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Title: An exploration of retirement transitions in an early ‘baby boom’ cohort : a mixed methods study
Author: Wildman, Josephine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 0523
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2017
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Population ageing and shifting boundaries between work and retirement create important research opportunities. However, research on life course factors that impact on the retirement transition is lacking, especially in a UK context. This thesis uses longitudinal data from the 1997-99 (age 49-51) and 2009-11 (age 62-64) surveys of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study (NTFS), birth cohort born in 1947 in North East England, to take a life course approach to the investigation of retirement transitions in this early ‘baby boom’ cohort (N=155 men and N=212 women). The mixed-methods approach used quantitative data to investigate factors associated with transitioning to retirement and quality of life in later life; an embedded qualitative study of a cohort sub-sample (N=27) explored experiences in depth. Gender differences were apparent from analysis of antecedents of retirement. Socioeconomic advantage and relationship factors were strong ‘push’ factors for men’s early retirement. Among women, working beyond state pension age was positively associated with divorce, mortgage commitments and a working spouse. The qualitative phase identified important additional factors strongly influencing retirement behaviour, including attitudes towards work, positive attitudes towards retirement as a period of ‘freedom’ to ‘enjoy life’ and beliefs about healthy life expectancy. Integrating the quantitative and qualitative data showed that choice and autonomy were important factors, with women and less advantaged participants reporting constraints around their ability to make retirement and employment decisions. A pathway model was developed and identified both proximal (e.g. health, employment and mortgage-freedom) and distal (e.g. father’s social class, childhood health and education) life course factors as making important contributions to quality of life in the NTFS cohort. Combined, these findings highlight the within- cohort differences surrounding determinants of retirement transition and quality of life post-retirement. Heterogeneity and structured inequalities need to be better- reflected in policies aimed at helping people to retire or to extend paid work successfully.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available