What Happens When You Retire? 

Older adults who are still working are usually committed to their work. They tend to report high job satisfaction and are productive. However, fewer older adults are working now than in the 1950s. Only a small proportion of adults aged 70 and over are in the workforce. 

Social security benefits in some countries can begin at early ages. This varies from country to country, for example, it is 65 years of age in the UK.

Also, some companies offer early retirement incentives that allow employees to leave their jobs without penalising them before the regular retirement age. Companies can then hire less experienced and cheaper employees to replace them.

Some companies encourage older workers to continue working part-time. 

Retirement is therefore a major transition. There are many theories about retirement. 

With retirement come changes to life style:

  • The person may have a more leisurely life, whether this is something they want or not. 
  • They will be retired in a society where retirees may be devalued or viewed as less significant.
  • The psychological impact of retirement can be significant.
  • They may feel useless, experience low self-esteem, or even depression.
  • Some retired people may choose to:
    • Travel
    • Do voluntary work
    • Engage in hobbies
    • Take educational courses.

Some people will look forward to retirement. Research has shown that people who are satisfied with retirement:

  • Are better educated
  • Have few or no financial worries
  • Have adequate family and social networks.

Those who are least satisfied with retirement tend to be those who:

  • Have not planned for retirement
  • Have limited income
  • Have few or no extra-curricular activities
  • Stay at home day after day with nothing substantial to occupy their time.


With the increases in longevity, today’s older adults will face the possibility that they maintain relationships far longer than at other times during recent history.

One in ten adults over 65 has a child who is also in the older adult age range.

With this type of relationship, there will be satisfaction. The family members may enjoy a more peaceful relationship as there is no sibling rivalry, and so on. However, younger adults may feel the strain of caring for their ageing parents or other relatives.


Relationships with Adult Children

Today, it is not uncommon, for example, to find a 60 year old woman who has an 80 year old mother who she is expected to care for. In fact, around 80 to 90% of older people in the USA have grown children who they may enjoy frequent contact with. There is often a common misconception that older people will want to live with their adult children. Obviously, this may be true in some cases, but not always. Many older people will want to live their own lives and remain as independent as possible for as long as they can. Many would rather live in their own home, assisted housing, or a group home than become dependent upon their children.  


Relationship with Partners/Husband/Wife

Older adult marriages are sometimes referred to as retirement marriages. The average age of the wife in this situation has been found to be 68 and the husband 71. They tend to have been married over 40 years and report high levels of marital satisfaction. However, obviously, as people age, one member of the partnership may die.

Example – It is estimated that in the USA. Around 5% of older people live in institutions. The rest live alone, with a spouse, another relative, or non-relative.


 People over 65 are more likely than any other age group to live in an institutionalised setting.

Research also suggests that the quality of relationships between older adults and their grown children tends to be viewed as mostly positive. This is often due to factors such as: 
  • The older person’s good health
  • Common interests such as:
    • Religion
    • Politics
    • Child rearing

However, frequent contact is not necessarily viewed as positive when the contact takes place due to factors such as:

      • Long term illness
      •  Family problems, for example, a divorce for their daughter.

Learn More about Old Age and Aged Care - http://www.acsedu.com/courses/aged-care-925.aspx

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