Retirement Satisfaction of Married Individuals in the Health and Retirement Study
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High levels of satisfaction in retirement are as much a guarantee as promising immigrants to the United States happiness in their new American life. The authors of the United States Constitution understood this concept and placed the guarantee only on the freedom to pursue happiness and not in happiness itself. No one can guarantee happiness or satisfaction for all people. The factors influencing a happy American experience are as complex as those that influence retirement satisfaction, but the reality is the same: both can be achieved. Drawing on previous literature and the life course perspective to construct the conceptual model, this paper answers the research question “What factors influence retirement satisfaction among retired married individuals”? Using the 2012 Health and Retirement Study dataset, I identified 3,801 respondents who were both married and fully retired. Using the life course perspective as a framework I test several hypotheses through bivariate and multivariate analyses to determine the influence of gender, education, household income, self-reported health, and age at retirement on retirement satisfaction among retired married individuals. Of these, gender was found to lack a statistical relationship with retirement satisfaction among retired married individuals. All others, education, household income, self-reported health, and age at retirement (in the full model only), are statistically significant in their relationship with retirement satisfaction among retired married individuals which is in line with previous literature studies. Self-reported health held the largest explainable variance; however, previous literature suggests caution be taken before singling out health, as both health and wealth are shown to have an influence on age’s impact on retirement satisfaction. This paper includes a discussion on the current and future state of social security (a financial resource for those in retirement), as well as limitations, and future research.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of Literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion
M.A. (Master of Arts)