To retire or not to retire?

Nov 08, 2010

Workers who agreed to take early retirement were likely to not have considered that option if it hadn't been for pressure at the workplace to do so. This has been revealed in a new study carried out at the University of Haifa that examined the significance of early retirement.

"A policy of late retirement or canceling compulsory retirement ought to be encouraged. This way, the 'elderly' label will be done away with, and the hard feelings experienced by the retirees themselves would disappear, along with the that is felt as the time for the agreed retirement approaches. Everyone would be able to decide whether to continue working based on his or her abilities and desires," suggests Sigal Naim, who carried out the study.

This qualitative study, which Ms. Naim carried out under the supervision of Dr. Doron, held in-depth interviews with men who 3-5 years earlier had consented to taking , from governmental companies that had undergone privatization. The survey found that the retirees view as an artificial 'finishing line' that is intended primarily for insurance companies' actuarial balancing: none of them considered himself old and they all felt that they still have a long and enjoyable life ahead.

According to the researcher, even though they willingly took early retirement – as opposed to forced early retirement – the principal feeling expressed by almost all of the participants was of profound disappointment in the workplace. She added that the centrality of employment in their lives, even quite a while after retirement, was expressed in the way they described themselves. When asked to tell their life story, most of the interviewees described themselves in detail in terms of their working career, only a few choosing to talk about family – and even then it was in only one tor two sentences.

The study also reveals that even though the participants expressed satisfaction with retirement and that they chose to retire because the work did not suit them anymore, this is in fact just a cover story. It is a cover-up – mostly for themselves – intended to bridge the difficult reality that has been forced upon them: a reality of disappointment, a sense of insult and understanding that if they refused to retire, their pension rights would be harmed. "This is in fact a sort of mask for themselves that helps them to build a new reality that they can live with," the researcher said.

With these results in hand, Ms. Naim recommends that a policy of late retirement or canceling compulsory retirement ought to be encouraged. "This would make the transition from a work-based life to retirement living smoother and less abrupt, and only those truly interested would opt for early retirement. This would enable compensation for employees who continue and persevere at work, and when they do decide to retire, they would be guaranteed better financial conditions," she concludes.

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The importance of workplace relationships post-retirement

Aug 17, 2010

The influence of traditional social structures such as neighbourhoods and local organisations has declined. The workplace has become the "new neighbourhood" and has become increasingly important for maintaining social interaction ...

Study examines working couple's retirement patterns

Nov 18, 2008

When retiring, men are more likely than women to move directly from work to retirement, but overall the retirement patterns for dual-income married couples are complex and call for additional considerations in planning for ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

3 hours ago

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...