be some relation between A and the x's, especially when the same type of
factors that affect the dependent variable are also related to the prob¬
ability of sample inclusion. Therefore, the estimate of A is a measure
of certain unmeasured characteristics that bring the person into the
sample; in this case, bring them into retirement. Heckman asserts that
the estimation of a sample bias term that is included in the regressions
should control for the effects of unmeasured characteristics on the
parameters estimated for the independent variables.
The problem is thus changed from one of missing cases on the de¬
pendent variable, which is nonresolvable, to one of a missing exogenous
variable, A, in the regression equation. Based on the assumptions de¬
veloped above, the estimate for A is in fact an estimate of the covari¬
ance of the errors in the equation that predicts sample selection and
the errors in the equation that predicts age of retirement (Fligstein
and Wolf, 1978).

49
Though most researchers who have used this technique have derived
x from a probit equation, it is also possible to obtain it from a logit
model. The parameter estimate of X is a function of the predicted
probability of sample inclusion; in this case, the predicted probabil¬
ity of being retired. The predicted probability can be obtained from
a logit analysis. This probability of being retired can be expressed
as
Pp = Prob(Y = 1) = F(xe), (4)
where F(xs) is the cumulative distribution function describing the rela¬
tionship of the probabilities to the exogenous variables (see Hanushek
and Jackson, 1977). The logistic distribution is defined as Pr =
——, where the predicted cumulative probabilities range from 0 to 1
(l+e'xB)
as x3 ranges from -°° to +°°. The predicted probabilities can then be
standardized to the normal distribution by the following equation:
(pir " u)
S = —^ ' <5>
where P. is the predicted probability of retirement for the ith individ¬
ual, u is the overall mean of the predicted probability of inclusion and
o is the standard deviation. These standardized probabilities, which are
Z scores, are used to estimate the area under the standard normal distri¬
bution which is to the left of the standardized probability, and is
denoted as T.^. The value for the ith individual is the denominator of
X. The numerator is the ordinate (height) of the standardized probability
on the standard normal distribution at SP. and is expressed as
v â– 
g[—5(SP-r)2]
where SP. is the standardized probability for the ith individual
(6)
As
Heckman indicates, x is the ratio of the ordinate to the tail area of

50
the standard normal distribution. The formula for the bias-correction
estimate is therefore,
T.
i r
The values of A are a monotone decreasing function of the probability of
sample selection. Large values of A indicate a greater degree of "biased¬
ness" and, therefore, reflect a lower probability of sample inclusion.
An example is given in order to more clearly show how the A term
may correct for bias. Consider the relationship between the actual age
and the expected age of retirement, which are hypothesized to be positive¬
ly correlated. Higher values of expected age should result in lower
probabilities of sample inclusion, and consequently higher values of A.
That is, persons who are not very likely to be retired, but nonetheless
are retired, have a high A. Those persons with a high unmeasured "pro¬
pensity to retire" (high values of a) will usually be young retirees and,
therefore, a negative relationship between the age of retirement and the
bias-correction term should exist. Using the well-known formula for a
partial correlation controlling for a third variable (Agresti and Agresti,
1979), possible correlations are entered to show the results of the inter¬
relations posited above, y is the age of retirement, x is the expected
age and v is the estimate of A.
r = ryx'(ryv)(rxv) = .30-(-.40)(.15) = 4Q
yx'v [ (i-r2yV) (i-r2xv) 355 [(l-.ieHi-.os)]1'2
The result indicates that if the "true" correlation between actual
age and expected age is .40, in a biased sample it will be reduced to .30
given the negative relationship between actual age and the bias-correction

51
term and the positive relationship between expected age and the bias-
correction term. This bias-correction term will be added to the basic
regression model (1) which can now be written as
(l.a) Y = x'B + X + e.
This equation should control for the potential bias that is due to the
sample selection rule. The exogenous variables to be used in obtaining
the predicted probabilities will be enumerated later in the chapter.
Measurement of Variables
The variables to be used, and the way in which they are measured,
will be explained in this section. In the first section, the variables
related to the analysis of the actual and expected age of retirement are
presented in the context of the conceptual model presented in Chapter I.
In the second section, those variables related to the analysis of adjust¬
ment to retirement are presented.
Factors in the Analysis of Expected and Actual Age of Retirement
The dependent variables, expected and actual age, are discussed
first. The important control of cohort is then briefly discussed. The
predictor variables are presented in the context of the three general
types of factors presented in the conceptual model in Chapter I; con¬
straining, job-related and social and psychological factors.
Actual age of retirement. The construction of this variable is
discussed extensively earlier in the chapter. The age of retirement
ranges from 47 to 70, even though the upper age for men in this sample
is 69. This occurs because some of those men who were 59 in 1966 were

52
interviewed shortly before their 60th birthday and in 1976 were inter¬
viewed shortly after their 70th birthday.
Expected age of retirement. This variable is based on the question,
"At what age do you expect to retire from a (your) regular job?" The
responses to this question include actual age estimates as well as "al¬
ready retired," "never retire" and "don't know." This question was asked
in every wave and the responses in 1966 will be used to estimate the re¬
lationship between the expected and the actual age of retirement. Those
men who were retired in 1966, approximately five percent of the original
sample, are deleted. Those responding "never retire" are, for some analy¬
ses, assigned an expected age of retirement based on life expectancy by
age and race. The values of these expected ages for the "never retire"
group range from 74 to 78. Those who responded "don't know" are assigned
the modal age of 65. A six-category classification of expected age is
also utilized.
Cohort. This variable is defined as three distinct groups: ages
45-49, 50-54 and 55-59 in 1966. This variable is to be used as a control
since both the expected and actual age may differ across cohorts, as may
the relationships between the two dependent variables and predictor vari¬
ables.
Constraint factors. The first type of influence on the expected and
actual age of retirement to be considered concerns factors that restrict
the continued labor force participation of men. There are two constraint
variables measured in this research: coverage under a mandatory retire¬
ment policy and work-related health limitation.
1. Mandatory Retirement Policy. Most of the literature re¬
garding mandatory ages of retirement is polemical and suggests that mandatory

53
ages reduce the age at which people retire. Schulz (1976) and others
have shown that earlier-than-preferred retirement is a relatively rare
occurrence since the large majority of men covered by such policies re¬
tire before the mandatory age or voluntarily retire at that age. It is,
therefore, hypothesized that men covered by a mandatory retirement policy
will expect to retire at earlier ages. However, it is not expected that
men covered by such policies will retire at earlier ages than men not
covered. Respondents in the NLS panel were asked in a number of waves
if they were covered by a mandatory retirement policy at their present
job. This variable is defined as a dichotomy, covered/not-covered.
2. Work-Related Health Limitation. The ability to work is
perhaps the most crucial constraint factor. Previous research consis¬
tently shows that men in poor health retire at earlier ages. The hypoth¬
esis is that men in poor health will expect to retire at earlier ages and
will retire at earlier ages than healthy men. Health of respondent can
be consistently measured over the waves only as a dichotomy of health
limitation/no health limitation. This is because only the basic ques¬
tions asking men if their health limited the amount or kind of work they
could do were asked in all of the surveys.
Job-related factors. The second general type of influence on the
expected and actual age consists of factors directly related to the job
the individual holds. There are three variables contained in this type:
occupation, pension eligibility and satisfaction with job.
1. Occupation. The kind of occupation an individual is em¬
ployed in may affect both the expected and and the actual age of retire¬
ment. The research literature indicates that higher status occupations,
such as professionals and businessmen, both expect to retire, and do

54
retire, at later ages. Also, farmers tend to have higher expected and
actual ages of retirement. Occupational status, measured by the Duncan
Socio-Economic Index, should be positively related to both the expected
and the actual age of retirement. An 11 category classification of
occupations will also be used to investigate specific occupational
groups, such as farmers.
2. Pension Eligibility. Barfield and Morgan's research (1969,
1978) indicate that men who will receive a private pension (other than
social security) expect to retire earlier, and do retire earlier, than
men who are not eligible for pensions. It is hypothesized then, that men
who are eligible for a private pension will expect to retire earlier and
will have younger ages of retirement than those men who are not eligible.
In the 1966 survey, the following question was asked, "Will you be eligible
for any retirement benefits, such as from personal plans, private employee,
government employee or military retirement plans?" If the man responded
that he was eligible for one or more pension benefits, he is considered
eligible. The amount of pension benefits may vary widely but there is
not adequate information on this aspect of receipt of pensions. There¬
fore, this variable is defined as a dichotomy, eligible/not-eligible.
3. Job Satisfaction. Previous research indicates that men
who are dissatisfied with their job expect to retire at younger ages com¬
pared to men satisfied with their job. The evidence on how job satisfac¬
tion affects the age of retirement is less clear, but if any conclusions
were to be reached, it does appear that dissatisfaction with job may lead
to earlier retirement. In this research it is expected that dissatisfac¬
tion with job will result in earlier expected and actual ages of retire¬
ment. In all waves except the 1973 and 1975 surveys, the employed

55
respondents were asked about satisfaction with present job. This vari¬
able will be defined as a dichotomy, satisfied/dissatisfied.
Social and psychological factors. The third type of influence con¬
cerns those social and psychological factors that are not directly related
to the job of the individual but may have some impact on the expected and
actual age of retirement. This third area contains nine different vari¬
ables: marital status, number of dependents, education level, wife's
labor force status, race, assets, mortgage debt, the Rotter scale of
internal-external locus of control and commitment to work.
1. Marital Status. There is some evidence that married men
remain in the labor force somewhat longer than men who are not married.
It is believed that the additional responsibility of a spouse tends to
keep men in the labor force longer. Therefore, married men should have
later expected and actual ages of retirement. In the NLS data, there are
five marital status categories: married, widowed, divorced, separated
and never married. For most analyses, all of these categories will be
used; however, in some cases a married/not currently married dichotomy
will be used.
2. Number of Dependents. Previous research shows that having
more dependents results in later expected ages and also delays the age of
retirement. Having the financial responsibility of dependents should
delay retirement and, therefore, it is hypothesized that number of de¬
pendents will be positively related to the expected and actual age of
retirement. The number of dependents is defined as those persons whom
the respondent claims as dependents in addition to his wife. This infor¬
mation was obtained in every survey.

56
3. Education. Those persons with more years of education
often have greater attachment to their work, such as professionals. This
attachment may result in later expected and actual ages of retirement.
The education variable is defined as number of years of school completed
by the respondent.
4. Wife's Labor Force Status. There has been very little re¬
search on how the employment of the wife may affect the retirement expec¬
tations or retirement timing of men. The recent research by Anderson et
al. (1980) indicates that labor force participation by the wife tends to
result in men remaining in the labor force longer. Therefore, it is
hypothesized that those men with working wives will expect to retire
later and actually retire at later ages than men whose wives do not work.
A question concerning the earnings of the respondent's wife was included
in all waves except 1973. The variable will be measured as a dichotomy,
working (reported earnings)/not-working (no reported earnings).
5. Race. Net of all other factors, it is doubtful that there
will be differences between blacks and whites in the expected age of re¬
tirement. However, the greater employment instability of blacks and
possible discrimination against blacks in the labor market may produce
younger ages of retirement for this group.
6. Assets. There have only been a few studies that have in¬
vestigated the effect of assets on retirement and this evidence is unclear.
Higher assets may lead to younger expected ages of retirement and also to
younger actual ages of retirement, but some analyses show no effect of
assets on retirement. The hypothesized relationship is that assets is
negatively related to both the expected and actual age of retirement.
Information on asset holdings was obtained in 1966, 1969, 1971 and 1976.

57
Assets are defined as the sum of savings, savings bonds, estimated market
value of stocks and bonds, business assets and the estimated value of
real estate other than home. Business debts and debt on real estate is
subtracted from this sum.
7. Mortgage. As with assets, there has been relatively little
research on the effect of mortgage debt on retirement. The few studies
reported in the literature review indicate that the existence of a mort¬
gage does delay the expected and actual age and, therefore, a positive
relation among these variables should exist. Information on the amount
of mortgage on a home was obtained in 1966, 1969, 1971 and 1976. Those
respondents who do not own a home are coded 0.
8. Rotter Scale. One of the specific factors that Atchley
(1979) discusses in his model of the retirement process is "orientation
to planning." This orientation may be related to an inner- versus other-
directed personality where those persons who are inner-directed tend to
plan more than those who are other-directed. Because those who are
"planners" should be less likely to respond "never retire" or "don't know,"
they would tend to have lower expected ages of retirement. Although this
is less certain, those persons more inner-directed should also have younger
actual ages of retirement. The Rotter scale is an 11-item measure of an
individual's internal-external locus of control. This scale was developed
to measure the individual's perception of the amount of control he has
over his own life. Those who are more "internally located" should be
more likely to plan for retirement. This is only an indirect measure of
"orientation to planning," but is the closest measure to this concept
available in the NLS data set. This scale was not included in the
questionnaire until 1969, and was included again in the 1971 and 1976

58
surveys. The 1969 scores will be used in the analysis of expected and
actual age.
9. Commitment to Work. One of the social-psychological fac¬
tors in Atchley's model is "strength of work ethic." This type of factor
measures the degree to which an individual believes in work for the in¬
trinsic value of working. Those who have a strong work ethic should have
later expected and actual ages of retirement. In the 1966 survey, the
following question was asked: "If, by some chance, you were to get enough
money to live comfortably without working, do you think that you would
work anyway?" Those men who responded affirmatively are considered to
be committed to work and should expect to retire later and actually re¬
tire at later ages than those men who would not continue working. This
variable is defined as a dichotomy, committed/not-committed.
It is believed that most of the important factors related to retire¬
ment are measured in this research. One specific area, attitudes toward
retirement, cannot be sufficiently measured because no information on
these attitudes was obtained on a regular basis in the NLS data. The
expected age of retirement includes to some degree the preferred age of
retirement. However, the expected age primarily encompasses the realis¬
tic plans of individuals and their consideration of restrictions and
opportunities regarding the timing of retirement. No claim is made
that the expected age of retirement is a measure of attitudes toward
retirement.
Factors in the Analysis of Adjustment to Retirement
The two measures of adjustment are discussed first. Independent
variables for the full sample contain factors that measure "quality of

59
life," status, social characteristics and psychological orientation,
which are measured for both retirees and those men still in the labor
force. Finally, a set of variables that are specific to the conditions
of retirement are presented.
Happiness with life. The first dependent variable is a global hap¬
piness with life measure. The following question was asked of all re¬
spondents in 1976: "Taking things altogether, would you say you're very
happy, somewhat happy, somewhat unhappy or very unhappy these days?"
This question is taken from Gurin, Veroff and Feld's (1960) study of
mental health in America.
This life happiness measure is not the same as life satisfaction,
although the two are conceptually related and are also highly correlated.
Happiness with life tends to reflect the individual's affect (feelings)
about his current state of affairs (George and Bearon, 1980). The use
of one item to measure how happy a person is with life is questioned by
some researchers but has been used quite frequently in previous research.
Lohman (1977) reports that correlations of a single life satisfaction
measure with six scales of satisfaction among older people were relatively
low. Although the global happiness item refers to present circumstances,
Robinson and Shaver (1973) report studies that show relatively high test-
retest correlations of single-item measures with up to two years separ¬
ating the measurements. This indicates that the responses are not
usually subject to ups and downs in daily life. Spreitzer and Snyder
(1974) defend the validity of a single item because it is straightfor¬
ward while the use of scales often assumes that certain components of
happiness or satisfaction are equally important to the individual in
determining overall happiness with life. The straightforward question,

60
such as the one used in this research, allows the individual to evaluate
his life in a wholistic manner. The happiness with life measure will be
defined as a dichotomy of happy/unhappy due to the skew towards the "very
happy" and "somewhat happy" responses.
Evaluation of retirement experience. The second measure of adjust¬
ment to retirement is specific to the retirement experience. In the 1976
survey, all retirees were asked, "All in all, how does your life in retire¬
ment compare with what you expected it to be? Is it much better, somewhat
better, about what you expected, somewhat worse or much worse?" This
question asks the respondent for a relative evaluation of his retirement
experience. In general, such an evaluation will probably be congruent
with an evaluation of retirement that refers only to present satisfaction.
This "relative evaluation of retirement" item is considered to be a useful
measure for the analysis of panel data because it is more relevant to cer¬
tain conditions of retirement, such as earlier-than-expected retirement,
the level of earnings replacement and the worsening of health. Those men
who responded "much better" and "somewhat better" are considered to have
a "positive evaluation" of retirement, those men who responded "about
what expected" have a "neutral evaluation" of retirement, and those men
responding "somewhat worse" or "much worse" have a "negative evaluation"
of retirement. These three types of responses--positive, neutral and
negative--constitute the categories of the evaluation of retirement
measure.
Independent variables for full sample.
1. Health. The general health of the older person has been
shown to be the most important predictor of satisfaction or happiness
with life. Those men in better health should be more likely to be happy

61
with their life and also to have a positive evaluation of retirement. A
basic categorical contrast of men who report one or more health problems
in 1976 to those who do not report any health problems is used to meas¬
ure overall health. This variable does not measure the degree of ill
health, such as whether a man is disabled, but it does differentiate
between healthy men and men who have some health problems.
2. Change in Health. Another important aspect of a person's
health is the relative state of health at the present time compared to
the past. This kind of factor has rarely been tested among older people,
but it is clearly important for personal happiness. A recent worsening
of health may depress an individual, even if his overall state of health
is relatively good. Also, improvements in health by persons who are un¬
healthy may result in more positive evaluations of life, and of retire¬
ment. In the 1976 survey, the following question was asked of all
respondents: "During the past three years, has your health condition
become better, worse or remained about the same?" These three responses
are used to measure the relative state of health of the respondents.
3. Family Income. Previous research shows that higher income
results in higher levels of satisfaction or happiness with life. There
should also be a positive relation between income and the evaluation of
retirement because higher income allows for a better standard of living
and the opportunity to engage in certain activities, such as travel, in
retirement. The measure of family income is for the year 1975 and in¬
cludes all sources of income for members of the respondent's household.
For those persons who are missing on this variable, a regression equation
is used to predict family income.

62
4. Occupational Status. The research literature indicates
that occupational status or prestige is positively related to happiness
with life and this should also be true for the evaluation of retirement.
Upper status workers tend to have greater autonomy, tend to receive more
nonpecuniary rewards and to live and work in more appealing environments.
For those who are retired, higher occupational status reflects more con¬
tacts in the community, a greater retention of work contacts, more partic¬
ipation in voluntary organizations and a greater variety of leisure time
pursuits. The Duncan SEI measure of occupational status is used to meas¬
ure this factor.
5. Education. Most of the previous research indicates that
education level, net of occupation, is not a significant predictor of
happiness with life. There is some evidence, however, that education is
positively related to happiness with life and it is hypothesized in this
research that higher education will result in a greater probability of
happiness with life and a greater probability of a positive evaluation
of retirement.
6. Labor Force Status. One of the main issues in the retire¬
ment literature is whether the loss of job results in lowered satisfaction
and happiness with life. As noted in the literature review, most empirical
research does not support this hypothesis. The possible negative effect
of being retired on happiness with life will be tested in this research.
The variable is a dichotomous contrast, retired/not-retired.
7. Marital Status. There is some evidence that married men
are more happy with their lives than nonmarried men. Very often men who
are divorced, separated, widowed and never married are categorized together
into a nonmarried classification. Therefore, the cause of this difference

63
in the tendency to be happy is not clearly understood. It would be ex¬
pected that for men, as for women, widowhood is the most negative of non
married statuses. Furthermore, the recency of widowhood may also be
important in the adjustment of the individual. In the 1976 survey,
widowed men were asked the year in which they did become widowed and
this information will be used to separate long-term widowers (more than
two years) from recent widowers (two years or less). Therefore, four
categories of nonmarried men--divorced or separated, never married, long
term widowers and recent widowers--will be contrasted with married men.
All four nonmarried groups should have lower probabilities of being
happy, with the recent widowers being most likely to be unhappy. The
effect of marital status on the evaluation of retirement will also be
tested, but this effect should be smaller and perhaps nonexistent.
8. Rotter Scale. The description of this psychological meas¬
ure of internal-external locus of control was given in the previous sub¬
section on social and psychological variables related to the expected
and actual age. Those men more inner-directed are expected to have a
higher probability of being happy with their life and also more likely
to have a positive evaluation of retirement.
9. Race. Most of the research on satisfaction or happiness
with life does not show differences between blacks and whites, net of
other factors. It is expected that blacks are more likely to be unhappy
with their life and to have a negative evaluation of retirement. This
is expected because of the generally more depressed living environment
for blacks and the restricted opportunities for social participation.

64
Retirement-specific factors.
1. Difference in Actual and Expected Age. The primary motiva¬
tion for the analysis of the adjustment to retirement measures is to test
the effect of the discrepancy between the expected and actual age of re¬
tirement. It has been hypothesized that those men who retire earlier
than they expected will have a "less successful" adjustment to retire¬
ment than on-time retirees. Those men who retire later than their ex¬
pected age may also have a less successful adjustment to retirement. In
terms of the specific dependent measures, those who retire "on-time"
should have a higher probability of being happy and also a greater proba¬
bility of a positive evaluation of retirement. Three categories are
constructed to measure the difference in actual and expected age.
Earlier-than-expected retirees are those who retired more than two years
before their expected age; on-time retirees are those who retired within
two years, plus or minus, of their expected age; and later-than-expected
retirees are those who retired more than two years after their expected
age.
2. Years Retired. Some previous research indicates that ad¬
justment to retirement may be less successful shortly after the time of
retirement. This adjustment period has been suggested to last about one
year (Streib and Schneider, 1971). It is hypothesized that number of
years retired will be positively related to both probability of being
happy and also a positive evaluation of retirement. This variable is
measured two ways: the interval-level measure of number of years since
retirement and the categorical contrast of retired one year or less to
retired more than one year.

65
3. Commitment to Work. Those men who are committed to work,
whether their retirement was voluntary or not, may have a less success¬
ful adjustment to retirement. Therefore, it is hypothesized that those
men who were committed to work before retirement will have a lower proba¬
bility of being happy with life and more likely to have a negative evalu¬
ation of retirement. This variable is a dichotomy as defined in the
previous subsection on the expected and actual age of retirement.
4. Income-Replacement Ratio. There have been very few studies
that have data on pre-retirement income because panel data is necessary
for the accurate collection of this information. Results from the Cornell
panel study (Streib and Schneider, 1971) did indicate that the drop in
income after retirement tended to reduce the life satisfaction of re¬
tirees. It is expected that the higher the replacement ratio, the higher
the probability of being happy with life and of evaluating the retirement
experience positively. This measure is calculated by using the family
income measure for 1975 as the post-retirement measure of income and
taking the average family income of retirees before the year of their
retirement. For those men who retired in 1967, the family income in 1965
and 1966 are averaged; while for later retirees, additional years (1968,
1970 and 1972) are also averaged. Family income before 1975 is normed
to 1975 dollars with the use of the Current Price Index (U.S. Bureau of
the Census, 1980) in order to control for changes in money income.
Methods of AnaTysis
In this section, the statistical methods of analysis are delineated.
A number of parametric statistical methods will be used in this research,
with most models being tested with OLS regression.

66
Bivariate Analyses
One of the theoretical questions in this research concerns the cor¬
relation between a behavioral expectation (expected age of retirement)
and behavior (age of retirement). Bivariate regression is used to test
this relationship, because it allows for the introduction of the bias-
correction term (a). The regressions will be conducted with both the
interval and the categorical definitions of expected age. The regression
of actual age on the categories of expected age will allow for the test¬
ing of nonlinearity in the effect of expected age on actual age and also
give some indication of the viability of the assigned ages for the "don't
know" and "never retire" groups.
Also of interest is the stability of expected age of retirement over
time. The stability of expected age primarily involves an analysis of
the association between 1966 response and 1976 response. In the bivari¬
ate regression analysis, the assignment rules for the "don't know" and
"never retire" groups, which were explained earlier, are used. To further
investigate consistency over this ten-year period, a log-linear analysis
is also conducted. The six-category classification previously delineated
will be used for the analysis of expected age in 1966 and expected age
in 1976. Log-linear analysis allows one to test models of association
between two or more variables. An attempt is made to fit the observed
cell frequencies (f^.) with the most parsimonious and theoretically
meaningful model. With two variables (expected age at time 1 and at
time 2) there are only two models that can be tested, short of a satur¬
ated model where all cells are fit exactly. The model of independence
posits no relation between the two variables and may be expressed
ln(m..) = u + A* + aJ,
(1)

67
where ln(m. .) represents the natural log of the sample expected fre-
* vJ
quency for the cell ij, u is the grand mean of the log m.., A? is the
1 J ^
effect of being in the ith row and A^ is the effect of being in the jth
column. The row and column effects are deviations of each row and column
total from the grand mean (u). No relationship between the row variable
(expected age in 1966) and the column variable (expected age in 1976) is
allowed. This model is not expected to fit the observed data.
The quasi-independence model is one that allows for association in
some particular cells but maintains independence between the row and
column variables in the remaining cells. This is accomplished by requir¬
ing the "dependent cells" to be fit exactly (m^. = f...) and using an
iterative procedure to calculate expected frequencies for the independent
cells. The quasi-independence model is used to postulate dependence
along the main diagonal (i = j) and independence in the off-diagonal
cells (i f j). This model may fit the observed data if there is no
definite pattern of change in expected age (earlier or later ages) over
time. If this model does not fit, the standardized residuals can be
computed, i.e., (f^ mij)/m..^, to investigate where association among
J
the categories still exists.
OLS Analysis of Expected and Actual Retirement Age
OLS estimation techniques are used to test models of expected age
and actual age of retirement. The effects of the independent variables
on the expected and actual age are analyzed in terms of their tendency
to produce larger or smaller differences between the actual and expected
age.

68
The analysis begins with a prediction equation for the expected age
of retirement among the subsample of retired men. The full prediction
equation for the expected age is
ExpAge = a + bi MandRet + b2 HlthLimit + b3 Occup +
b4 PenEligib + b5 JobSat + b6 Marital + b7 Mo.Dep's +
b3 Educ + b9 Wife'sLFS + b10 Assets + bn Mortgage +
b12 Rotter + b13 WorkCmmt + b14 Race + Lambda. (2)
Interactions between race and other predictors, and between the mandatory
retirement variable and other predictors, will be estimated for the ex¬
pected age. The analysis of the expected age of men who have retired
allows for the estimation of the effects of characteristics that are also
used in the analysis of the actual age. The effects of some variables
on the expected age may be different from their effects on the actual
age.
The prediction of the actual age of retirement will be used in con¬
junction with the prediction of the expected age to ascertain the factors
that increase or decrease the difference between the expected age and
the actual age of retirement. The regression of actual age on expected
age produces a residual that is explained in part by the previous predic¬
tors of expected age, net of the intercorrelation between expected age
and the other predictors. In this sense a causal path model is estimated
in which the effects of social and economic characteristics at an earlier
time on the age of retirement are measured through their effect on the
expected age of retirement, and their effect net of the expected age.
The prediction equation for the actual age of retirement is

69
Actual = a + bi ExpAge + b2 MandRet + b3 HlthLimit
+ b4 Occup + b5 PenEligib + b6 JobSat + b7 Marital +
b8 No.Dep's + b9 Educ + b10 Wife'sLFS + bn Assets +
b12 Mortgage + b13 Rotter + b14 WorkCmmt + b15 Race
+ Lambda. (3)
The above prediction equation proposes that characteristics and
expectations and attitudes at one point in time influence behavior at a
later period. One of the most important questions in this research, both
theoretically and practically, is how changes in individual characteris¬
tics or situations may produce differences between expectations and be¬
havior. These intervening changes may in fact be more important than
the characteristics or situations of individuals at a previous time.
Therefore, a complete model must include change terms for some of the
predictor variables. The prediction equation for the full model will
be in the following form:
Actual = a + b2 ExpAge + b2 . . . + b15 Race +
b16A HlthLimit + b17A Occup + b18A Marital + bigA
No.Dep's + b20A Assets + b21A Mortgage + b22A
Wife'sLFS + Lambda. (4)
The X regressor term must be estimated for the subsamples of retired
and not-retired men. Logit estimation allows one to calculate the prob¬
ability of sample inclusion based on a set of exogenous variables. The
logit equation for the prediction of retirement in 1976 is
l°g(l'Tr ) = a + bi Age + b2 MandRet + b3 HlthLimit
+ b4 Occup + b5 PenEligib + b6 JobSat + b7 Marital +
b8 No.Dep's + b9 Educ + b10 Wife'sLFS + bn Assets +
b12 Mortgage + b13 Rotter + b14 WorkCmmt + b15 Race +
b16 ExpAge. (5)

70
The probability of remaining in the labor force will be calculated
in the same manner, with the same exogenous variables, but where "work¬
ing" = 1.
Analysis of Adjustment Measures
Logit estimation will be used in the analysis of the happiness meas¬
ure (happy-unhappy) that was previously discussed. The happiness with
life measure is defined as a dichotomy between "happy" and "unhappy."
The logit prediction equation for the full sample (retired and not-
retired), where "happy" = 1, is
1 °g(l-Pr) = a + t>i HlthProb + b2 HlthBttr + b3 HlthWrse
+ b4 Famine + b5 Occup + b6 Educ + b7 LFS + b8 DivSep +
b9 LongWid + b10 RecentWid + bn Never + b12 Rotter +
b13 Race, (6)
where HlthBttr and HlthWrse represent the effects of change in health
versus no change, LFS is the dichotomy of retired/not-retired and the
four marital statuses are represented in contrast to married men. An
interaction model for retired and not-retired men will also be tested.
Among men who are retired, the analysis of the satisfaction measure
will include more exogenous variables that are specific to being retired.
The income replacement ratio variable, the categorical contrasts of the
discrepancy between the actual and expected age, the number of years in
retirement and commitment to work before retirement are the additional
variables. These variables will be added on to the model for the full-
sample given in equation (6).
The analysis of the subjective evaluation of the retirement experi¬
ence is difficult because there are three categories, and though they are

71
ordered in their degree of "positiveness," interval-level measurement
cannot be assumed. The difference between a "worse than expected" re¬
tirement experience and an "about what expected" retirement experience
is not necessarily the same difference as that between a "better than
expected" and an "about what expected" retirement experience. The way
such responses are analyzed is by logit contrasts. In these logits
the denominator (1-Pr) is always the neutral response of "about what
expected." The positive and negative responses are, in turn, contrasted
to the neutral response. Therefore, logit equations will be estimated
for the contrasts Px/P2 and P3/P2, where Pi = "positive evaluation,"
P2 = "neutral evaluation" and P3 = "negative evaluation." The same
predictors are used in the analysis of the evaluation of retirement
measure as for the analysis of the happiness measure.
For the analysis of the happiness with life and retirement experi¬
ence variables in the subsample of retired men, it will be necessary to
control for possible sample bias with the use of a X regressor term.
In this case, it is necessary to estimate the probability of being
retired with the basic set of predictors used in the full-sample analy¬
sis of the happiness measure. Family income is not included, however,
because it is partially a function of retirement. Adding the necessary
factor of age to the exogenous variables, the logit estimation equation
for the prediction of retirement in 1976 is,
1og(1Ppr) = a + bj Age + b2 HlthProb + b3 HlthBttr
+ b4 HlthWrse + b5 Occup + b6 Educ + b7 DivSep +
b8 LongHid + bg RecentWid + b10 Never + bn Rotter
+ b12 Race.

72
The A term will then be estimated from the predicted probabilities of
inclusion and entered into the logit equations for the analysis of the
happiness and evaluation of retirement variables.
Summary
In this chapter, the hypothesized relationships among the variables
and how these variables are to be measured have been delineated. The
methodological difficulties in the use of a panel survey have been dis¬
cussed and the resolutions of the major problems have been presented.
The statistical methods of analysis have also been outlined and show the
way in which the dynamic process of the movement from a certain expecta¬
tion regarding the timing of retirement to the actual timing of retire¬
ment, and the possible attitudinal response to this experience will be
evaluated. Although not all of the possibly relevant factors can be
taken into account in the foregoing analysis, it is felt that the models
proposed in this chapter address the central sociological issues of the
retirement process.

CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS OF EXPECTED AND ACTUAL AGE OF RETIREMENT
Introduction
The main issue considered in this research is the discrepancy between
the expected or planned age of retirement and the actual age of retire¬
ment. As stated in Chapter I, this discrepancy is important for a number
of reasons. First, the strength of the association between the expected
age and the actual age of retirement gives some indication of how well
men are able to predict the age at which they retire. This may be con¬
sidered an indirect indicator of the extent older men make plans for re¬
tirement and are able to carry out such long-range plans. In a theoreti¬
cal context, the relationship between expected age and actual age tests
the usefulness of behavioral intentions as predictors of actual behavior
over long periods of time. Another important reason for considering the
discrepancy between expected and actual age is the possible effect that
such a discrepancy might have on personal adjustment to retirement. This
issue will be addressed in the next chapter.
While some association is expected between the expected and actual
age, a relatively large discrepancy between the two may occur for many
men. The reasons for such discrepancies are the main focus of the fol¬
lowing analysis. Frequent change in expected age may occur between first
measurement of the expected age and the time of retirement. The insta¬
bility in expected age may be caused by those factors that have been
73

74
hypothesized to affect the relationship between the expected age and
the actual age. Instability in expected age may also reflect the uncer¬
tainty and tentativeness of the responses of men in late-middle age.
That is, changes in expected age over time and much of the discrepancy
between expected and actual age may reflect a widespread lack of serious
planning for the timing of retirement among men approaching retirement
age. The analysis of the discrepancy between expected and actual age
centers on the issue of what factors and events influence whether men
retire at the age at which they expect to retire. Health is expected to
be a major factor in the degree of discrepancy between expected and actual
age. Of more interest from a sociological viewpoint are the effects of
social and social-psychological characteristics and the effects of changes
in these characteristics on the ability of men to retire at or near their
expected age.
This chapter addresses explicitly the issues discussed above. First,
summary descriptive statistics regarding the expected and actual age of
retirement will be presented. Second, the relation between expected and
actual age will be investigated through bivariate regressions. Third,
the stability of expected age over time will be analyzed by using the
responses of men who have not yet retired. Fourth, the expected age of
the retired men will be analyzed in order to discern the types of factors
most important in determining such a behavioral intention. Finally, the
discrepancy between the expected and actual age will be analyzed.

75
Prediction of Sample-Bias Term
The problem of sample bias was discussed in the preceding chapter
and a method was presented in which a "bias-correction" variable is esti¬
mated (lambda). Sample bias may affect the observed relationship between
the expected age and the actual age of retirement as well as the relation¬
ship between these two variables and the predictor variables. The first
step in the estimation of the bias-correction term is to obtain predicted
probabilities of retirement, or of remaining in the labor force, for
each individual. The LOGIST procedure in the SAS computer package is
used for this, as well as all other logit analyses. This procedure uses
a maximum likelihood procedure to fit the logistic multiple regression
model. The logit regression for the prediction of being retired in 1976
is presented in Table 4-1. A total of 16 exogenous variables that are
used in the following analysis are included in the logit equation. Nine
of the sixteen exogenous variables significantly reduce the chi-square
value for the model. The predicted proportional change presented in the
table is the percent increase or decrease in the probability of retire¬
ment for a one-unit change in the exogenous variable when evaluated at
the predicted mean of the dependent variable. As with OLS coefficients,
the proportional change should be interpreted with caution because the
units of measurement for the exogenous variables are quite different.
Age, occupation, number of dependents, assets, mortgage, education,
Rotter scale and the expected age of retirement are all interval leva!;
the remaining variables are dichotomous contrasts. Age produces the
largest reduction in the likelihood-ratio test statistic, which indicates
that it has the greatest effect on the probability of retirement. The

76
Logit Regression
TABLE 4-1
for Prediction of
Retirement,
n = 3348
Variable
Logi t
S.E.
Pred. Proportional
Change in Y+
Age
.288*
.013
.060
Hlth Limit.
1.662*
.094
.349
Occupation
-.001
.002
-.0002
Job (Dis)Satisf.
-.095
.176
-.020
Work Cmmt.
-.378*
.103
-.079
Marital Status
.140
.126
.029
No. of Dep's.
-.083
.047
-.017
Assets ($1,000)
-.001
.001
-.0002
Mortg. ($1,000)
-.007
.007
-.001
Mand. Retire.
.284**
.113
.060
Pen. Eli gib.
.576*
.111
.121
Wife Works
-.373*
.106
-.078
Race
.274**
.112
.057
Expected Age
-.047*
.010
-.010
Education
-.047*
.015
-.010
Rotter Scale
.005
.009
.001
Intercept
-12.860
* Significant at .01 level.
**Significant at .05 level.
The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change
in the deoendent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous vari¬
able. The proportional change varies depending upon where the dependent
variable is evaluated along the logistic distribution. For this equa¬
tion the predicted proportional change is evaluated at the predicted
mean of the dependent variable, P ^ .301. The predicted mean^ is cal¬
culated by the formula P = a + (bx) + (b2X2) + . . . + j(b.X^). The
equation for the predicted proportional change is b, [P(l-P)j, where
b^ is the logit coefficient for the kth exogenous variable.

77
existence of a work-related health limitation is also important in the
prediction of retirement.
The logit regression for the prediction of being in the labor force
in 1976 (not retired) produces the same logit coefficients as the pre¬
diction of being retired but with opposite signs. The resulting lambda
estimates from the predicted probabilities for the two dependent vari¬
ables are not perfectly negatively correlated however (r = -.927), since
lambda is not a linear function of the probabilities, but is in fact
curvilinear. The lambda estimate from the prediction of retirement is
used in the equations that involve the subsample of men who are retired.
In the analysis of the stability of expected age over time, the lambda
estimate obtained from the prediction of remaining in the labor force
is used.
Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual Age
The mean, standard deviation and range of the expected age and the
actual age of retirement as well as percentage distributions of expected
age are presented in Table 4-2. For the expected age the mean, standard
deviation and range are presented when the "don't know" and "never re¬
tire" respondents are excluded. The "full group" includes the "don't
know" and "never retire" respondents. The "don't know" group is assigned
age 65. Members of the "never retire" group are assigned their life
expectancy based on age and race (Public Health Service, 1975). The
average age of retirement is much lower than the average expected age
in 1966 for those already retired; the mean difference is -4.66. When
the sample is separated by cohort, the average age of retirement varies
widely. Men aged 45-49 in 1966 have an average age of retirement of

78
TABLE 4-2
Descriptive Statistics of Expected and Actual
Retirement Age for Retired and Not-Retired Men
Subsample
Mean
Std.
Min.
Max.
Retired
Age of retirement (n=l246)
61.00
3.83
47
70
Expected age (1966)
65.66
5.14
48
78
full group (n=1246)
Exclude D.K.1s (n=l059)
65.78
5.57
48
78
Exclude N.R.1s (n=1056)
63.83
2.95
48
75
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.1s
63.57
3.19
48
75
(n=869)
Not-Retired
Expected age (1966) full
66.00
4.99
49
78
group (n=2102)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=l720)
66.22
5.50
49
78
Exclude N.R.'s (n=l732)
64.14
3.19
49
78
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
63.89
3.58
49
78
(n=l350)
Expected age (1971)
65.86
5.14
52
78
full group (n=2057)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1794)
65.98
5.49
52
78
Exclude N.R.'s (n=l673)
63.80
3.05
52
77
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
63.58
3.27
52
77
(n=l410)
Expected age (1976)
66.29
4.96
55
78
full group (n=2084)
Exclude D.K.'s (n=1640)
66.64
5.54
55
78
Exclude N.R.'s (n=1688)
64.26
2.84
55
78
Exclude D.K.'s and N.R.'s
63.99
3.27
55
78
(n=l244)
Percentage Distribution of Categories of Expected Age
<62 62-64
65
>65
N.R.
D.K.
Retired
1966 12.12 13.32
39.65
4.65
15.25
15.00
Not-Retired
1966 11.13 8.18
39.20
5.71
17.60
18.17
1971 11.42 15.85
36.46
4.81
18.67
12.79
1976 7.05 22.84
21.35
8.44
19.00
21.30

79
54.9; the middle cohort exhibit an average age of 60.1, while the oldest
cohort of men aged 55-59 have an average retirement age of 63.5 years.
The three cohorts reflect three different types of retirees. The young¬
est cohort represents very early retirees; the middle cohort usually
contains early retirees; and the oldest cohort has an average retirement
age that is closer to "normal" retirement ages. It is apparent that in
analyzing the discrepancy between the expected and actual age the effects
of the predictors will be interpreted as either increasing the negative
discrepancy between actual and expected age or reducing this negative
discrepancy.
The average expected age in 1966 of those who have retired and the
average expected age in 1966 of those who have not retired are only
slightly different. In the not-retired subsample there are only small
differences in the mean expected age over the years 1966, 1971 and 1976.
This indicates that there is not a strong tendency for the expected age
to increase as the cohort ages. In order to understand why the rise is
so small over the ten years, the expected age is grouped into six cate¬
gories and the percentage distribution is compared across years.
At the bottom of Table 4-2, the percentage distribution of expected
age indicates that men who have retired had similar expectations in 1966
to those who did not retire. There is a larger proportion of retired men
who expected to retire between 62 and 64, whereas a slightly larger pro¬
portion of men who have not retired respond that they never expect to
retire or don't know. Among those men who have not retired by 1976,
there are some definite shifts in the distribution of expected age over
time. The aging of the sample results in a lower proportion of respon¬
dents expecting to retire before 62 in 1976 than in previous years, but

80
a much larger proportion expect to retire between 62 and 64. Somewhat
surprisingly there is also a large decrease in the proportion of men who
expect to retire at 65 in the 1976 survey. This trend away from the
"normal age" of 65 may indicate that those who are closer to the retire¬
ment decision specify ages that are more realistic for them rather than
the "normal age." Movement away from age 65 may also indicate a waning
of the normal age itself and the tendency for younger or older ages to
be more acceptable for the individual and for society. However, the
larger proportion of "don't knows"in 1976 may indicate increasing un¬
certainty with older age.
The Relationship Between Expected and Actual Age
The attitude-behavior approach to the analysis of individual behav¬
ior predicts a relationship between intended behavior (expected age) and
behavior (actual age). The psychologists Fishbein and Ajzen (1975)
expect this relation to be a close one, because there is a high degree
of congruency in the operationalization of the two measures. Sociologists
such as Acock and DeFleur (1972) propose that such a relationship is
highly contingent on intervening situational or social factors. The
simple bivariate relationship between actual and expected age is used
as a descriptive indicator of the ability of individuals to predict
their age of retirement. The presence of a strong relation or the lack
of one may both be due to characteristics of the individual and changes
over time that cannot be planned. The analysis of these other inter¬
vening factors will be considered later.

81
In Table 4-3, the OLS coefficients and the standardized coeffi¬
cients are presented for the full sample of retired men and for various
subgroups of this sample. When all cohorts are grouped significant re¬
lationships are found but the correlations are relatively small and
indicate a large discrepancy between expected and actual age. The
lambda term does alter the size of these coefficients slightly. The
age range of this sample is not only truncated to 15 years but also
results in a "young" sample of retirees. Age of retirement is highly
correlated with cohort (r = .76), and more importantly, the expected
age is correlated with cohort (r = .18). Because of the intercorrela¬
tions of age, expected age and actual age, the analysis of the relation¬
ship between expected and actual age by cohort results in nonsignificant
relationships within cohorts. The only exception to this is the oldest
cohort where the regression estimates become significant when those who
responded "never retire" are excluded. The strength of this relation¬
ship is, however, relatively low. The general increase in correlation
between expected and actual age when the "don't knows" and "never retires"
are excluded , indicates that the assigned ages for these two groups are
more discrepant from the actual age than the estimates of those individ¬
uals who did specify an age.
To investigate why the assigned ages of the "don't know" and "never
retire" groups tend to reduce the positive relation between expected age
and actual age, the six-category classification of expected age is used
to predict the actual age. The results in Table 4-4 indicate that men
who expected to retire before 62 and between 62 and 64 do retire at
significantly younger ages than men who expect to retire at 65. It is
important to note that the mean ages of retirement are below the expected

82
TABLE 4-3
Regression of Actual Age on Expected Age
for Full Group and by Age Cohort
Cohort
b
Adjusted
b w/A
r
Adjusted
r w/A
Adjusted
R2 w/A
All Ages
Full group
(n=l246)
.114*
(.021)
.133*
(.018)
.153
.178
.032
Exclude D.K.'s
(n=l059)
.112*
(.030)
.131*
(.018)
.168
.196
.038
Exclude N.R.'s
(n=1056)
.319*
(.039)
.289*
(.034)
.241
.219
.048
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.1s (n=869)
.341*
(.038)
.305*
(.036)
.288
.257
.066
45-49
Full group
(n=182)
.039
(.035)
.056
(.036)
.083
.116
.013
Exclude D.K.'s
(n=l50)
.048
(.035)
.063
(.036)
.113
.144
.021
Exclude N.R.'s
(n=l59)
.017
(.048)
.032
(.049)
.029
.052
.003
Exclude D.K.1s
N.R.'s (n=l27)
.053
(.050)
.062
(.050)
.095
.109
.012
50-54
Full group
(n=452)
-.001
(.026)
-.012
(.026)
-.001
-.021
.000
Exclude D.K.'s
(n=390)
-.002
(.025)
-.013
(.026)
-.003
-.026
.001
Exclude N.R.1s
(n=389)
.069
(.045)
.055
(.045)
.077
.060
.004
Exclude D.K.1s &
N.R.'s (n=327)
.086
(.044)
.072
(.045)
.107
.088
.008
55-59
Full group
(n=612)
.007
(.018)
-.003
(.018)
.016
-.008
.000
Exclude D.K.'s
(n=519)
.008
(.018)
-.004
(.018)
.020
-.010
.000
Exclude N.R.'s
(n=508)
.240*
(.044)
.228*
(.044)
.236
.223
.050
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=415)
.245*
(.044)
.231*
(.044)
.265
.247
.061
★
Significant at .01 level.

83
TABLE 4-4
Regression of Actual Age on Categories of Expected Age
Expected Age
Mean
Adjusted
Mean w/A
b
Adjusted
b w/A
<62
58.92
61.36
-2.76*
(.347)
-2.36*
(.301)
62-64
61.05
62.96
- .63
(.335)
- .76*
(.290)
65~
61.68
63.72
—
—
>65
61.69
64.20
.01
(.519)
.48
(.449)
N.R.
61.04
63.87
- .64**
(.319)
.15
(.278)
D.K.
60.62
63.05
-1.06*
(.321)
- .67**
(.278)
Adjusted R2 w/A
.043
* Significant at .01 level.
** Significant at .05 level.
t The "65" group is the contrast category and, therefore,
represents the intercept.

84
age for all groups. Those who responded "don't know" in 1966 retire at
significantly younger ages than the "65" group, which explains why the
assigned age of 65 for this group tends to reduce the correlation between
expected and actual age. The greatest deviation from a linear relation¬
ship is the group responding "never retire." Although this group could
not have retired at their assigned ages (72 to 78), it was possible that
they would retire at later ages than other respondents, but this does not
occur. For the OLS equations that analyze effects of other factors on
the relationship between expected and actual age, one or both of the
"don't know" and "never retire" groups will be excluded from the analysis.
The Stability of Expected Age Over Time
One of the reasons that there is a small or no relation between the
expected and actual age of retirement may be that individuals frequently
change their expected age. This might be in response to situational
changes, additional or more accurate information about retirement, or
some individual re-evaluation process that occurs with the passing of
time. This instability may also be due to the lack of planning, includ¬
ing the absence of any clear idea of the probable age of retirement,
among many of the men in the sample. Bivariate regressions are used
to estimate the relationship between expected age at one time and ex¬
pected age at a later time. The years 1966, 1971 and 1976 are used to
evaluate the stability of expected age. The number of persons with an
expected age is lower in 1976 (n = 2084) and 1971 (n = 2057) than in
1966 (n = 2102). The nonresponses in 1976 are apparently due to some
not-retired respondents who were not working at the time of the survey,

85
being “skipped over" on the expected age of retirement question. The non¬
responses in 1971 occur for two reasons. First, some respondents were
retired in 1971 but later returned to the labor force. Second, some re¬
spondents were not interviewed in 1971 but were interviewed in the later
waves. These differences in sample size are not large and should not
appreciably affect the size of the coefficients.
Table 4-5 presents the results of the bivariate regressions across
three time periods. The strength of the relationship over ten years is
shown to be relatively low. This correlation increases to a moderate
level (between .40 and .60) when the time interval is reduced to five
years. The exclusion of those responding "don't know" in either of the
years increases the correlation between expected and actual age, indi¬
cating that those who are undecided at one time but specify an age at
another time usually do not respond "65." When those who respond "never
retire" are excluded it is found that the correlations remain about the
same over the ten year period and decrease in the five year intervals.
As with the analysis of the relation between expected and actual
age, the subsample of men who have not retired is split into three
cohorts. OLS estimates and Pearson correlations for expected age over
three time periods within the cohorts are shown in Table 4-6. In
general, the stability of expected age is greater in the younger co¬
hort and least in the oldest cohort when the "don't know" and "never
retire" groups are included. This pattern is virtually reversed when
the "don't know" and "never retire" groups are excluded. The oldest
cohort appears to have the lowest correlation in the 1971-1976 period
which probably reflects the larger effect that aging has on this cohort
compared to the younger cohorts.

86
TABLE 4-5
Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected Age-1971
on Expected Age-1966 for Full Group and Selected Subsamples
Cohort
b
Adjusted
b w/A
r
Adjusted
r w/A
Adjusted
R2 w/A
Expected Age-1976
on Expected Age-1966
Full group
(n=2034)
.271*
(.021)
.277*
(.020)
.272
.278
.077
Exclude all
(n=l378)
D.K.'s
.375*
(.026)
.381*
(.024)
.366
.372
.138
Exclude all
(n=1455)
N.R.'s
.257*
(.023)
.258*
(.023)
.276
.278
.077
Exclude all
N.R.'s (n:
D.K.'s &
=939)
.305*
(.029)
.305*
(.029)
.322
.322
.104
Expected Age-1976
on Expected Aqe-1971
Full group
(n=2042)
.404*
(.019)
.378*
(.019)
.419
.388
.151
Exclude all
(n=l455)
D.K.'s
.558*
(.023)
.524*
(.022)
.541
.502
.252
Exclude all
(n=1444)
N.R.'s
.360*
(.023)
.346*
(.023)
.384
.368
.135
Exclude all
N.R.'s (n:
D.K.'s X
= 1013)
.468*
(.028)
.452*
(.028)
.458
.441
.195
Expected Age-1971
on Expected Age-1966
Full group
(n=2057)
.506*
(.020)
.510*
(.020)
.492
.496
.246
Exclude all
(n=l535)
D.K.'s
.584*
(.021)
.588*
(.020)
.584
.588
.346
Exclude all
(n=1515)
N.R.'s
.452*
(.022)
.452*
(.022)
.462
.462
.213
Exclude all
N.R.'s (n=
D.K.'s &
=1123)
.495*
(.025)
.494*
(.024)
.514
.513
.263
* Significant at the .01 level.

87
TABLE 4-6
Regression of Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1966,
Expected Age-1976 on Expected Age-1971 and Expected Age-1971
on Expected Age-1966 by Age Cohort
Age Cohort
b
Adjusted
b w/A
r
Adjusted
r w/A
Adjusted
R2 w/A
Expected Age-1976
on Expected Age-1966
45-49
Full group
(n=l120)
.245*
(.027)
.230*
(.027)
.264
.242
.058
Exclude D.K.‘s &
N.R.'s (n=569)
.221*
(.035)
.216*
(.036)
.256
.246
.061
50-54
Full qroup
(n=716)
.152*
(.034)
.165*
(.035)
.166
.174
.030
Exclude D.K.1s &
N.R.'s (n=317)
.190*
(.048)
.196*
(.049)
.217
.220
.048
55-59
Full group
(n=248)
.114
(.060)
.120
(.063)
.121
.121
.015
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=53)
.310*
(.104)
.307*
(.109)
.386
.367
.135
Expected Age-1976
on Expected Age-1971
45-49
Full group
(n=l101)
.381*
(.026)
.370*
(.026)
.406
.392
.153
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=627)
.366*
(.034)
.361*
(.034)
.396
.387
.150
50-54
Full group
(n=707)
.301*
(.033)
.306*
(.033)
.329
.331
.110
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=344)
.355*
(.052)
.361*
(.052)
.345
.349
.121
55-59
Full group
(n=234)
.101
(.060)
.101
(.061)
.110
.109
.012
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=42)
.386*
(.133)
.380*
(.137)
.418
.404
.164

88
TABLE 4-6 continued
Expected Age-1971 on Expected Age-1966
45-49
Full group
(n=l103)
.470*
(.026)
.463*
(.027)
.472
.453
.206
Exclude D.K.'s &
N.R.'s (n=648)
.442*
(.033)
.435*
(.033)
.468
.456
.208
50-54
Full group
(n=713)
.482*
(.033)
.486*
(.034)
.482
.470
.221
Exclude D.K.1s &
N.R.'s (n=398)
.393*
(.041)
.386*
(.041)
.437
.421
.177
55-59
Full group
(n=241)
.365*
(.060)
.389*
(.063)
.364
.369
.136
Exclude D.K.1s &
N.R.'s (n=77)
.669*
(.079)
.659*
(.083)
.697
.661
.437
* Significant at .01 level.

89
A log-linear analysis is conducted to analyze which specific cate¬
gories of expected age tend to be more stable over time and where move¬
ment between categories is most common. Because of the importance of
cohort, shown through the regressions in Table 4-6, cross-tabulations
of expected age-1966 by expected age-1976 are created for each cohort.
Table 4-7 presents the standardized residuals of the independence
and quasi-independence models for the three cohorts. The independence
model assumes no relation between the two variables and the quasi¬
independence model allows for association along the main diagonal (i = j),
but assumes no association in the off-diagonal cells (i f j). For all
three cohorts the independence model is rejected, indicating some asso¬
ciation between the categories of expected age over time. For the 45-49
cohort and 50-54 cohort, the quasi-independence model is also rejected,
indicating some association in the off-diagonal cells. No quasi¬
independence model was tested for the oldest cohort, which is necessarily
a six by four table due to the aging of the cohort.
In the youngest cohort, the stability of expected age is greatest
at the two extremes of the categorical distribution; the "before 62" and
"never retire" groups. The standardized residuals for the quasi¬
independence model are in parentheses under the residuals for the inde¬
pendence model. Using the standardized residuals of the quasi-independence
model, it is clear that movement tends to be to adjacent categories and
is less common across two or more categories. In the 50-54 cohort there
is less association along the main diagonal than in the 45-49 cohort,
especially in the two youngest age categories; a finding that is due to
the aging of the cohort. In this middle cohort, the off-diagonal associ¬
ation tends to be stronger in the adjacent categories as was found for

90
TABLE 4-7
Standardized Residuals^ of Independence and
Quasi-Independence Log-Linear Models for Expected
Age-1966 by Expected Age-1976 for Age Cohorts
Expected Age-1966
Expected Aqe-1976
<62
62-64
65
>65
N.R.
D.K.
45-49
Cohort (n=1120)
<62
7.64
-0.83
-1.68
-1.09
-1.35
-1.61
(0.0)
(0.59)
(-0.32)
(-0.55)
(0.34)
(-0.39)
62-64
3.65
3.35
-1.99
-0.55
-2.77
-2.22
(6.19)
(0.0)
(-1.18)
(-0.18)
(-1.91)
(-1.54)
65
-1.59
1.30
2.49
1.52
-2.38
-1.67
(0.16)
(1.15)
(o.o)
(1.51)
(-1.16)
(-1.43)
>65
-0.69
-1.66
0.73
2.94
-0.27
0.50
(-0.06)
(-1.57)
(1.01)
(0.0)
(0.27)
(0.73)
N.R.
-3.68
-1.73
-1.66
-1.32
6.08
2.21
(-2.53)
(-0.67)
(-0.50)
(-0.90)
(0.0)
(3.68)
D.K.
-3.16
-1.19
0.34
-1.12
1.22
3.18
(-2.11)
(-0.90)
(0.97)
(-0.98)
(2.63)
(0.0)
Independence Model -
X2=230.
10, d.f.=
25, p=.000.
Quasi-Indep. - X2=93
¡.47, d.f
•=19, p=.
000.
50-54
Cohort (
n=716)
<62
0.04
1.17
-0.27
0.30
-1.12
-0.07
(0.0)
(0.79)
(-0.34)
(0.51)
(-0.75)
(-0.10)
62-64
3.79
0.63
-0.45
-1 .03
0.63
-0.99
(3.60)
(0.0)
(-0.41)
(-0.86)
(1.15)
(-0.92)
65
-0.60
1.62
1.28
0.77
-1.95
-1.60
(-0.69)
(1.31)
(0.0)
(1.47)
(-0.85)
(-1.28)
>65
0.62
-0.58
0.66
4.62
-1.82
-1.39
(0.79)
(-0.12)
(1.54)
(0.0)
(-1.20)
(-0.81)
N.R.
-1.34
-2.36
-1.10
-2.50
3.84
1.96
(-1.26)
(-1.83)
(-0.05)
(-1.97)
(0.0)
(3.30)
D.K.
-0.56
-1.08
-0.76
-0.82
0.58
1.98
(-0.54)
(-0.92)
(-0.20)
(-0.28)
(1.80)
(0.0)
Independence Model - X2=99.89, d.f.=25, p=.000.
Quasi-Indep. - X2=53.56, d.f.=19, p=.000.

91
TABLE 4-7 continued
55-59 Cohort (n=248)
<62
—
—
1.32
0.71
-0.29
-0.79
62-64
—
—
1.97
-0.39
0.13
-0.52
65
—
—
-0.36
-2.20
-0.34
-0.27
>65
—
—
0.69
1.54
0.24
-2.04
N.R.
—
—
-0.88
-1.80
1.15
0.58
D.K.
_ _ _
-0.70
C\J
CO
1
0.12
1.85
Independence Model - X2=34.10, d.f.=15, p=.003.
tThe formula for the standardized residuals is (x^where x...
is the observed frequency and m.. is the expected frequency.
^ J

92
the youngest cohort. In the oldest cohort of men, aging over the ten
year period produces "forced" movement from the younger to the older age
categories. The standardized residuals in the oldest cohort follow the
general pattern of the two younger cohorts in indicating greater movement
to adjacent categories.
In general, there is a large amount of change in expected age within
individuals over time. The insubstantial correlation between expected age
and actual age is undoubtedly related in part to this tendency to change
the expected age. For most men the age at which they expect to retire may
closely correspond to actual age only when the period of time until retire¬
ment is within one or two years. This may indicate that long-range plan¬
ning is either uncommon or that there are simply too many factors to take
into account for such long-range planning to be accurate. Change in ex¬
pected age may also be due to characteristics of the individual and to
events occurring between measurements that may affect the discrepancy
between the expected and actual age. Therefore, change in expected age
may often represent reactions or readjustments of men to the social con¬
text in which decisions concerning retirement are made. It is these
characteristics and situational factors that are of interest in the
following analysis.
Analysis of Differences in Expected and
Actual Age of Retirement
The conceptual model developed in Chapter I proposes three differ¬
ent types of factors that affect the expected age and actual age of re¬
tirement and, therefore, may also affect the difference between the two.
Constraining factors are those that restrict the continuation of labor

93
force participation. Coverage under a mandatory retirement plan and
work-related health limitation are the two constraining factors that
are measured in this analysis. Job-related factors are those character¬
istics of the individual that are based on the type of job. Occupational
status, pension eligibility and satisfaction with job are the variables
contained in this dimension. Social and psychological factors are
those characteristics of the individual that are not directly related
to the job that the person has, but that are expected to play a part in
the decision of when to retire. The variables that represent this
third area of influence are marital status, number of dependents, edu¬
cation level, wife's labor force participation, assets, mortgage debt,
commitment to work, the Rotter scale and race.
Changes in these three dimensions between the measurement of ex¬
pected age and the time of retirement may also have an effect on the
discrepancy between the expected and actual age. The first step in
the analysis of the process of retirement, as represented by the con¬
ceptual model, is the determination of the expected age of retirement.
Following the analysis of expected age is the concurrent analysis of
determinants of age of retirement and the discrepancy between the
expected and actual age.
Analysis of Expected Age in 1966
Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression is used to test the effects
of the set of independent variables on the expected age of retirement in
1966 for the subsample of retired men. As noted earlier, the categories
of "don't know" and "never retire" are problematic in attempting to use
multivariate statistics to analyze expected age. The assigned ages for

94
these two groups are arbitrary and obviously do not correspond to the
actual age of retirement as well as the ages specified by respondents.
For this reason the equations are estimated with and without one and
then both of these groups.
Table 4-8 presents the estimates for the full group of retired men
and for the exclusion of "don't knows," exclusion of "never retires"
and the exclusion of both of these groups. The contrasts of the youngest
and middle cohorts to the oldest cohort are both highly significant. The
differences in mean of expected age for these cohorts increase once the
lambda term is entered. When the "don't know" group is excluded the dif¬
ferences among cohorts increases whereas the exclusion of "never retires"
results in smaller differences. The constraint factor of coverage under
a mandatory retirement plan produces much lower expected ages of retire¬
ment when the full sample of retirees is analyzed. This negative rela¬
tion between coverage and expected age holds when the "don't knows" are
excluded but disappears when the "never retire" group is excluded. None
of the 490 men covered by a mandatory retirement plan responded that
they would never retire. When both "don’t knows" and "never retires"
are excluded, men covered by a mandatory retirement plan have a signif¬
icantly higher mean expected age of retirement. This indicates that when
considering only those men who specified an age of retirement, mandatory
retirement plans actually increase the expected age of retirement because
mandatory ages are usually higher than the ages people choose. The con¬
straint of such plans in relation to the expected age is not that they
decrease the age at which men expect to retire, but that they remove the
choice of expecting never to leave the labor force and, therefore, result
in younger expected retirement age for those who are covered. The other

95
TABLE 4-8
OLS Regression of Expected Age of Retirement in 1966
for Sample of
Retired
Men and
Selected Subsamples
Predictors
Full Group
(n=l246)
Exclude D.K.'s
(n=1059)
Exclude N.R.‘s
(n=l056)
Exclude Both
(n=869)
b
Adjusted
b w/x
b
Adjusted
b w/X
b
Adjusted
b w/X
b
Adjusted
b w/x
45-49+
-2.48*
(.404)
-4.81*
(.555)
-3.04*
(.463)
-5.56*
(.623)
-2.01*
(.266)
-3.06*
(.374)
-2.51*
(.318)
-3.59*
(.439)
50-54
-.867*
(.290)
-1.73*
(.320)
-1.08*
(.329)
-2.05*
(.363)
-.528*
(.192)
-.911*
(.214)
-.637*
(.228)
-1.05*
(.254)
MandRetire
-1.98*
(.316)
-1.77*
(.313)
-2.42*
(.352)
-2.18*
(.349)
.176
(.200)
.238
(.199)
.470**
(.234)
.527**
(.233)
HIthLimit
-.208
(.298)
.128
(.299)
-.081
(.347)
.270
(.346)
-.008
(.198)
.141
(.201)
-.051
(.241)
.100
(.243)
Occup
-.005
(.008)
-.008
(.007)
-.005
(.009)
-.008
(.008)
-.004
(.005)
-.005
(.005)
-.003
(.006)
-.004
(.006)
PenEligib
-1.92*
(.311)
-1.55*
(.313)
-2.31*
(.354)
-1.89*
(.355)
-.673*
(.202)
-.529*
(.204)
-.652*
(.240)
-.503**
(.242)
JobDissat
-1.25**
(.503)
-1.17**
(.496)
-1.58*
(.561)
-1.46*
(.553)
-1.05*
(.329)
-.998*
(.347)
-1.10*
(.381)
-1.03*
(.369)
Widowed^
1.34
(.826)
1.48
(.814)
1.78
(.939)
1.96**
(.925)
.496
(.586)
.538
(.582)
.700
(.706)
.751
(.701)
Divorced
.945
(.916)
1.02
(.905)
1.36
(1.09)
1.34
(1.09)
.302
(.649)
.285
(.644)
.049
(.835)
-.045
(.829)
Separated
-1.28
(.861)
-1.01
(.850)
-1.09
(1.05)
-.960
(1.03)
-.146
(.562)
-.022
(.559)
-.341
(.719)
-.288
(.714)
NeverMarr
.627
(.700)
.647
(.690)
1.32
(.871)
1.33
(.857)
.974**
(.457)
.952**
(.454)
.867
(.600)
.836
(.596)
No. of Dep1 s
<12 Yrs
.054
(.083)
.035
(.082)
.099
(.096)
.072
(.094)
.074
(.056)
.070
(.056)
.053
(.068)
.049
(.068)
.333
(.379)
.587
(.376)
.233
(.439)
.502
(.434)
.033
(.246)
.140
(.246)
.102
(.297)
.208
(.296)
>12 Yrs.
.397
(.519)
.233
(.513)
.222
(.583)
.058
(.575)
.078
(.334)
-.012
(.333)
.151
(.389)
.058
(.387)
WifeWorks
-.257
(.285)
-.281
(.281)
-.161
(.325)
-.188
(.320)
-.053
(.188)
-.070
(.187)
-.117
(.224)
-.132
(.222)
(Log)Assets
-.094*
(.036)
-.116*
(.036)
-.111*
(.042)
-.137*
(.041)
-.051**
(.024)
-.060**
(.024)
-.054
(.029)
-.064**
(.029)
Mortg.
($1000)
.024
(.035)
.017
(.034)
.019
(.038)
.011
(.038)
.016
(.023)
.013
(.023)
.023
(.026)
.019
(.026)

96
TABLE 4-8 continued
Rotter
.008
(.024)
.012
(.024)
.005
(.027)
.010
(.027)
.021
(.016)
.022
(.016)
.023
(.019)
.024
(.018)
WorkCmmt
1.88*
(.284)
1.52*
(.286)
2.20*
(.323)
1.81*
(.324)
.821*
(.184)
.666*
(.186)
.939*
(.217)
.780*
(.220)
Race
-.074
(.331)
.035
(.327)
.022
(.381)
.137
(.375)
.071
(.221)
.099
(.220)
-.087
(.265)
-.060
(.264)
Lambda
—
2.89*
(.419)
—
3.22*
(.544)
—
1.31*
(.332)
—
1.41*
(.398)
Intercept
66.87
66.28
67.74
67.05
63.86
63.64
63.52
63.28
R2
.205
.228
.253
.278
.105
.119
.119
.132
★
t
§
Significant at the .01
Significant at the .05
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
The contrast for years
level.
level.
cohort is men aged 55-59 years in
marital status is married men.
of education is men with 12 years
1966.
of schooling.

97
constraint factor, work-related health limitation, is surprisingly non¬
significant. This indicates that men with some health problem related
to their work do not in general expect to retire at significantly younger
ages compared to men with no work-related health limitations. This find¬
ing suggests that many men with health limitations may not realistically
evaluate the number of working years they have remaining.
The results in Table 4-8 show that two of the three job-related
factors are significant predictors of expected age. Occupational status
has no effect on the expected age. Eligibility for a pension has the
expected negative effect on the dependent variable. This lower expected
age for men covered by a pension plan is reduced by about two-thirds when
the "never retire" group is excluded. This indicates that, like coverage
under a mandatory retirement plan, the expected receipt of a pension re¬
sults in fewer men never expecting to retire. The job satisfaction vari¬
able, where dissatisfaction with job is coded 1, also has a relatively
strong negative effect on the expected age. The younger expected age of
retirement for those who are dissatisfied with their job is not affected
by the assigned ages of the "don't knows" and "never retires."
In the third dimension of social and psychological factors it is
found that most variables have no effect on the expected age. The four
marital status contrasts with married men do not generally show signifi¬
cant coefficients. When "don't knows" are excluded, the positive coef¬
ficient for widowed men becomes significant but this results from a higher
proportion of widowed men never expecting to retire. The number of
dependents is never significant in these equations. The interval-level
measurement of education was nonsignificant and the possibility of a
curvilinear relationship was tested by categorizing this variable into

98
"less than twelve years," "more than twelve years" and "twelve years,"
with the third category used as the comparison group. The positive co¬
efficients for the two contrast groups indicate that such a curvilinear
relation might exist, but the differences are never significant. The
effect of wife in the labor force is not significant in any of the
regressions. The natural logarithm transformation of the estimated
value of assets is used to reduce the effect of positive outliers. Assets
has a significant negative effect on expected age and the reduction in the
size of this effect when "never retires" are excluded indicates that
greater wealth is especially important in the expectation to retire ver¬
sus never leaving the labor force. Mortgage debt has the hypothesized
positive coefficient but is never significant.
Commitment to work has the hypothesized positive effect on expected
age. This indicates that men who would not stop working even if they
were financially secure expect to retire at later ages. The size of
this effect is reduced to less than half its original size when the
"never retires" are excluded, but does remain significant. The Rotter
scale has no effect on the expected age and there is found to be no
difference between blacks and whites on this dependent variable. The
bias-correction term (lambda) is related to the expected age, however
it rarely has an appreciable effect on the relationship between the
predictor variables and the expected age.
An interaction model for cohort was estimated in order to investi¬
gate whether the relationship of the other predictors to expected age
differed among the three cohorts. The F-value for the comparison of the
interaction model to the model with no interactions is .945 with dfx =
36 and df2 = 1188, which is not significant at the .05 level. The

99
determinants of the expected age are generally the same for all three
cohorts and the form of the relationship between the other predictors
and expected age tends to remain the same across cohorts.
All three types of factors have been found to exert some effect on
the expected age of retirement. As a constraining factor, coverage under
a mandatory retirement plan does not decrease but, in fact,increases
the expected age of those who specify an age, but apparently closes off
the option of never retiring. The other constraint factor, work-related
health limitation, was found to be nonsignificant. The finding that men
who have some constraint on their ability to work do not expect to re¬
tire at younger ages than men who have no such constraint, may indicate
that many of the men with health limitations have not seriously consid¬
ered the timing of retirement. Among the second set of factors, occupa¬
tional status does not have a significant effect on expected age.
Eligibility for a pension does reduce the expected age of retirement,
but this is primarily because it induces men to consider retirement as
opposed to never expecting to retire, a much more common option among
men who do not expect to receive a pension. Dissatisfaction with job
was found to produce younger expected ages and this effect persists
when "don't knows" and "never retires" are excluded. Most of the social
and psychological factors not directly related to labor force participa¬
tion were nonsignificant predictors of the expected age. Commitment to
work, which is perhaps the most closely related to labor force experiences
of the variables in this third type of influence, has the largest and
most consistent effect. Men who are committed to work expect to retire
at later ages. Much of this effect is due to the higher proportion of
committed men who never expect to retire. Level of assets tends to reduce

100
the expected age but amount of mortgage does not appear to have an effect
on the expected age. Family characteristics, education level, presence
of wife in the labor force, the psychological factor of internal-external
locus of control and race do not have significant net effects on the ex¬
pected age.
Analysis of Differences in Expected and Actual Age
The analysis in this section addresses the central theme of this
research: the difference between the age at which men expect to retire
and their actual age of retirement. Following the conceptual model pre¬
sented in Chapter I, the constraining, job-related and social and psycho¬
logical factors should affect both the expected age and the actual age
of retirement. This implies that these three dimensions may affect the
difference between the expected and actual age. Furthermore, changes in
some of these factors that occur between the measurement of expected age
and the time of retirement may affect the discrepancy between actual age
and expected age.
OLS regression is used to analyze the difference between the actual
and expected age of retirement. This is accomplished by positing the
actual age as the dependent variable and the expected age as an indepen¬
dent variable. The predictors of expected age, measured in 1966, are
entered as predictors in this equation. In the final model change vari¬
ables are also entered as predictors. In the regression equations, the
net effects of the 1966 predictors and the change scores are interpreted
in the following manner: within levels of expected age a certain factor
either increases or decreases the age of retirement. It has already been
shown that the average age of retirement is 4.66 years below that of the

101
average expected age. About seventy percent of the sample retired before
their expected age and only about five percent afterward. Therefore, pos¬
itive coefficients can be interpreted as indicating that higher values of
the predictor lead to an actual age of retirement that is closer to the
expected age. In this way, the net effects of predictor variables indi¬
cate what factors produce larger or smaller differences between the ex¬
pected and actual age.
The analysis of the actual age is complicated by the truncation of
the age range and the ten year interval that the survey covers. This
causes the age of retirement to be highly correlated with age of respondent.
Age, or cohort, may also be related to some of the predictor variables and
these interrelationships may bias the estimate of the predictors. The
lambda term controls for the effect of age on the probability of retire¬
ment but this may not totally control for the close relationship between
age and age of retirement in this sample. Therefore, the models for the
analysis of actual age were estimated with and without cohort as well as
with and without the bias-correction term. The equations with cohort in
the model are used in this discussion of the results. However, the results
when cohort is not in the model will also be referred to in a few instances
in order to further explicate the relationship between age of retirement
and certain predictors.
The regression of actual age on expected age and the 1966 predictors
is shown in Table 4-9 for the full sample, the exclusion of "don't knows,"
the exclusion of "never retires" and the exclusion of both groups. The
very large negative coefficients for the youngest and middle cohorts
shows the extent that age of retirement is related to age of respondent
in this sample. Controlling for cohort and all other predictors, the

102
TABLE 4-9
OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement for
Full Group and Selected Subsamples
Full Group Exclude D.K.'s Exclude N.R.'s Exclude Both
Predictors (n=l246) (n=_1059) (n=1056) (n=869)
Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted
b b w/X b b w/X b b w/X b b w/X
45-49'
-8.51*
(.211)
-8.67*
(.299)
-3.32*
(.229)
-8.52*
(.318)
-8.51*
(.229)
-8.61*
(.325)
-8.27*
(.251)
-8.43*
(.350)
50-54
-3.38*
(.150)
-3.44*
(.169)
-3.29*
(.160)
-3.36*
(.181)
-3.35*
(.162)
-3.38*
(.182)
-3.23*
(.174)
-3.29*
(.197)
ExpAge
.018
(.015)
.016
(.015)
.022
(.015)
.019
(.015)
.107*
(.026)
.105*
(.026)
.126*
(.026)
.124*
(.026)
MandRetire
.053
(.165)
.063
(.166)
.035
(.175)
.047
(.175)
-.063
(.168)
-.057
(.168)
-.177
(.178)
-.167
(.179)
HIthLimit
-.760*
(.154)
-.737*
(.156)
-.659*
(.168)
-.633*
(.171)
-.935*
(.166)
-.922*
(.169)
-.839*
(.184)
-.818*
(.186)
Occup
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.008
(.004)
-.008**
(.004)
-.008
(.004)
-.008
(.004)
PenEligib
.187
(.163)
.208
(.165)
.182
(.175)
.207
(.177)
.161
(.170)
.173
(.173)
.122
(.184)
.142
(.186)
JobDissat
-.173
(.260)
-.170
(.260)
-.312
(.273)
-.306
(.273)
-.315
(.277)
-.312
(.277)
-.505
(.291)
-.497
(.292)
Widowed1
.262
(.426)
.275
(.427)
.423
(.456)
.441
(.457)
-.322
(.490)
-.318
(.491)
-.211
(.538)
-.202
(.538)
Divorced
-.620
(.473)
-.613
(.473)
-1.15**
(.530)
-1.15**
(.530)
-.760
(.543)
-.762
(.543)
-1.50**
(.636)
-1.51**
(.636)
Separated
.873**
(.444)
.889**
(.445)
.971
(.508)
.978
(.509)
.841
(.470)
.851
(.471)
1.01
(.547)
1.01
(.548)
NeverMarr
-.763**
(.361)
-.761**
(.361)
-.842**
(.423)
-.337**
(.423)
-.733
(.384)
-.733
(.384)
-.737
(.458)
-.739
(.458)
No.ofDep's
<12 Yrs.§
-.007
(.043)
-.008
(.043)
-.006
(.046)
-.007
(.406)
-.029
(.047)
-.029
(.047)
-.027
(.052)
-.028
(.052)
-.226
(.195)
-.208
(.197)
-.404
(.213)
-.383
(.214)
-.221
(.206)
-.211
(.208)
-.442
(.226)
-.426
(.227)
>12 Yrs.
.273
(.268)
.263
(.197)
.047
(.283)
.035
(.283)
.422
(.280)
.415
(.281)
.162
(.296)
.149
(.297)
WifeWorks
-.060
(.147)
-.062
(.147)
-.090
(.158)
-.093
(.158)
-.130
(.158)
-.131
(.158)
- .153
(.170)
-.156
(.170)
(Log)Assets
, .025
(.018)
.024
(.019)
.028
(.020)
.026
(.020)
.033
(.020)
.032
(.020)
.036
(.022)
.034
(.022)
Mortg.
($1000)
-.015
(.018)
-.015
(.018)
-.008
(.018)
-.008
(.018)
-.016
(.019)
-.017
(.019)
-.010
(.020)
-.011
(.020)

103
Rotter
-.024
(.012)
-.024
(.012)
WorkCmmt
.307**
(.149)
.286
(.151)
Race
.141
(.171)
.148
(.171)
Lambda
—
.196
(.254)
Intercept
62.17
62.26
R2
.620
.620
TABLE
4-9 continued
-.025
(.013)
-.024
(.013)
-.022
(.013)
.240
(.160)
.216
(.162)
.303**
(.155)
.112
(.185)
.121
(.185)
.089
(.185)
—
.243
(.273)
—
62.22
62.33
56.56
.609
.609
.640
-.022
(.013)
-.023
(.014)
-.023
(-014)
.291
(.158)
.235
(.167)
.214
(.170)
.090
(.185)
.058
(.202)
.061
(.202)
.114
(.282)
—
.202
(.308)
56.62
55.79
55.89
.640
.636
.636
*
Significant at the
.01
**
Significant at the
.05
4-
1
The contrast group
for
Í
The contrast group
for
§
The contrast group
for
level.
level.
cohort is men aged 55-59 years
marital status is married men.
years of education is men with
in 1966.
12 years of schooling.

104
expected age is significantly related to actual age only when the "never
retire" group is excluded. This result reiterates the earlier finding
that controlling for cohort, there is little or no relation between the
expected and actual age of retirement.
The first constraint factor, coverage under a mandatory retirement
plan, is shown to have no significant effect on the age of retirement, net
of its effect on the expected age. It does appear then that mandatory
retirement plans do not reduce the age of retirement. Men do take manda¬
tory retirement into account when determining the expected age, and when
"never retires" are included, those covered by such plans have a smaller
discrepancy between the actual and expected age. The other constraint
factor, work-related health limitation, has the expected negative effect
on age of retirement. This negative effect is important because of the
lack of a negative relationship between health limitation and the expected
age. The discrepancy between actual and expected age is, therefore, greater
among men who had a health limitation in 1966.
The three job-related variables do not have significant net effects on
the age of retirement. Occupational status has a negative sign and when
the "never retire" group is excluded, it is significant at the .05 level
of probability. A surprising result is the nonsignificance of pension
eligibility. This variable was expected to have a strong negative effect
on the actual age. Net of the relation between pension eligibility and
the expected age, the expected receipt of a pension has no effect. When
cohort is not in the model, pension coverage does have a significant nega¬
tive effect on the age of retirement. The reason for this is that the 45-
49 cohort has a higher proportion of men who responded that they would re¬
ceive a pension. The lack of an effect within cohorts may be due to a

105
number of factors. First, this variable only measures the expected re¬
ceipt of a pension and not the actual receipt of pension benefits. Some
men who believed they would receive a pension may have later found out
they would not and remained in the labor force longer. Second, age or
years of service requirements for the receipt of the pension may cause a
U-shaped relationship that would not be detected by linear regression.
While many of those who are eligible for a pension may be able to collect
benefits early (under age 60), some may have to work until 62 or 65 or
may have had to work even longer in order to fulfill tenure requirements.
Therefore, those receiving pensions in this sample may be comprised of
"early" and "late" retirees with few falling in the middle of the distri¬
bution. Third, the level of benefits of the pension is not measured and
this undoubtedly results in the combining of those receiving higher bene¬
fits who may retire at younger ages with those receiving lower benefits
who may retire at the same age or even later than those without pension
coverage. Whatever the reason for the nonsignificance of pension eligi¬
bility on age of retirement, the result is that those responding that they
are covered retire closer to their expected age since coverage does result
in younger expected ages of retirement. The job satisfaction variable also
has no significant effect on the age of retirement. This indicates that
among men expecting to retire at the same age, dissatisfaction with job
does not result in earlier ages of retirement. Because job satisfaction
does result in younger expected ages of retirement, those men who dislike
their jobs have less of a negative discrepancy between the actual and ex¬
pected age than men who are satisfied with their jobs.
None of the social and psychological factors has consistently signifi¬
cant net effects on the age of retirement. For some of the regressions

106
divorced men retire at significantly younger ages, separated men retire
at later ages and men who have never married retire at younger ages. The
inconsistent effects of these marital status contrasts when certain sub¬
groups of the sample are eliminated may be due to the small number of men
in these categories. In general, it does appear that nonmarried men re¬
tire at slightly younger ages than married men. Controlling for cohort,
the number of dependents in 1966 has no effect on the age of retirement.
When cohort is not included, number of dependents has a strong negative
relation to age of retirement. This describes one consequence of early
retirement: greater financial responsibilities in the form of more depen¬
dents. The education contrasts are nonsignificant in these regressions.
When education is entered as an interval-level variable it remains non¬
significant. The presence of the respondent's wife in the labor force has
no effect on the actual age. The log of assets in 1966 does not have a
significant net effect on the age of retirement. Assets were shown to
reduce the expected age of retirement and the lack of a significant nega¬
tive effect of assets on age of retirement indicates that men with higher
assets retire closer to their expected age. Mortgage in 1966 is not
significantly related to actual age of retirement, as was the case for
mortgage and the expected age.
The Rotter scale of internal-external locus of control is not signif¬
icantly related to age of retirement. The commitment to work variable is
significant in two regressions but in general the positive relation is not
significant. This indicates that controlling for expected age, men commit¬
ted to work do not retire later than do men not committed to work. It was
shown in Table 4-8 that men committed to work do expect to retire at later
ages, especially since many never expect to retire, and, therefore, they

107
tend to have larger negative discrepancies between the actual and expected
age. The coefficients for race indicate that there are no significant
differences between blacks and whites on the age of retirement. The
lambda variable has no effect on the age of retirement. When cohort is
not in the model, lambda does exhibit a very large negative relationship
to age of retirement, which reflects the expected association between the
"unmeasured propensity to retire" and younger ages of retirement.
An interaction model for cohort was estimated in order to investigate
whether the relationship of other predictors to age of retirement differed
across cohorts. The F-value for the comparison of the interaction model
to the no-interaction model is 1.41 with dfi = 38 and df2 = 1185. This
F-value is on the borderline of significance at the .05 level of proba¬
bility. However, the increment to R2 is 1.6 percent for 15 interactions
which is not considered to be a substantively important increase over the
no-interaction model.
Changes in some of the characteristics of the retirees between 1966
and the time of retirement may have important effects on the discrepancy
between actual age and expected age. Some characteristics do not change,
some were not measured in a sufficient number of surveys, and some do not
change appreciably over the period of years in order for change scores to
be used. Race, education, pension eligibility, commitment to work. Rotter
scale, job satisfaction and coverage under a mandatory retirement plan are
excluded for the above reasons from the computation of change. The
interval-level variables of occupation, number of dependents, assets and
mortgage debt allow for the computation of difference scores in which the
value of the variable in the 1966 survey is subtracted from the value in
the survey year preceding retirement. For the categorical variables of

108
wife's presence in the labor force, marital status and health limitation,
change categories are created that are contrasted to a “no change" category.
For example, the marital status variable is aggregated into married/non-
married and the categories "gains spouse" and "loss of spouse" are con¬
trasted to the "no change in marital status" category.
Multicollinearity between the 1966 measures and the change scores was
a problem only for the number of dependents in 1966 and change in number of
dependents (r = -.701). To correct for this, the number of dependents in
1966 is dropped from the final model. The only change variable correlated
with the number of years between 1966 and the year of retirement is change
in assets. This was corrected by dividing the amount of change by the
number of years between 1966 and the survey year closest to the year of
retirement. The final model with change variables was estimated with and
without cohort in the equation as well as with and without lambda. The
results with cohort in the model are presented here but reference is made
to results without cohort in the model for certain change variables.
Table 4-10 presents the estimates of the final model for the full
group, for the exclusion of "don't knows," for the exclusion of "never
retires" and for the exclusion of both groups. In general, the effects
of the 1966 measures do not change when the change variables are entered.
Work-related health limitation remains the best predictor of age of re¬
tirement and this large negative effect produces the largest negative
discrepancy between actual age and expected age of retirement.
Only a few of the change variables exhibit significant effects on
the age of retirement. The occurrence of a health limitation between
1966 and the time of retirement has the expected negative sign but is
not significant. However, the effect of this type of change in health

109
TABLE 4-10
OLS Regression of Actual Age of Retirement with
Cross-Sectional and Change Variables for
Full Group and Selected Subsamples
Full Group Exclude D.K.'s Exclude N.R.'s Exclude Both
Predictors (n=l 246) (n=1059) (n=1056) (n=869)
Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted Adjusted
b
b w/A
b
b w/A
b
b w/A
b
b w/A
45-49^
-8.50
(.210)
-8.48*
(.311)
-8.31*
(.230)
-8.35*
(.332)
-8.54*
(.228)
-8.41*
(.340)
-8.29*
(.252)
-8.24*
(.367)
50-54
-3.40*
(.150)
-3.39*
(.174)
-3.30*
(.161)
-3.32*
(.187)
-3.39*
(.161)
-3.34*
(.186)
-3.28*
(.174)
-3.26*
(.202)
ExpAge
.022
(.015)
.022
(.015)
.024
(.015)
.023
(.015(
.111*
(.026)
.113*
(.026)
.131*
(.026)
.131*
(.026)
MandRetire
.012
(.166)
.010
(.167)
-.010
(.175)
-.007
(.176)
-.103
(.168)
-.113
(.169)
-.226
(.179)
-.230
(.180)
HI thLimit
-.982*
(.179)
-.986*
(.187)
-.831*
(.194)
-.823*
(.201)
-1.20*
(.194)
-1.23*
(.204)
-1.04*
(.213)
-1.06*
(.222)
Occup
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.007
(.004)
-.009**
(.004)
-.009
(.005)
-.010**
(.005)
-.010**
(.005)
PenEligib
.166
(.162)
.164
(.166)
.145
(.175)
.151
(.179)
.133
(.170)
.115
(.173)
.073
(.184)
.066
(.187)
JobDissat
-.094
(.259)
-.094
(.259)
-.226
(.273)
-.226
(.273)
-.233
(.275)
-.235
(.275)
-.407
(.290)
-.409
(.290)
Widowed*
.075
(.438)
.073
(.438)
.293
(.476)
.297
(.477)
-.430
(.496)
-.433
(.496)
-.251
(.550)
-.254
(.550)
Divorced
-.712
(.477)
-.713
(.477)
-1.19**
(.532)
-1.19**
(.533)
-.737
(.551)
-.731
(.552)
-1.44**
(.642)
-1.44**
(.643)
Separated
.702
(.451)
.701
(.452)
.813
(.523)
.816
(.523)
.770
(.480)
.758
(.481)
1.00
(.570)
.999
(.570)
NeverMarr
-.767**
(.361)
-.767**
(.362)
-.822
(.423)
-.821
(.423)
-.668
(.384)
-.666
(.384)
-.652
(.456)
-.651
(.457)
<12 Yrs.§
-.164
(.197)
-.166
(.198)
-.350
(.214)
-.346
(.215)
-.175
(.209)
-.186
(.210)
-.410
(.229)
-.414
(.230)
>12 Yrs.
.231
.232
.002
.000
.365
.373
.086
.089
(.266)
(.267)
(.282)
(.283)
(.278)
(.279)
(.295)
(.295)
WifeWorks
-.214
(.175)
-.213
(.175)
-.189
(.189)
-.190
(.189)
-.321
(.185)
-.316
(.186)
-.287
(.'201)
-.285
(.202)
(Log)Assets
.028
(.019)
.028
(.019)
.033
(.020)
.032
(.020)
.037
(.020)
.038
(.020)
.044**
(.022)
.044*
(.022)
Mortg.
($1000)
-.007
(.019)
-.007
(.019)
-.001
(.020)
-.001
(.020)
-.013
(.021)
0.012
(.021)
-.008
(.021)
-.008
(.021)

no
TABLE 4-10 continued
Rotter
-.023
(.012)
-.023
(.012)
-.024
(.013)
-.024
(.013)
-.021
(.013)
-.021
(.013)
-.022
(.014)
-.022
(.014)
WorkCmmt
.282
(.149)
.284
(.151)
.213
(.160)
.209
(.162)
.286
(.154)
.301
(.158)
.225
(.166)
.231
(.169)
Race
.179
(.170)
.178
(.170)
.110
(.184)
.113
(.185)
.163
(.185)
.157
(.185)
.088
(.202)
.086
(.203)
Occurrence
of HIth
L i mi t § §
-.161
(.166)
-.165
(.173)
-.172
(.178)
-.164
(.185)
-.219
(.180)
-.247
(.189)
-.253
(.194)
-.264
(.204)
Loss of
HIthLimit
.899*
(.308)
.902*
(.310)
.677**
(.345)
.672
(.347)
1.00*
(.324)
1.02*
(.326)
.769**
(.327)
.775**
(.369)
ChngOccup
-.002
(.005)
-.002
(.005)
-.003
(.006)
-.003
(.006)
-.007
(.006)
-.007
(.006)
-.009
(.006)
-.009
(.006)
Loss of
Spouse4-
-.120
(.319)
-.120
(.319)
-.201
(.337)
-.202
(.337)
-.112
(.351)
-.114
(.351)
-.240
(.374)
-.241
(.374)
Gains
Spouse
1.52**
(.686)
1.52**
(.686)
.862
(.748)
.861
(.749)
1.02
(.732)
1.02
(.733)
.219
(.806)
.217
(.807)
ChngDep's
-.129**
(.052)
-.130**
(.053)
-.115**
(.057)
-.115**
(.057)
-.171*
(.061)
-.172*
(.061)
-.168**
(.068)
-.168**
(.068)
WifeStops
Workt
.350
(.237)
.350
(.237)
.269
(.254)
.269
(.254)
.493
(.255)
.492
(.255)
.400
(.275)
.400
(.275)
WifeBegins
Work
-.163
(.256)
-.162
(.269)
.008
(.274)
.008
(.274)
-.179
(.287)
-.174
(.288)
.057
(.307)
.058
(.307)
ChngAssets
($1000)
.043
(.030)
.043
(.030)
.074**
(.033)
.073**
(.033)
.040
(.032)
.041
(.032)
.079**
(.035)
.080**
(.035)
ChngMortg.
($1000)
.018
(.017)
.018
(.017)
.017
(.019)
.017
(.019)
.010
(.018)
.010
(.018)
.007
(.020)
.007
(.020)
Lambda
—
-.021
(.267)
—
.045
(.286)
—
-.149
(.299)
—
-.061
(.326)
Intercept
61 .62
61.60
61.85
61.87
55.89
55.78
55.20
55.16
R2
.627
.627
.616
.616
.649
.649
.645
.645
*
Í
§
§§
+
4
Significant at the .01
Significant at the .05
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
The contrast group for
level.
level.
cohort is men aged 55-59 in 1966.
marital status is married men.
years of education is men with 12 years of schooling.
change in health limitation is "no change."
change in marital status is "no change."
change is wife's labor force status is "no change."

m
status is correlated with cohort. Men in the youngest and middle co¬
horts were more likely to experience such a depreciation in health and,
therefore, retire at earlier ages. In this case, controlling for cohort
masks a rather strong and consistent negative effect as the coefficient
for this contrast is approximately -1.00 across the four groups and is
significant beyond the .01 level of probability when cohort is not in
the equation. This indicates that relatively sudden health problems
occur for many workers and cause not only earlier ages of retirement but
consequently larger discrepancies between the actual and expected age of
retirement. Those men who experienced an improvement in health between
1966 and the time of retirement, retire at later ages than the group of
men experiencing no change in work-related health limitation. This small
group of men (about six percent) who reported a health limitation in 1966
but not in the survey year before retirement remain in the labor force
longer and, therefore, tend to retire closer to their expected age of
retirement.
Changes in occupation do not have a significant effect on the age of
retirement. The loss of a spouse through death, divorce or separation
does not significantly reduce the age of retirement. The positive coeffi¬
cient for the marriage of men who were not married in 1966 is significant
only when the full sample is analyzed. The reduction in the size of the
coefficient when "don't knows" and "never retires" are excluded may simply
indicate that those men who were not married in 1966 were more likely to
respond "don't know" or "never retire" to the expected age of retirement
question. It does appear that marriage in late life results in men re¬
maining in the labor force longer. The change in number of dependents
between 1966 and the time of retirement is significantly negatively related

112
to age of retirement. As mentioned previously, change for interval-level
variables is measured by subtracting 1966 score from the score at time of
retirement. The negative coefficient, therefore, indicates that early
retirees lost fewer dependents and would in general have more dependents
at the time of retirement than men retiring at later ages.
The movement of the respondent's wife into and out of the labor
force does not appear to affect the age of retirement. As occurred with
health limitations however, the control for cohort suppresses a significant
relation between wife's movement into the labor force and the age of re¬
tirement. When cohort is not in the model the negative relationship be¬
tween wife's movement into the labor force and age of retirement is
significant for the full group (b = -1.10) and when the "never retires"
are excluded (b = -1.15). Men in the youngest cohort, who tend to retire
very early, are more likely to have wives entering the labor force shortly
before, or perhaps concurrent with, their early retirement. This seems to
indicate that for many men retiring early, the wife begins to work in
order to replace lost earnings.
The change in assets measure exhibits a significant positive relation
to age of retirement when "don't knows" and both "don't knows" and "never
retires" are excluded. This positive relation indicates that, except for
those men who did not know their probable age of retirement in 1966, the
accumulation of savings results in later retirement. This may occur be¬
cause of some unmeasured "need" for higher assets among these men and,
therefore, the necessity of remaining in the labor force longer. One
consequence of this relationship is that men with higher assets retire
closer to their expected age, a conclusion previously made based on
assets in 1966. Changes in the amount of mortgage debt do not affect the

113
age of retirement. The bias-correction term has no significant effect
on age of retirement once cohort is entered in the model.
An interaction model for cohort was once again estimated to test
whether the effects of other predictors differ significantly for the
three cohorts. The F-value for the comparison of the interaction model
to the model with no interactions is 1.30 with dfx = 55 and df2 = 1159,
which is not significant at the .05 level of probability. The relation¬
ships between the change variables, as well as the other predictors, and
the age of retirement tend to be the same for the three cohorts.
The analysis of the age of retirement and the consequent discrepan¬
cies between the actual age and the expected age shows very few signifi¬
cant factors. The overriding importance of health in the timing of
retirement is apparent from the models tested in this analysis. This
effect may actually have been underestimated because the dichotomous
measure does not take degree of limitation into account. The importance
of changes in health may also be underestimated in this analysis because
there is usually a year between the survey in which the respondent could
report a health limitation and the time of retirement. A man may be
involved in an accident or suffer from some other sudden ailment that
causes almost immediate, unexpected retirement.
None of the job-related or social and psychological factors had
consistent significant effects on the age of retirement. The nonsignifi¬
cance of pension eligibility was especially surprising and is probably
due to the inability of this dichotomy to measure the actual receipt of
and level of benefits of the pension. The absence of significant effects
on the age of retirement when controlling for the expected age does
result in some factors having an effect on the discrepancy between

114
actual and expected age. The constraint factor of coverage under a man¬
datory retirement plan produces smaller discrepancies between the actual
and expected age of retirement because men who are covered do expect to
retire, whereas approximately one-fourth of those not covered never ex¬
pect to retire. The expected receipt of a pension also reduces the dis¬
crepancy between actual and expected age by reducing the expected age,
but not reducing the age that men retire. Men who are satisfied with
their jobs and those who are committed to work have larger discrepancies
between actual and expected age because they expect to retire later but
in fact retire at approximately the same age as those men who are dis¬
satisfied with their job and those who are not committed to work. The
only other factor found to be important in explaining the discrepancy
between actual and expected age was assets. Men with higher assets, and
those accumulating more assets while in the labor force, tend to have a
smaller discrepancy between actual and expected age of retirement.
Summary
In this chapter, two primary research questions were addressed. The
first question centered on the relationship between the expected age and
the actual age of retirement. The second question concerned the types of
factors that are important in explaining the discrepancy between the
actual age and the expected age.
The average retirement age of 61 years indicates a young sample of
retirees. This results in a large negative discrepancy between the actual
and expected age (mean difference is -4.66). This difference is further
indicated by the low correlation between the actual and expected age. One

115
of the reasons for the large discrepancy between actual and expected age
is that 15 percent of the retirees never expected to retire. This group
was assigned expected ages based on life expectancy that ranges from 72
to 78. These assigned ages should not necessarily be considered a bias¬
ing factor, however, because if these men never did expect to retire,
their average age of retirement of 61 is certainly a large discrepancy
from their expectation. Within the cohorts of men aged 45-49, 50-54 and
55-59 in 1966, there was no significant relation between expected and
actual age. In this panel study, the age of retirement is highly corre¬
lated with age,and the expected age is also correlated with age. There¬
fore, within cohorts the expected age is not related to the actual age
of retirement.
One possible reason for the lack of a strong relation between expected
and actual age is the instability of expected age over time. Change in
expected age was analyzed with the sample of men who had not retired by
1976. Moderate correlations were found to exist between expected ages
measured five years apart and low correlations were found for expected
ages ten years apart. Change in expected age may be due to the influence
of certain characteristics of individuals or events that occur which
cause reevaluations of the expected age. If this is so, then these
effects have for the most part been measured in the analysis of differ¬
ences in the actual and expected age. It is suggested, however, that
much of the change in expected age is due to the widespread lack of
serious consideration of retirement in general, and retirement timing
in particular. This is indicated by the relatively frequent changes of
three or more years in the expected age and the relatively large pro¬
portion of "don't know" responses. For example, when individual responses

116
on expected age are measured over a five year period, more than one-fourth
of the men responded "don't know" at least once. It may be that for most
men, the probable age of retirement is not seriously considered, and plan¬
ned for, until one or two years before the actual retirement decision is
made.
OLS regression was used to analyze the expected age of retirement.
All three types of factors had some effect on the expected age. Cohort
membership was found to be a major factor in the determination of the ex¬
pected age. Older men expect to retire at later ages. The significance
of cohort is interpreted to be primarily due to an "aging" effect based
on previous panel studies which show that as men age they tend to expect
to retire at later ages. Coverage under a mandatory retirement plan re¬
sults in lower expected ages of retirement, but only because such plans
restrict workers from never expecting to retire. Surprisingly, the
existence of a work-related health limitation did not significantly
reduce the expected age of retirement. The implication of this finding
is discussed below. Two of the three job-related factors have signifi¬
cant effects on the expected age. Occupational status has no signifi¬
cant effect on the expected age. Eligibility for a pension significantly
reduces the expected age, especially when "never retires" are included
in the analysis. Those men who are dissatisfied with their job also
expect to retire at younger ages. Most of the social and psychological
factors were nonsignificant. The family characteristics of marital status
and number of dependents do not significantly affect the expected age.
Education and wife's labor force status also have no effect. Men with
higher assets tend to expect to retire at younger ages, especially when
the "never retire" group is taken into account. The amount of mortgage

117
debt and the Rotter scale were found to have no effect on the expected
age of retirement. Those men committed to work exhibited significantly
later ages at which they expect to retire. Much of this positive effect
was due to the larger proportion of committed men who never expected to
retire. There was no significant differences between blacks and whites
in the expected age of retirement.
The discrepancy between the actual and expected age of retirement was
analyzed by positing the actual age as the dependent variable and the ex¬
pected age as an independent variable. The predictors of the expected age
were entered as independent variables in the regression of actual age.
The constraint factor of coverage under a mandatory retirement plan had
no direct effect on the actual age. Because of the fact that none of the
men covered by such a plan responded that they would never retire, the
negative discrepancy between actual and expected age is somewhat less for
men who are covered by a mandatory retirement plan. The other constraint
factor, existence of a work-related health limitation, significantly re¬
duced the age of retirement. Because men with such health limitations
did not expect to retire at younger ages, the negative difference between
the actual and expected age is larger for men with such health problems.
In this context, it is noted that the occurrence of a health limitation
between 1966 and the time of retirement also reduces the age of retire¬
ment. While these negative effects of health limitations were expected,
the nonsignificance of this variable in the regression of expected age
was not. This indicates that men with such health limitations generally
do not take this constraining factor into account when deciding upon the
expected age. This is another indication of the lack of consideration
of, and planning for, retirement.

118
Men who responded that they were eligible for a pension did not re¬
tire at earlier ages than those who were not eligible. Pension coverage
did reduce the expected age of retirement and, therefore, those men re¬
sponding that they are covered by a pension plan tend to have smaller dis¬
crepancies between the actual and expected age than those not covered.
The job satisfaction variable was not significantly related to the actual
age of retirement. Because those men who were satisfied with their jobs
expected to retire at later ages but did not, they tend to have larger
negative discrepancies than men who were dissatisfied with their jobs.
The social and psychological factors not directly related to the job
of the respondent had no effect on the actual age of retirement. While
differences in marital status do not appear to significantly affect the
age of retirement, men who marry in later life do appear to remain in the
labor force longer. When cohort is not in the model, the number of depen¬
dents is associated with the age of retirement. Those retiring at younger
ages tend to have more dependents and, therefore, greater financial respon¬
sibilities. There is some indication that early retirement (under age 60)
may result in the wives of early retirees entering the labor force. Cause
and effect in this relationship is hard to determine. Those retirees with
higher assets in 1966 do not retire later but it does appear that the
ability or need to save results in men staying in the labor force longer.
The expected age is negatively related to assets and, therefore, those
men with higher assets tend to retire closer to their expected age. Men
committed to work do not retire at later ages than those men not committed.
Those who are committed to work do expect to retire later however, and,
therefore, they have larger discrepancies between the actual and expected
age than men not committed to work.

119
Whether or not many of these men had specific planned ages of re¬
tirement, it would seem certain that many of those who retired before
62 did not expect to retire so early. The difference between the actual
and expected age is believed to represent a rough measure of the degree
of discrepancy between when the respondent would have retired, given
optimal circumstances, and when they actually retired. Whether this
discrepancy has any effect on the satisfaction or adjustment of men
after retirement is one of the primary issues to be investigated in
the next chapter.

CHAPTER V
ADJUSTMENT TO RETIREMENT
Introduction
The personal satisfaction or happiness of older persons has been one
of the main areas of research in social gerontology since the emergence
of this field of study. This emphasis resulted from the social problems
approach of many of the early researchers in social gerontology (see
Maddox and Wiley, 1976) and their concern with the negative aspects of
growing old. Within this area of research, a concern with the effects
of retirement on individuals emerged in some of the earlier writings,
such as Friedman and Havighurst's The Meaning of Work and Retirement
(1954).
Subsequent research on the adjustment of retirees has tended to show
that dissatisfaction or unhappiness with life is greater among retired
persons than those still in the labor force. This unhappiness appears to
be due to factors that are associated with, or consequences of, retirement.
The Cornell Study of Occupational Retirement (Thompson, 1958; Thompson et
al., 1960; Streib and Schneider, 1971) was one of the first to show why
retirees are less "well adjusted" than workers. Poor health is perhaps
the most important determinant of lower satisfaction with life and with
retirement in particular, and is, of course, one of the main causes of
retirement. In general, healthy retirees are as happy or satisfied as
120

121
are healthy workers. Reduction in income and standard of living is often
the result of retirement, and lower income results in lower satisfaction.
If a retired person does not suffer much of a reduction in income, he is
likely to be as well-adjusted as a worker. Loss of job in itself does
not appear to result in lowered satisfaction or happiness among retirees.
Role theory postulates that the loss of such a central role as a job
should result, at least initially, in adjustment problems (see Streib and
Schneider, 1971). This does not appear to be true, but some gerontologists
still maintain that the loss of a job often results in maladjustment.
The best way to test for negative effects of retirement on personal
satisfaction or well-being is with panel data. The dependent and indepen¬
dent variables should be measured for each individual at two times, before
and after retirement. In this analysis, the dependent measure of happi¬
ness with life is only measured once, in the 1976 survey. Therefore, the
analysis will only be able to test whether retirees, as a group, are less
"happy" with their lives than are workers as a group. This means that the
analysis of the happiness measure, while allowing for controls of
retirement-related factors and other potentially important factors, only
allows a comparison of workers and retirees at one time. Two assumptions
are necessary to conclude that loss of job does or does not lead to a
lower probability of happiness with life. First, it must be assumed
that the likelihood of being happy with life was the same for retirees
when they were in the labor force as it is for those who are still in
the labor force. Second, it must be assumed that all factors that may
be related to the happiness measure and are also related to retirement
are in the model. It is argued here that the two assumptions are real¬
istic and that a conclusion regarding the effect of the loss of job is

122
possible in this research. The evaluation of retirement measure, which
includes positive, neutral and negative responses, should give an indica¬
tion not only of the distribution of feelings about retirement, but also
an indication of how retirement-related and nonretirement factors influence
these evaluations.
The analysis in this chapter will address the following questions:
1) Are retired men less happy with their lives than are men still in the
labor force; 2) Net of retirement-related and nonretirement factors, is
there any significant difference in the probability of being happy between
retired and working men; 3) Overall, what factors are important in the
prediction of happiness with life; 4) What is the distribution of responses
for the evaluation of retirement measure; 5) What factors are important in
determining the probability of a positive or negative evaluation as opposed
to a neutral evaluation of the retirement experience; and 6) Does the dis¬
crepancy between the expected and actual age of retirement negatively affect
the overall happiness with life and the evaluation of retirement experience
of retired men.
Prediction of Sample Bias Term
Before addressing the questions enumerated above, the bias-correction
term, X, must be re-estimated. As previously stated, the subsample of re¬
tirees is not a random sample of men in the age cohort to which they belong
The unmeasured "propensity to retire" of the retirees may bias the esti-
<
mates of the relationship between the independent variables and the depen¬
dent variable. The relationships between the predictor variables and the
dependent measures of happiness and evaluation of retirement will probably

123
be less affected by such sample bias than the actual age of retirement and
its predictors in the previous chapter because the bias-correction term
should not be as highly correlated with the adjustment measures as it was
to the age of retirement. The logit regression for the prediction of re¬
tirement includes those variables that are measured for both retired and
not-retired men and that are used in the analysis of the happiness and
evaluation of retirement variables. The family income variable is not
used in this prediction equation because it is partially a function of
retirement. The important control variable, age of respondent, is also
included.
Table 5-1 presents the results of the logit regression for the pre¬
diction of retirement. As with the prediction of retirement in the pre¬
vious chapter on the analysis of expected and actual age, the age of
retirement produces the largest reduction in the likelihood-ratio test
statistic, indicating that it is by far the best predictor of retirement.
The existence of one or more health problems (HlthProb) is highly related
to the probability of being retired and produces a 22 percent increase
in this probability when evaluated at the predicted mean of the dependent
variable. The two contrasts to stable health over the last three years,
HlthBttr and Hlthwrse, are both positively related to the dependent vari¬
able. This indicates that those who are retired are more likely to have
experienced improvements or decrements in health than are those still work¬
ing. None of the remaining variables has significant net effects on the
probability of being retired.
Overall, the prediction of the probability of retirement is about the
same for this logit regression as for the prediction equation in the pre¬
vious chapter. This is primarily because age is by far the most important
predictor of retirement.

124
Logit
TABLE 5-1
Regression for Prediction
of Retirement,
n=3348
Variable
Logi t
S.E.
Predicted .
Prop. Change'
Age
.273*
.011
.060
HIthProb
1.019*
.099
.226
HlthBttr*
.549*
.170
.121
HIthWrse
.529*
.107
.117
Educ
-.022
.014
-.005
Occup
-.0003
.002
-.0001
DivSepi
.204
.177
.045
LongWid
.130
.197
.029
NewWid
.125
.319
.028
Never
.304
.249
.067
Rotter
.003
.008
.0007
Race
.206
.106
.046
Intercept
-15.332
* Significant at .01 level.
+ The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change in
the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous variable.
The proportional change varies depending on where the dependent variable
is evaluated along the logistic distribution. For this equation, the
predicted proportional change is evaluated at the predicted mean of the
dependent variable,_P = .331 The predicted mean is calculated by the
formula P = a + (bxX!) + (b2X2) + . . . + (b.X. ). The equation for the
predicted proportional change is b^tPO-P)] , where b¡<. is the logit co¬
efficient for the kth exogenous variable.
The contrast group for the HlthBttr and HlthWrse groups are those re¬
sponding "about the same" to the question comparing health in 1976 to
health in 1973.
§ The contrast group for the four marital status groups is married men.

125
Happiness with Life
The global measure of the respondent's feelings about his life at
the present time is defined as a dichotomy, happy/unhappy. As discussed
in Chapter III, this measure is not the same as life satisfaction, but
is closely related to the satisfaction concept. In the question asked
in 1976, four responses were allowed: "very happy," "somewhat happy,"
"somewhat unhappy" and "very unhappy." Approximately 53 percent responded
"very happy," 38 percent responded "somewhat happy," 6 percent responded
"somewhat unhappy" and only about 2 percent responded "very unhappy."
This extreme skew is not uncommon, as Campbell et al_. (1976) report that
national probability samples consistently show about ten percent of the
population being "unhappy" or "dissatisfied." When dichotomized, the
distribution of this sample is 92 percent "happy" and 8 percent "unhappy."
There is probably some social desirability effect in this kind of measure
since respondents are generally unwilling to admit that they are unhappy
with their lives. One positive aspect of such a skewed distribution is
that it is relatively certain that those who do respond "unhappy" are
truly unhappy with their lives. As noted previously in Chapter III, this
measure, despite its skewed distribution, is a better indication of an
individual's overall feelings about his life at the present time than are
summated scales that simply combine responses on questions about specific
areas of an individual's life. The single item allows the individual to
evaluate his life in a wholistic manner instead of specific items that
are assumed to be equally important to the individual.
The happiness measure was cross-tabulated by the retired/not-retired
dichotomy. Of the 2,102 men who were still in the labor force, 117 (5.6%)

126
were classified as "unhappy." Of the 1,246 retirees, 145 (11.6%) were
classified as "unhappy." Twice as large a proportion of retired men re¬
port being unhappy with their lives than do men still in the labor force.
Obviously the large majority of retired men are happy with their lives in
general. This does not negate the rather large difference between the
retirees and their counterparts still in the labor force. Such a simple
description of differences in percentage distribution does not answer the
question of why this difference exists. In order to answer this question
a logit analysis is conducted on the happiness measure that include a
number of predictor variables other than the retired/not-retired dichotomy.
Analysis of Happiness Measure for Retired and Not-Retired Men
Previous research suggests that the larger proportion of "unhappy"
men along the retired sample is primarily due to the higher incidence of
health problems among the retired and the generally lower income of retired
persons. Other factors, such as occupation and marital status have been
found to be important factors in the prediction of happiness or satisfac¬
tion with life. These latter two variables are not as strongly related
to retirement however.
Table 5-2 presents the results of the logit analysis of the happiness
measure for all of the respondents. Those who responded "happy" are clas¬
sified as positive responses (Y^ = 1). The predicted proportional change
is evaluated at an extreme point on the logistic distribution that results
in small effects for all of the exogenous variables. This is a realistic
point for the evaluation of these effects however, because of the skewed
distribution of the happy/unhappy responses. The existence of one or
more health problems at the time of the survey very significantly reduces

127
Logit Regression
TABLE 5-2
of Happiness Measure
for Full Sample,
(n=3348)
Variable
Logi t
S.E.
Predicted
Prop. Change1
HIthProb
-.907*
.179
-.050
HIthBttrx
.443
.381
.024
HIthWrse
-.801*
.157
-.044
Famine ($1000)
.029*
.011
.0016
Occup
-.001
.004
-.0001
Educ
-.010
.023
-.001
Retired
-.233
.146
-.013
DivSep §
-.719*
.221
-.039
LongWid
-.113
.294
-.006
NewWid
-1.104*
.360
-.061
Never
-.519
.335
-.028
Rotter
-.041*
.013
-.002
Race
.063
.157
.003
Intercept
4.255
* Significant at .01 level.
+ The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change in
the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous variable.
The proportional change varies depending on where the dependent variable
is evaluated along the logistic distribution. The predicted proportional
change is evaluated at the predicted mean of the dependent variable, P =
.941_. The predictedjnean is calculated by the formula P = a + (b^) +
(b2X2) + ..., + (b.X^). The equation for the predicted proportional
change is b. [P(1-P)T , where b^ is the logit coefficient for the kth
exogenous variable.
T The contrast group for the HlthBttr and HlthWrse groups are those respond¬
ing "about the same" to the question comparing health in 1976 to health
in 1973.
§ The contrast group for the four marital status categories is married men.

128
the probability of being happy with one's life and results in a five per¬
cent reduction in the probability of "happiness." Those men who evaluate
their health as better in 1976 than in 1973, show no significant differ¬
ence from those who feel that their health is about the same. The worsen¬
ing of health in the past three years shows a large negative relationship
to the dependent variable and the percent reduction attributable to this
effect is almost as large as that for the HlthProb variable. The highly
significant net effects of these health conditions points to the central
importance of health in determining the individual's evaluation of his
happiness with life.
Family income in 1975 has the expected positive effect. The predicted
proportional change for a $1,000 increase in family income is small however.
As noted in Chapter III, respondents who were missing on this variable were
assigned values based on a regression equation predicting family income.
When the equation was estimated without the assigned values the coefficients
remained about the same, as did the level of significance. Occupation
and education level do not have significant net effects on the dependent
variable. Their zero-order relation to the dependent variable is a slight
positive one, but the intercorrelations of these two variables and their
relation to family income results in nonsignificant negative coefficients.
The contrast of retired men with those still in the labor force has a
negative coefficient but is not significant. The reason for this is that,
as expected, being retired is correlated with the health variables and
with family income. The net effect, therefore, is nonsignificant. Assum¬
ing that retirees had the same probability of being happy before retire¬
ment as do those still in the labor force and that all other relevant
variables are in the equation, then the nonsignificance of this net effect

129
indicates that loss of job does not result in a lower probability of being
happy with one's life.
Among the marital status contrasts, it is found that divorce or sepa¬
ration and recent widowhood significantly reduce the probability of being
happy. Both of these effects are large and, in fact, the net effect of
recent widowhood is larger than any other variable in the model. This
indicates that men who have been widowed for two years or less (NewWid)
do have problems adjusting to the loss of a spouse and these problems re¬
sult in a greater likelihood of being unhappy with life. Those men who
have been widowed for a longer period (LongWid) are apparently not any
more likely to be unhappy with their life than married men. The never
married group (Never) show the expected negative coefficient but it is
not statistically significant.
The Rotter scale is a highly significant predictor of the happy/un¬
happy contrast. Higher scores on this scale indicate a more external
orientation to the direction and control over events in an individual's
life. The negative relationship, therefore, indicates that men who are
"other-directed" are more likely to be unhappy with their lives. This
relationship should not necessarily be considered a causal one however.
It may be that men who are unhappy with their lives tend to turn to ex¬
ternal factors as an explanation of why they are unhappy. There is no
significant difference between blacks and whites on this happiness
measure.
Separate logit equations were estimated for fetirees and workers in
order to see whether the effects of other predictor variables were signif¬
icantly different for retirees than for workers. The likelihood-ratio
test statistic for the model with both retirees and workers is L = 1613.28,

130
with df = 3334. The likelihood-ratio test statistic for the separate
models for retirees and workers are L = 784.51, with df = 1233 and
L = 812.72, with df = 2089, respectively. The improvement in fit for
the two models over the pooled model is 1613.28 - (784.51 + 812.72) =
16.05 with 12 degrees of freedom, and is not significant at the .05
level. Therefore, the effect of the other predictors on the probabil¬
ity of being happy is the same for retirees and workers.
Analysis of Happiness Measure for Retired Men
For the sample of retirees some factors that are specific to retire¬
ment are of interest in their possible effect on the individual's happi¬
ness with his life. The four retirement-related factors that are included
in the logit analysis are number of years since retirement (YrsRet), com¬
mitment to work (CmmtWrk), the replacement ratio of present family income
to family income before retirement (IncRatio) and the discrepancy between
expected and actual age of retirement (Before and After).
The results of the logit analysis with the addition of the four
retirement-related factors are presented in Table 5-3. Because the re¬
placement ratio is defined as family income in 1975 divided by average
family income before retirement, all those respondents who retired in
1975 or 1976 must be excluded (n = 326). Logit estimates for all other
exogenous variables are shown when the replacement ratio is excluded as
well as included in the model. The discrepancy between expected and
actual age is defined as categorical contrasts between those retiring
before their expected age (<-2 years before expected age) and those re¬
tiring "on-time" (between -2 and +2 years of expected age) and between
those retiring after their expected age (>+2 years after expected age)
and those retiring "on-time." The number of years since retirement was

131
TABLE 5-3
Logit Regression of Happiness Measure for Retired Men
Model 1
(IncRatio Exc.)
(n=l246)
Model 2
(IncRatio Inc.
(n-920)
Variable
Logit
Predicted x
Prop. Chng. 1
Logi t
Predicted
Prop. Chng
HIthProb
-.885*
(.311)
-.061
-.741*
(.350)
-.054
HIthBttr*
-.021
(.472)
-.001
.366
(.566)
.027
HIthWrse
-1.155*
(.239)
-.080
-.981*
(.263)
-.072
Famine ($1000)
.040**
(.020)
.003
.075**
(.030)
.005
Occup
.0003
(.006)
.000
-.004
(.007)
-.0003
Educ
-.004
(.032)
-.0003
-.004
-.0003
DivSep5
-.545
(.314)
-.038
-.353
(.348)
-.026
LongWid
-.322
(.368)
-.022
-.358
(.416)
-.026
NewWid
-.308
(.540)
-.021
-.508
(.566)
-.037
Never
-.074
(.518)
-.005
.476
(.651)
.035
Rotter
-.039**
(.018)
-.003
-.031
(.021)
-.002
Race
.115
(.220)
.008
.119
(.257)
.009
S 5
Before
-.561**
(.242)
-.039
-.739*
(.289)
-.054
After
.373
(.639)
.026
.759
(1.056)
.055
YrsRet
-.010
(.044)
-.001
-.018
(.057)
-.001
CmmtWrk
-.361
(.222)
-.025
-.401
(.258)
-.029
IncRatio
—
—
-.538*
(.183)
-.039

132
TABLE 5-3 continued
Lambda
-.464
(.286)
-.539
(.323)
Intercept
4.834
4.841
* Significant at .01 level.
** Significant at .05 level.
t The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change
in the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous vari¬
able. The proportional change varies depending on where the dependent
variable is evaluated along the logistic distribution. The predicted
proportional change is evaluated at^the predicted mean of the dependent
variable, P = .925 for Model 1 and P = .921 for Model 2. The predicted
mean^ is calculated by the formula P = a + (b^) + (b2X2) + . . . +
(b^X^). The equation for the predicted proportional change is b.[P(l-P)]»
where b^ is the logit coefficient for the kth exogneous variable.
r The contrast group for the HlthBttr and HlthWrse groups are those re¬
sponding "about the same" to the question comparing health in 1976 to
health in 1973.
§ The contrast for the four marital status groups is married men.
§§ The contrast group for the Before and After groups is men who retired
within ±2 years of their expected age of retirement.

133
defined both as an interval variable and as a categorical contrast of
those retired one year or less to those retired more than one year. The
interval definition is used in the logit models shown because it can be
included when the replacement ratio is used, which is not true for the
categorical contrast since those retired one year or less are excluded.
Also, no significant difference in the probability of happiness with one's
life was found in the contrast between those retired one year or less and
those retired longer than one year. The commitment to work variable is
a dichotomous contrast where committed = 1.
In Table 5-3, the full sample of retired men (Model 1) will be dis¬
cussed first. The large negative effects of the HlthProb and HlthWrse
variables are not affected by the addition of the new retirement variables.
When the predicted proportional change is evaluated at the predicted mean
of the dependent variable, the existence of one or more health problems
results in a six percent decrease in the probability of being happy
while the worsening of health produces an eight percent decrease. The
significant positive effect of family income also remains when the addi¬
tional variables are added to the model. Occupation and education level
are nonsignificant. Althouth the negative signs for the marital status
contrasts remain for the group of retired men, none are significant. The
smaller number of respondents in the four nonmarried categories may be
partly responsible but the size of the coefficients have been reduced.
The absence of an effect of loss of spouse on happiness for retirees is
surprising and no reason for this difference between workers and retirees
can be offered. The Rotter scale is barely significant in this partic¬
ular equation with about the same size of effect as in Table 5-2. Race
remains nonsignificant in this model.

134
As hypothesized, earlier-than-expected retirement (Before) results
in a significantly lower probability of being happy with one's life. Men
retiring later than expected (After) show no significant difference from
on-time retirees. It is of interest to note that while fifty-seven per¬
cent of the retired men are in the Before group, only four percent are in
the After group. The number of years since retirement does not signifi¬
cantly affect the probability of being happy. The commitment to work
variable is negatively related to the probability of being happy but is
not significant. If a more specific measure of the degree of commitment
to work were available, this negative effect may have been significant.
The third and fourth columns of Table 5-3 present estimates when the
replacement ratio is included. This is a different sample of retirees
because those men who retired in 1975 and 1976 are excluded. The signif¬
icant negative effects of HlthProb and HlthWrse are reduced slightly in
the second model. The size and level of significance for the family in¬
come variable is increased in this model compared to its effect when all
retirees are included. The reason for this is primarily because of the
inclusion of the replacement ratio variable. This "cooperative suppres¬
sion" effect (Cohen and Cohen, 1975) will be explained further when the
effect of the replacement ratio is discussed. Once again the occupation
and education variables and the four marital status contrasts are not
significant. In this equation, the Rotter scale is nonsignificant and
there is no significant difference between blacks and whites in happiness
with life.
The contrast of earlier-than-expected retirees to on-time retirees
produces a larger negative effect in this equation. This is apparently
due to the slightly different sample since this variable and the replacement

135
ratio are not related. The contrast of later-than-expected retirees to
on-time retirees remains nonsignificant as do the number of years since
retirement and commitment to work variables.
The replacement ratio has a significant negative effect on the prob¬
ability of being happy. The size of this net effect is larger when 1975
family income is included because the two variables are positively related
while their effects on the dependent variables are opposite. Without
family income in the model, the logit for the replacement ratio is -.303
and is nonsignificant. However, this negative effect is still the oppo¬
site of what was expected. Controlling for the absolute size of present
income, the higher the ratio of present income to income in years preced¬
ing retirement should indicate a relative degree of consistency or even
improvement in the standard of living, which in turn should result in a
greater probability of being happy with one's life. This is not the
case among this sample of retired men. The reasons for this anomalous
finding are unclear and no ad hoc explanation will be offered.
Evaluation of Retirement Experience
The question posed to retired respondents in the 1976 survey concern¬
ing their life in retirement is: "All in all, how does your life in re¬
tirement compare with what you expected it to be? Is it much better,
somewhat better, about what you expected, somewhat worse or much worse?"
It was argued in Chapter III that the responses on this variable reflect
an individual's evaluation of his personal experience in retirement.
Therefore, this variable is termed "Evaluation of Retirement Experience"
and the responses are aggregated into positive evaluations ("much better"

136
and "somewhat better"), negative evaluations ("somewhat worse" and "much
worse") and a neutral evaluation ("about what expected").
The majority of respondents, 59 percent, indicated a neutral evalua¬
tion of their retirement experience. Of those remaining, 21 percent gave
a positive response while 20 percent indicated that retirement was generally
a negative experience. This distribution seems to indicate that, in gen¬
eral, retired men find retirement to be a fairly positive experience, or
at least consistent with their expectations. From a negative viewpoint
however, one-fifth of the sample report that retirement is generally worse
than expected and, therefore, has been a negative experience. While less
than 12 percent of the retirees report being unhappy with their life, about
20 percent appear to be unhappy with one particular area of life, their
retirement experience.
In the following analysis, the issue of which factors help explain
respondents' evaluation of retirement is considered. An appropriate way
to analyze these responses in a multivariate context is logit contrasts
(Hanushek and Jackson, 1977). The neutral response is the denominator
or contrast for both a positive response and a negative response (Pi/P2
and P3/P2, where P3 = positive response, P2 = neutral response and P3 =
negative response). This method allows the estimation of the effects of
exogenous variables on the probability of responding in a positive manner
and the probability of responding in a negative manner. Ideally those
variables that have a positive sign for the Pi/P2 contrast would have a
negative sign for the P3/P2 contrast. However, some variables may be
more important in predicting a positive versus neutral response than in

137
predicting a negative versus neutral response while other variables may
predict negative responses but have little or no effect on the probability
of a positive response.
In Table 5-4, the logit estimates of the positive versus neutral con¬
trast are shown for both the model without the replacement ratio (Model 1)
and the model with this variable (Model 2). Surprisingly, the existence
of one or more health problems has no significant effect on the contrast
of positive versus neutral evaluations. A stronger negative effect on the
probability of a positive evaluation was expected for this variable. The
HlthBttr and HlthWrse variables do significantly affect the probability of
a positive response. The improvement in health increases the probability
of a positive response by over ten percent in both Model 1 and 2. The
worsening of health decreases the probability of a positive evaluation of
retirement by about 13 percent. At least for this contrast, the actual
state of health is less important in the evaluation of retirement than the
relative state of health.
Family income has a small and insignificant effect when the replace¬
ment ratio is excluded (and 1975 and 1976 retirees are included) but in¬
creases in size and is significant once the replacement ratio is included.
The supressor effect of the replacement ratio variable can only explain a
small part of this increase in the net effect of income since the ratio
variable is not related to the dependent variable.
Occupation and education level have no effect in either model. The
four marital status contrasts are all nonsignificant and recently widowed
retirees are the only group that exhibits a negative relation to the depen¬
dent variable. The Rotter scale is a significant predictor of the contrast
between positive and neutral evaluations of retirement. Those retirees

138
TABLE 5-4
Logit Regression of Px/P2 Contrast (Negatives Excluded)
Model 1
(IncRatio Exc.)
(n=1005)
Model 2
(IncRatio Inc.)
(n=730)
Variable
Logi t
Predicted
Prop. Chng.
Logit
Predicted
Prop. Chng.
HlthProb
-.138
(.181)
-.026
-.190
(.206)
-.037
HIthBttr^
.591**
(.236)
.112
.676**
(.273)
.133
HIthWrse
-.689*
(.196)
-.131
-.654*
(.221)
-.129
Famine ($1000)
.011
(.on)
.002
.035**
(.016)
.007
Occup
.005
(.004)
.001
.005
(.005)
.001
Educ
-.003
(.027)
-.0006
-.032
(.032)
-.006
DivSep5
.112
(.336)
.021
.157
(.379)
.031
LongWid
.112
(.312)
.021
.240
(.366)
.046
MewWid
-.877
(.653)
-.167
-1.957
(1.054)
-.372
Never
.221
(.384)
.042
.087
(.496)
.016
Rotter
-.032**
(.015)
-.006
-.043**
(.018)
-.008
Race
-.591*
(.187)
-.112
-.576*
(.221)
-.113
BeforeJ §
.048
(.171)
.009
-.002
(.197)
-.0004
After
.124
(.303)
.024
.089
(.403)
.017
YrsRet
.018
(.036)
.003
-.067
(.050)
-.013
CmmtWrk
-.151
(.157)
-.029
-.071
(.183)
-.014
IncRatio
—
—
-.119
(.193)
-.023

139
TABLE 5-4 continued
Lambda -.199 — -.115
Intercept .213 .950
* Significant at .01 level.
** Significant at .05 level.
t The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change
in the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous vari¬
able. The proportional change varies depending on where the dependent
variable is evaluated along the logistic distribution. The predicted
proportional change is evaluated atthe predicted mean of the dependent
variable, P = .255 for Model 1 and P = .270 for Model 2. The predicted
mear[ is calculated by the formula P = a + (b2XT) + (b2X2) + . . . +
(b^X^). The equation for the predicted proportional change is b. [P(1-P)]*
where b^ is the logit coefficient for the kth exogenous variable.
t The contrast group for the HlthBttr and HlthWrse groups are those re¬
sponding "about the same" to the question comparing health in 1976 to
health in 1973.
i The contrast group for the marital status groups is married men.
§§ The contrast group for the Before and After groups is men who retired
within ±2 years of their expected age of retirement.

140
who tend to see themselves as being in control of their lives (lower score)
have a higher probability of positively evaluating retirement.
A surprising finding is the highly significant negative coefficient
for race. Since whites are coded "1" on this variable, a negative coeffi¬
cient indicates that blacks are more likely to give a positive response
than are whites. This is the opposite of what was expected. Blacks will
usually have fewer opportunities to enjoy retirement activities such as
travel and recreational activities. Interactions between race and a number
of other predictors were estimated and none of the interactions was signif¬
icant. It is hard to determine why blacks would be more likely to have a
positive evaluation of the retirement experience. One possible explanation
is that the race difference is related to different experiences of whites
and blacks in the workplace. More negative experiences by blacks in the
types of jobs, level of rewards and discrimination experienced on the job
may result in retirement being viewed more favorably by this group.
The discrepancy between expected and actual age of retirement has no
effect on the positive/neutral contrast as indicated by the nonsignificance
of the Before and After variables. This is surprising, especially since
the Before variable was significant in the prediction of the general meas¬
ure of happiness with life. Number of years in retirement and commitment
to work also have no effect on the dependent variable. The insignificance
of the replacement ratio variable indicates that comparisons of present
income level to income levels before retirement are not taken into account
by most respondents when evaluating retirement.
Logit estimates for the contrast of negative versus neutral evalua¬
tions when the replacement ratio is both included and excluded are presented
in Table 5-5. The existence of one or more health problems does increase

141
TABLE 5-5
Logit Regression of P3/P2 Contrast (Positives Excluded)
Model 1
(IncRatio Exc.)
(n=978)
Model 2
(IncRatio Inc.)
(n-712)
Variable
Logi t
Predicted.
Prop. Chng.T
Logit
Predicted
Prop. Chng.
HIthProb
1.044*
(.252)
.169
1.051*
(.285)
.182
HIthBttr^
.270
(.355)
.044
.406
(.383)
.070
HIthWrse
.648*
(.192)
.105
.538**
(.213)
.093
Famine ($1000)
-.051*
(.017)
-.008
-.065*
(.025)
-.011
Occup
.001
(.005)
.0002
.00002
(.006)
.000
Educ
.051
(.028)
.008
.057
(.032)
.010
DivSep3
.447
(.294)
.072
.210
(.323)
.036
LongWid
.127
(.327)
.021
.076
(.378)
.013
NewWid
-.073
(.492)
-.012
.016
(.506)
.003
Me ver
-.437
(.496)
-.071
-.657
(.545)
-.119
Rotter
.062*
(.016)
.010
.045**
(.018)
.008
Race
-.467**
(.192)
-.076
-.394
(.221)
-.068
Before3 3
.448**
('•198)
.073
.522**
(.225)
.090
After
-.395
(.453)
-.064
-.046
(.554)
-.008
YrsRet
.026
(.037)
.004
.031
(.048)
.005
CmmtWrk
.379**
(.187)
.061
.431**
(.211)
.075
IncRati o
—
—
-.014
(.178)
-.002

142
TABLE 5-5 continued
Lambda .190
(.254)
.325
(.284)
Intercept
-4.166
-3.851
* Significant at .01 level.
** Significant at .05 level.
t The predicted proportional change is the instantaneous rate of change
in the dependent variable for a one-unit change in the exogenous vari¬
able. The proportional change varies depending on where the dependent
variable is evaluated along the logistic distribution. The predicted
proportional change is evaluated at^the predicted mean of the dependent
variable, P = .203 for Model 1 and^P = .223 for Model 2. The predicted
mean_ is calculated by the formula P = a + (b^) + (b2X2) + . . . +
(b^X^). The equation for the predicted proportional change is b, [P(l-P)],
where b^ is the logit coefficient for the kth exogenous variable.
+ The contrast group for the HlthBttr and HlthWrse groups are those re¬
sponding "about the same" to the question comparing health in 1976 to
health in 1973.
§ The contrast group for the four marital status groups is married men.
§§ The contrast group for the Before and After groups is men who retired
within ±2 years of their expected age of retirement.

143
the probability of a negative evaluation of retirement. This significant
effect, which results in a predicted proportional increase of 17 percent in
Model 1 and 18 percent in Model 2, is in contrast to the small and nonsig¬
nificant negative coefficient for the HlthProb variable in the Pi/P2 con¬
trast. Another difference between the Pi/P¿ and P3/P2 contrasts is the
effect of the HlthBttr variable. Table 5-4 shows that the improvement in
health increases the probability of positively evaluating retirement while
in the present contrast of negative/neutral responses the improvement in
health has no effect. The HlthWrse variable has the expected positive
effect and results in an increase of about ten percent in the predicted
probability of a negative response. The size of this effect is about the
same size as the negative coefficient in the P1/P2 contrast, indicating
that there is a consistent effect of this variable across categories of
the evaluation of retirement.
Higher family income significantly reduces the probability of a nega¬
tive evaluation of retirement. This effect is larger than the positive
relation between family income and the probability of a positive evalua¬
tion of retirement. This difference in size of effect across contrasts
suggests that once a certain level of standard of living is attained, in¬
come does not produce a more positive attitude toward life in retirement,
but low income does result in a higher probability of negative evaluations
of retirement. Occupation and education level, as well as the four marital
status contrasts, have no effect on the P3/P2 contrast.
The Rotter scale has a significant positive effect on the probability
of a negative evaluation of retirement. Men who view events and circum¬
stances as controlled by outside forces are more likely to have a negative
evaluation of retirement. This effect is consistent with the finding in

144
Table 5-4 that men who believe they have control over events in their
lives are more likely to have a positive evaluation of retirement. As
noted previously, this relationship should not necessarily be considered
a causal one.
The negative coefficient for race, which is significant in Model 1
of Table 5-5 but not in Model 2, indicates that whites are less likely
than blacks to have a negative evaluation of retirement. This effect
conforms to the hypothesis that blacks will have a more negative view of
retirement but contradicts the finding in Table 5-4 that blacks are more
likely to have a positive evaluation of retirement than are whites. Tak¬
ing the significant coefficients for race in Tables 5-4 and 5-5 together,
it appears that blacks are more likely to have strong feelings about re¬
tirement than are whites whether these feelings are positive or negative.
Interactions between race and family income, the health variables, the
Rotter scale and the Before variable were all nonsignificant.
The contrast of earlier-than-expected retirement with on-time retire¬
ment does significantly increase the probability of a negative evaluation
of retirement. Those men who retired more than two years before their
expected age have a seven percent greater likelihood of negatively evalu¬
ating retirement when the proportional change is evaluated at the predicted
mean of the dependent variable. The contrast of 1ater-than-expected re¬
tirement with on-time retirement has no significant effect on the dependent
variable. The number of years in retirement has no effect on the dependent
variable but commitment to work is significantly related to a negative
evaluation of retirement. Retirees who were committed to work in 1966
are more likely to respond that retirement has been a negative experience.
The replacement ratio variable is nonsignificant for the P3/P2 contrast as

145
it was for the Pi/P2 contrast. The relative level of income in retirement
to income before retirement should be more relevant for this measure of
the general evaluation of retirement than for the general happiness with
life measure. This is not the case and only the absolute level of present
income affects evaluations of retirement.
In general, the logit models predict the probability of a negative
evaluation of retirement better than the probability of a positive evalua¬
tion of retirement. This is shown by the reduction in the likelihood ratio
test statistic that is due to the introduction of the exogenous variables.
For the prediction of a positive response, the test statistic, which is
distributed as X , is reduced from 1165.63 with only the intercept to
1108.97 with all exogenous variables, a decrease of 56.66 with 17 degrees
of freedom. For the prediction of a negative evaluation of retirement,
the test statistic is reduced from 1092.17 with only the intercept to
935.86, a decrease of 156.31 with 17 degrees of freedom. The more accur¬
ate prediction of negative evaluations of retirement may be due to the
kinds of factors used in the models. With the exception of the Rotter
scale and the commitment to work variables, the factors in this analysis
measure objective characteristics of individuals. Interpersonal factors,
such as social participation or interaction with friends, may be better
predictors of the difference between a positive and a neutral evaluation
of retirement.
Summary
The analysis in this chapter centers on six questions previously
enumerated, that are related to the personal adjustment of retired men.

146
Brief conclusions about all of these issues are presented in this
summary.
Questions 1 and 2 concern the difference between retired and not-
retired men in their responses on the global life happiness measure.
Retired men are about twice as likely to say that they are unhappy with
their lives than are workers. The important qualification to the differ¬
ence is that the large majority (approximately 88%) of retirees responded
that they were happy with their lives. The logit analysis of the happi¬
ness measure indicated that net of other factors, retirees did not have
a higher probability of being unhappy with their life. The retirement-
related factors of health and income were very important predictors of
happiness. The absence of a negative effect for retirees may indicate
that loss of job does not, in general, cause a decrease in the life hap¬
piness of men.
The third question concerns the important predictors of happiness
with life. The existence of one or more health problems and a worsening
of health over the past three years reduce the probability of being happy
with one's life. Higher levels of income do result in a greater proba¬
bility of being happy. Men who are divorced or separated and those who
have been recently widowed are less likely to be happy with their lives
than are married men. The Rotter scale was the only other significant
predictor of happiness with life and indicates that men who tend to be
"active" as opposed to "passive" in relation to events in their lives
are more likely to be happy with their lives. For retired men, the
health, income and Rotter variables were significant predictors while
differences in marital status were nonsignificant. Among the retired
men, the retirement-specific variables of earlier-than-expected retirement

147
and income replacement ratio were also significant. The replacement ratio
was negatively related to happiness however, the opposite direction of
the hypothesized relationship. It is uncertain why this relationship
exists among this sample of men.
The second measure of personal adjustment to retirement is the evalua¬
tion of retirement measure. The majority of respondents feel that retire¬
ment was about what they expected it to be, a neutral response. About
one-fifth of the respondents had a positive response to the retirement
experience question while one-fifth evaluated their lives in retirement
negatively. In the logit analysis somewhat different predictors of the
probability of a positive response versus a neutral response were signif¬
icant compared to the analysis of the probability of a negative response
versus a neutral response.
The existence of one or more health problems was the most important
predictor of a negative evaluation of retirement but was not significant
in the prediction of a positive response. The improvement of health over
the past three years was positively related to the probability of a nega¬
tive response while there was no relation between this variable and the
probability of a negative evaluation. The worsening of health was an
important predictor in both analyses and may be considered the most con¬
sistent factor in the determination of responses to the evaluation of
retirement question. Family income does reduce the probability of a
negative evaluation of retirement but does not significantly increase
the probability of a positive evaluation of retirement. The Rotter scale
was significant in both analyses and indicates that men who view their
life as being in their own hands are more likely to evaluate retirement
positively. Blacks were found to be more likely to evaluate retirement

148
either positively or negatively than whites. None of the retirement-
specific variables evidenced significant effects on the probability of
a positive response but earl ier-than-expected retirement and being com¬
mitted to work both increase the likelihood of a negative evaluation of
retirement.
The final issue to be addressed regards the effect of the discrepancy
between the expected and actual age of retirement on the personal adjust¬
ment of retired men. It was hypothesized that such a discrepancy, espe¬
cially retiring earlier than expected, would result in less "successful
adjustment." The analyses in this chapter do indicate that earlier-than-
expected retirement does result in a more negative adjustment to retirement.
The probability of responding that one is happy with life in general is
significantly reduced by the experience of retiring more than two years
before the expected age. While no relation between earlier-than-expected
retirement and the probability of a positive response to the evaluation
of retirement question was found, there is a definite relation between
the likelihood of a negative evaluation and retiring before the expected
age.
The age of retirement is highly correlated with the difference between
the expected and actual age. Those men who retired early tend to have re¬
tired before their expected age. The age of retirement is significantly
related to the happiness with life measure and the probability of a nega¬
tive evaluation of retirement. This relationship indicates that early
retirees, who in this sample consist primarily of men who retired at or
before 60, are less happy or satisfied with their lives in general and
specifically with retirement. With controls for health, income and other
factors, the discrepancy between the actual and expected age gives a reason

149
for early retirees being less satisfied. Whether such early retirement
was voluntary or not, it is clear that experiences in retirement for
these men tend to result in a more negative adjustment to retirement.

CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Introduction
The purpose of this research was twofold. The primary purpose of
this research was to investigate the relationship between the expected
age of retirement and the actual age of retirement and how certain exter¬
nal factors may affect the difference between the expected and actual age.
The other purpose of this research was to analyze adjustment to retirement
and, more specifically, how discrepancies between the expected and actual
age may affect adjustment.
The research undertaken in this thesis has relevance for sociology,
social gerontology and for policy makers in the aging field. In this
final chapter, the conceptual approach, issues addressed, data set
analyzed and the results of the analyses will be summarized. Conclusions
will be drawn from the specific findings and implications will be dis¬
cussed.
The Conceptual Approach
Retirement is viewed as a process occurring over a number of years.
An individual forms an expected or probable age of retirement based on a
number of considerations, and then based on the same kinds of considera¬
tions retires some time later at an age that may or may not correspond
to the original expected age. Based on Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975)
150

151
conceptual definitions, the expected age was conceived as a behavioral
intention that would predict the actual age of retirement which was con¬
sidered a behavior. A high correlation was not expected however because
of the time interval between measurements of these two ages and the un¬
familiarity with retirement of almost all workers. Based on Atchley's
model of the process of retirement, three types of factors were posited
to have an effect on the expected and actual age of retirement. The
three types are constraint factors, job-related factors and social and
psychological factors not directly related to the job. These types of
factors, and changes in these factors, were also considered to affect the
differences that exist between the expected and actual age of retirement.
NLS Data and Measurement of Factors
The data used in this research are from the National Longitudinal
Surveys of Mature Men, a Labor Department-funded study. The men were
aged 45-59 in 1966 and data is available on respondents through 1976.
Of those respondents still in the sample in 1976, 1,246 were identified
as retired. Because this subsample of retirees is not a representative
sample of men in their cohort, a bias-correction term developed by Heck¬
man (1980) was introduced to correct for the possible biasing of estimated
parameters.
Independent variables available in the NLS data set were selected
based on the conceptual model and the review of the literature. For the
analysis of differences between the expected and actual age, a set of
predictors were chosen that correspond to the three types of factors
previously mentioned. Coverage under a mandatory retirement plan and

152
and the existence of a work-related health limitation are the two meas¬
ures of constraint factors. There were three job-related variables used
in this research: occupational status, pension eligibility and job sat¬
isfaction. The third type of influence, social and psychological factors,
encompassed nine different measures: marital status, number of dependents,
education level, wife's labor force status, assets, mortgage, the Rotter
scale of internal-externam locus of control, commitment to work and race.
There were two measures of adjustment to retirement used in this
analysis, a global happiness with life item and an evaluation of retire¬
ment variable. A set of predictors measured for both retirees and workers
consisted of two health variables, family income, occupational status, ed¬
ucation level, marital status, Rotter scale and race. Four retirement-
specific variables were added when only the retired group was analyzed:
the discrepancy between actual and expected age, number of years in re¬
tirement, commitment to work and the ratio of present family income to
income before retirement.
Summary of Findings
The Expected and Actual Age
The average age of retirement for this sample was 61 years, indicating
a young sample of retirees. Because the average expected age was closer
to the normal retirement age of 65, there was a large negative difference
between the actual age of retirement and the expected age. For the sam¬
ple of retirees there was a low, but significant correlation between the
expected and actual age. Even this relatively weak relationship disappeared
once the sample was split into three cohorts, which was due to the positive

153
correlation between the expected age and cohort, as well as the positive
correlation between age of retirement and cohort.
One of the main reasons for the lack of a relationship between the
expected and actual age is the degree of instability in the expected age
over time. Using the responses on the expected age variable of men who
had not retired by 1976, moderate correlations were found for the five
year intervals 1966-1971 and 1971-1976 and a low correlation over the ten
year interval 1966-1976. Although changes in the expected age may be in
response to changes in the factors that men take into account in the de¬
cision of the expected age, this instability is considered to also reflect
a high degree of uncertainty and lack of planning in regards to retirement
timing. This issue will be discussed further in the conclusions section.
In the investigation of factors affecting the discrepancy between the
actual and expected age, the expected age was first regressed on the set
of predictors previously enumerated. As a constraining factor, coverage
under a mandatory retirement policy did reduce the expected age of retire¬
ment. However, this is only the case when respondents who never expected
to retire were included in the analysis. Among men who specified an ex¬
pected age, those covered by a mandatory retirement plan exhibited a
slightly higher mean expected age of retirement. Surprisingly, the con¬
straint of a work-related health limitation did not significantly reduce
the expected age of retirement. The result of this noneffect is shown
later in this section.
Two of the three job-related variables were significant predictors
of the expected age. Occupational status did not have a significant effect
on the expected age. Men eligible for a pension expect to retire at sig¬
nificantly younger ages, especially when the "never retire" group is included.

154
Men who report dissatisfaction with their present job expect to retire at
younger ages than men who are satisfied.
Only a few of the social and psychological factors had significant
effects on the expected age. There were no differences among marital
status groups and the number of dependents was also nonsignificant. Edu¬
cation level and wife's labor force participation were found to have no
significant effect on the expected age. Higher assets were found to
significantly reduce the expected age, while the amount of mortgage debt
did not have a significant effect. Those men committed to work expected
to retire at later ages and this was found to be primarily because more
of the committed men never expected to retire. Scores on the Rotter scale
of internal-external locus of control exhibited no significant relation to
the expected age of retirement. There was no race difference in the ex¬
pected age net of the other predictors.
To analyze the discrepancy between the actual and expected age, the
actual age was used as the dependent variable and the expected age entered
as an independent variable along with the predictors of the expected age.
In the final model certain change variables were also entered. Most of
the predictor variables had no significant effect on the actual age, net
of their relation to the expected age.
Men covered by a mandatory retirement policy do not retire at ages
significantly different from men who are not covered. Because those who
are covered by mandatory retirement policies are much less likely to never
expect to retire from a job, they have a smaller average difference be¬
tween the expected and actual age. A work-related health limitation
does significantly reduce the age of retirement. In fact, the existence
of a health limitation in 1966 and the occurrence of such a limitation

155
after 1966 are the best predictors of the age of retirement. As noted
previously, men with health limitations in 1966 did not generally expect
to retire at younger ages and therefore tend to have larger negative dis¬
crepancies between the actual and expected age.
Men eligible for pensions surprisingly do not retire at younger ages
than men who are not eligible. Overall, men covered by pensions have a
smaller discrepancy between the expected and actual age because as a group
they expected to retire much earlier than men not covered. Retiring before
the expected age may also have less of a negative effect on the lives of
those men who do receive a pension since the drop in income should not be
as large.
Earlier retirees were found to have a greater number of dependents.
This association probably represents an unfortunate circumstance of many
early retirees who did not expect to retire so early. Many of these very
early retirees cannot receive social security and may not have disability
or pension benefits. The financial burden of dependents other than wife
may create great financial hardships. Although wife's labor force partici¬
pation in 1966 had no effect on the timing of retirement, it does appear
that among early retirees the wife may enter the labor force shortly before
or concurrent with the retirement of the man.
The relationship between assets and age of retirement was found to be
positive but nonsignificant. Because men with higher assets expect to re¬
tire at younger ages, the difference between the expected age and actual
age of retirement tends to be smaller in this sample for those with higher
assets. None of the other predictors exhibited a consistently significant
effect on the age of retirement, net of the expected age. Men committed
to their work did not retire later than those men not committed. Because

156
men who are committed to work expect to retire later, they tend to have
a larger negative discrepancy between the actual and expected age of re-
tirement.
Adjustment to Retirement
Of the two adjustment measures, the happiness with life item was asked
of all respondents, whereas the second item concerning the evaluation of
retirement experience is necessarily applicable only to retirees. The two
major questions in this analysis were the adjustment to loss of work role
issue and the effect of discrepancies between the actual and expected age
of adjustment.
Retirees are more likely to be unhappy with their lives than are
workers, although the large majority of retirees are happy. When control¬
ling for the effects of health and income this difference between retirees
and workers disappears. Based on the crucial assumptions that retirees
had the same level of happiness as workers before they retired and that
all relevant variables were controlled, it was concluded that the loss of
the work role does not generally cause a decrease in happiness.
The existence of one or more health problems and recent declines in
the state of health were found to significantly reduce the probability of
being happy. Persons with lower income have lower probabilities of being
happy with their lives. Men who are divorced or separated or have been
widowed for two years or less are less likely to be happy. The Rotter
scale was a significant predictor of happiness with life and indicates
that men who believe they have control over their lives are more likely
to be happy with their lives. In analyzing retirees only, four additional
variables were added to the model predicting the probability of being happy.

157
The number of years in retirement and the commitment to work variables
were not significant. Those men retiring before their expected age were
found to have a lower probability of being happy. The ratio of family
income after retirement to average family income before retirement was
negatively related to the likelihood of being happy, which is the opposite
of the hypothesized relationship. No ad hoc explanation for this anamolous
finding is offerred.
The two health variables were found to be very important in the evalu¬
ation of retirement measure. Persons in poor health and those who experi¬
enced recent declines in health were more likely to have negative views of
retirement. Higher levels of income reduce the probability of a negative
evaluation of retirement but do not significantly increase the likelihood
of a positive evaluation. The Rotter scale was a significant predictor
of the evaluation of retirement and indicates that men who feel they have
control over the events in their lives view their retirement experience
more positively. An unexpected finding was that blacks are more likely
to evaluate retirement positively as well as negatively than are whites,
who tend to give neutral evaluations of the retirement experience. Re¬
tirees who were committed to work evidenced a greater probability of nega¬
tively evaluating retirement. Finally, men who retired earlier-than-
expected were significantly more likely to have a negative evaluation
of retirement than "on-time" retirees. Some general conclusions and
implications based on the findings in this research are discussed below.

158
Conclusions
The results of the analysis indicate that there is little or no rela¬
tionship between the expected age and the actual age of retirement when a
number of years elapses between the measurement of expected age and the
time of retirement. Even among men relatively close to normal retirement
ages (the 55-59 cohort) there is only a low correlation between the ex¬
pected and actual age. Further analysis suggests a number of reasons
for the absence of a relationship between the expected and actual age,
the main conclusion being that most men approaching retirement have not
seriously considered and planned the timing of their retirement.
Although work-related health problems appear to be a major cause of
earlier-than-expected retirement, the regression models were unsuccessful
in adequately explaining the discrepancy between actual and expected age.
The instability in expected age over time, the large proportion of respon¬
dents who at one time or another "don't know" their expected age and the
finding that unhealthy workers do not expect to retire at earlier ages,
leads to the conclusion that most workers do not have "planned ages of
retirement." For example, of those men who had not retired by 1976 in
this survey, over one-fifth responded "don't know" and over half had
changed their expected age since 1971. Some of these changes are undoubt¬
edly due to specific changes in those factors that workers take into con¬
sideration when deciding the planned age of retirement. However, these
frequent changes, that were measured across the general categories of
"before 62," "62-64," "65," "after 65" and "never retire," imply a large
degree of inconsistency and random change that reflects a widespread lack
of planning, even among workers over 60.

159
The low degree of planning the timing of retirement evident in this
study is supported by previous research that indicates planning of any
kind related to retirement is uncommon. Kasschau (1974) and McPherson
and Guppy (1979) maintain that planning for retirement is low among not
only middle-aged workers but also older workers. Kasschau (1974) asserts
that the primary reason for this is that most workers do not know how to
plan for such an event. Fillenbaum (1971) reports that although almost
all workers interviewed believed in planning for retirement, only 28 per¬
cent reported some planning for retirement. Morrison's (1976) study of
wage earners in a large corporation indicated that most workers realize
the need for planning but do not know how to go about it, have little
help from their employer and often have unrealistic expectations about
savings and finances in retirement. Monk (1971) found that, even among
professional and administrative workers in their fifties, only about
fifty percent had discussed retirement with anyone and just fifteen per¬
cent had sought guidance or information about retirement.
The evidence from this research and previous studies lead to a ques¬
tioning of the validity of a concept such as the expected age or planned
age of retirement. This does not negate the possibility that workers end
up retiring sooner or later than they believed they would or sooner or
later than they preferred, but that no definite planned age was determined
and worked towards by most workers. The negative consequences of earlier-
than-expected retirement, which correlates highly with very early retirement,
does indicate that retiring'some years before the normal ages of retirement
(62-65) can have detrimental effects on adjustment.
The finding that health problems reduce the age of retirement is not
surprising. What is surprising is that workers with health limitations

160
apparently do not expect to retire at younger ages than healthy men. The
unplanned early retirement of many men with health problems may not only
result in financial problems but also apparently results in less success¬
ful adjustment to retirement. Those workers more vulnerable to work-
related health limitations, such as semi- and un-skilled manual workers,
need to be more aware of the greater probability of early retirement and
the consequences of such an occurrence.
The conclusions from this research have implications for sociology,
social gerontology and retirement policy. For sociologists and social
psychologists interested in attitude-behavior relationships, the findings
in this study have two implications for this theoretical approach. The
instability of the expected age as a behavioral intention has been
posited as the primary reason for the lack of a relationship between the
expected age and the actual age of retirement. The major reason for the
changes in expected age appears to be the lack of adequate knowledge,
relative absence of any planning and perhaps the nonrelevance of retire¬
ment for many workers. These conclusions imply that the relationship of
intentions and attitudes to specific behaviors may be strongly affected
by the factors mentioned above. This explanation draws on Tittle and
Hill's (1967) argument that lack of experience with some kind of behavior
may reduce the possible correlation between an attitude or intention and
that behavior. At a more general level, the amount of knowledge about
the subject and the degree of relevance of the subject may be major
conditional factors in the relationship between an attitude or intention
and behavior.
The findings from the regression analysis also lend some support to
the "contingent consistency" postulate that external factors, especially

161
the occurrence of unplanned events, can have a major impact on the relation¬
ship between attitudes or intentions and behavior. Differences in the var¬
iables important in the determination of expected age as opposed to actual
age indicates the possibility that external factors may impact differently
on attitudes and behavior. The mandatory retirement policy and pension
eligibility factors, which may both be considered as "normative" guidelines
related to retirement, significantly affected the expected age of retire¬
ment but not the actual age of retirement. Furthermore, the attitudinal
variables of job satisfaction and commitment to work were shown to have
important effects on the expected age but did not have any effect on the
actual age. The health limitation variable, which is most directly related
to constraints on behavior, was not important in the determination of ex¬
pected age but was by far the most important predictor of actual age.
For social gerontologists interested in retirement issues, the find¬
ings in this research have a number of implications. In some of the pre¬
vious research on expected age of retirement, especially the article by
Barfield and Morgan (1978), there appears to be the tacit assumption that
the expected age is related to the actual age of retirement. The findings
from this research indicate that even if there is a relationship, it is
of a small magnitude. At the individual level, the expected age of retire¬
ment will usually not be a very good indicator of the actual age. This
appears to be true even when the worker is relatively close to normal
retirement ages. Even at the aggregate level the expected age may not
be an accurate indicator of ages of retirement or trends in the timing
of retirement. Assuming that those men who had not retired by 1976
would have an average retirement age of 65, the average age of retirement
for the full national probability sample of men aged 45-59 in 1966 would

162
be 63.5 years. This estimate is two to two and one-half years below the
average expected age. Trends in expected age among cohorts in their sixth
decade may not have any relation to future trends in actual retirement
ages among these cohorts.
The rejection of the role theory hypothesis that the loss of work role
results in maladjustment and a decrease in life satisfaction and happiness
for many older people adds to the already impressive empirical evidence
against this popular view. The specific conditions of retirement appear
to be the primary sources of discontent with retirement and with life in
general. Also, the way that an individual approaches retirement, pre¬
conceptions about retirement and the amount of planning for retirement
may be major factors in the enjoyment of the retirement experience.
The most general implication of these findings for social gerontology
concerns the conceptual approach to retirement. Atchley (1979) and others,
tend to present retirement as a process beginning some years before the
actual act of retirement. Workers are viewed as rationally evaluating
finances and leisure time in retirement, comparing their present situation
as a worker to what they expect in retirement and generally planning a
time for retirement that is most propitious. The analyses and conclusions
from this research indicate that for most workers there may be little
"process" to the act of retiring. It seems probable that for most work¬
ers, external factors such as declining health, reaching the minimum age
for pension benefits, the passing of their sixtieth year or some other
landmark occasion, or the pressures of others may suddenly bring the pos¬
sibility of retirement into focus and serious plans and considerations
occur for a few months or a year and then retirement occurs.

163
The findings of this research also have some implications for policy
makers in the aging field. As noted above, the use of the expected age
as an indicator of future actual ages of retirement may be inappropriate.
This appears to be especially true for workers in their early and mid¬
fifties.
The lack of planning for retirement has been posited as the primary
reason for the lack of a relationship between the expected and actual age
of retirement. As other researchers have done previously, this author
asserts the need for more systematic planning for retirement among middle-
aged and older workers. One possible outcome of greater awareness and
planning by workers is that many workers may recognize the economic bene¬
fits of remaining in the labor force longer. Also, the analysis of the
adjustment measures indicates that those workers who retire closer to
normal ages of retirement, and closer to their stated expected age, tend
to be happier with their lives and with the retirement experience. The
results of the longitudinal Cornell study indicated that workers with
accurate preconceptions about retirement, who had probably done some plan¬
ning for retirement, experienced a more successful adjustment to retire¬
ment (Streib and Schneider, 1971)
Most research on retirement planning programs indicate some degree of
success in disseminating the important information about retirement and
in producing planning behaviors among workers (Kasschau, 1974; Reich, 1977).
The problem with most of these programs, especially those sponsored by
companies, is that they begin too late--at age 60 or after--and are usually
not very intensive. Most professionals concerned with retirement planning
suggest that intensive programs be available for workers at around age 50.
This is especially important for the financial aspects of planning. Also,

164
the workers should be able to enroll a number of times, such as at ages
50, 55 and 60. Another problem with retirement planning programs is that
most workers will never have the opportunity to be exposed to this kind
of specific knowledge about a complex subject.
One way that retirement planning information could be more widely dis¬
seminated is through the resources of the Social Security Administration.
Almost all workers are covered by social security and basic demographic
information on workers, including age, should be in social security files.
A basic "retirement planning package" could be developed that would be
sent to workers, first in their fiftieth year, again in their fifty-fifth
year and finally in their sixtieth year. A basic package might include
information on present ranges of social security benefits at specific ages
of retirement and projections of benefits in the near future; how social
security benefits are calculated; the present estimates of low, medium and
high retirement income levels for one and two person households; health
and lifestyle concerns in retirement; a list of old age organizations and
the services offered by social security centers before retirement. Also,
realistic information on the proportion of workers who have to retire be¬
fore age 62 due to health problems or other impediments to labor force
participation may encourage more realistic estimates of the number of
working years the respondent has left, and the realization of how impor¬
tant it is to plan for such a contingency. In this context, information
on the availability of retraining programs and employment services for
older workers whose health or type of job may result in early retirement
would also be useful. The benefits of providing this basic kind of in¬
formation to a large number of workers cannot be known until such a
program is attempted.

165
Suggestions for Future Research
Future research' related to attitude-behavior relationships may be
improved by the inclusion of certain relevant factors. First, questions
concerning the respondent's knowledge of the issue or subject area may be
important for some research on how attitude or intention relates to be¬
havior. Respondents often give answers to questions that they are really
unsure of or have not thought about previously. The attitudinal responses
of these kind of respondents may have no relation to later behavior.
Panel studies that contain more than two waves may be more helpful in
the analysis of what people say and what they do by allowing for the analy¬
sis of the stability of attitudes and intentions before the behavior occurs.
Change in external factors can also be more easily measured and used in the
analysis of discrepancies between attitude or intention and behavior.
In the specific area of retirement research there are also a number of
suggestions. First, in-depth interviewing of middle-aged workers about re¬
tirement planning, their knowledge of retirement issues and what they feel
they need to know about retirement seems to be a more appropriate research
agenda than general questions on overall attitude toward retirement and
expected or preferred age of retirement. If the planned age of retirement
is of interest, then the reasons that the worker specifies, or does not
specify, a planned age should be a companion question.
When a panel study is possible, a quasi-experimental design might be
contemplated. The control group of pre-retirees would be asked general
questions about attitude toward retirement and the expected or preferred
age of retirement. One experimental group would receive the kind of in-
depth interviewing suggested above for middle-aged workers. Another

166
experimental group would also receive intensive questioning about retire¬
ment and also receive factual information on retirement such as social
security benefits, financial needs in retirement, activities in retirement,
etc. The "reactivity" effect of the more intensive questioning and the
intensive questioning plus factual information could be tested by re¬
interviewing the three groups a few years later to ascertain the amount
of planning for retirement and knowledge of retirement issues. It is also
suggested that this kind of rigorous experimental research be applied in
the area of the evaluation of retirement planning programs. As Kasschau
(1974) points out, the benefits of such programs must be better demonstra¬
ted to both private industry and government before greater commitment to
these programs will be forthcoming.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Scott H. Beck was born August 24, 1954, in Miami, Florida. In June,
1972, he graduated from Miami Springs Senior High in Miami Springs, Florida.
He received the degree of Bachelor of Arts with a major in sociology/
anthropology from Florida International University in June, 1976. He
began graduate study in the Department of Sociology at the Florida State
University in September, 1976, and received the Master of Science degree
in December, 1977. He entered the Doctoral program in Sociology at the
University of Florida in September, 1978, and during his studies at the
University of Florida married Rubye L. Wilkerson, to whom this disserta¬
tion is dedicated.
175

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
John C. Henretta, Chairman
Assistant Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Gordon F. Streib
Graduate Research Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Benjamin L. Gorman
Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Cynthia A. Rexroat
Assistant Professor of Sociology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
( a 1C -a L t-y i-c-a
Alan Agresti
Associate Professor of Statistics
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department
of Sociology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Grad¬
uate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December, 1981
Dean of Graduate Studies and
Research

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3
262 08666 907

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3
262 08666 907



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