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Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2018 Jan 1:91415018780009. doi: 10.1177/0091415018780009. [Epub ahead of print]

His and Her Retirement: Effects of Gender and Familial Caregiving Profiles on Retirement Timing.

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1 Advance Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.
2 Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA.


Objectives Retirement timing has been linked to a host of outcomes for individuals, families, and societies. The present study predicted retirement timing using profiles of preretirement family caregiving and gender. Method Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study, cluster analysis was used to create profiles of preretirement family caregiving (operationalized as time and financial transfers to aging parents and adult children). These profiles, as well as gender, were used to predict later retirement timing. Results Four distinct preretirement caregiving profiles were evident. All profiles retired, on average, earlier than their full eligibility for Social Security benefits. A main effect of caregiving profile, but not gender, was evident. The Eldercare profile, which was characterized by high levels of time and financial transfers to aging parents, retired the earliest. There was not a significant interaction between caregiving profile and gender. Discussion When men enacted female-typical caregiving roles, their retirement timing resembled women's. Eldercare, in particular, was associated with earlier retirement timing. Implications for individual retirement decision-making and policy are discussed.


Retirement timing; caregiving; gender; work–family interface


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