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Psychol Aging. 2007 Sep;22(3):442-55.

Changes of life satisfaction in the transition to retirement: a latent-class approach.

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Department of Developmental Psychology, Center for Applied Developmental Science, Friedrich Schiller University, D-07743 Jena, Germany.


Contradictory positions have been advanced as to whether retirement has negative, positive, or no effects on subjective well-being. The authors investigated changes in life satisfaction in 1,456 German retirees. Using latent growth mixture modeling, the authors found 3 groups of people who experienced retirement differently. In Group 1, satisfaction declined at retirement but continued on a stable or increasing trajectory thereafter. Group 2 demonstrated a large increase in satisfaction at retirement but overall declining satisfaction. In Group 3, satisfaction showed a temporary very small increase at retirement. Groups differed by retirement age, gender, socioeconomic status, marital status, health, unemployment before retiring, and region. Thus, retirement is not a uniform transition, and resource-rich individuals are less likely to experience retirement-related change in satisfaction.

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