The Retirement Life Course in America at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

The Retirement Life Course in America at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century As the baby boom cohorts expand the number of U.S. retirees, population estimates of the employment, withdrawal and reentry behaviors of older Americans’ remain scarce. How long do people work? How frequently is retirement reversed? How many years are people retired? What is the modal age of retirement? And, how do the patterns for women compare to those for men? Using the 1992–2004 Health and Retirement Study, we estimate multistate working life tables to update information on the age-graded regularities of the retirement life course of men and women in the United States. We find that at age 50 men can expect to spend half of their remaining lives working for pay, while women can expect to spend just one-third. Half of all men and women have left the labor force by ages 63 and 61, respectively. Although the majority of retirement exits are final, variation in the nature and duration of the retirement process is substantial, as about a third of men’s and women’s exits are reversed. By quantifying these patterns for men and women, we provide a sound empirical basis for evaluating policy designed to address the financial pressures population aging places on public and private pension systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

The Retirement Life Course in America at the Dawn of the Twenty-First Century

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-009-9173-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

As the baby boom cohorts expand the number of U.S. retirees, population estimates of the employment, withdrawal and reentry behaviors of older Americans’ remain scarce. How long do people work? How frequently is retirement reversed? How many years are people retired? What is the modal age of retirement? And, how do the patterns for women compare to those for men? Using the 1992–2004 Health and Retirement Study, we estimate multistate working life tables to update information on the age-graded regularities of the retirement life course of men and women in the United States. We find that at age 50 men can expect to spend half of their remaining lives working for pay, while women can expect to spend just one-third. Half of all men and women have left the labor force by ages 63 and 61, respectively. Although the majority of retirement exits are final, variation in the nature and duration of the retirement process is substantial, as about a third of men’s and women’s exits are reversed. By quantifying these patterns for men and women, we provide a sound empirical basis for evaluating policy designed to address the financial pressures population aging places on public and private pension systems.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 8, 2010

References

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