Social Indicators Research

, Volume 136, Issue 3, pp 1031–1051 | Cite as

The Search for Happiness: Work Experiences and Quality of Life of Older Taiwanese Men

  • Li-Hsueh Wu
  • Ruey-Ming TsayEmail author


Taiwan’s pension systems do not always ensure corresponding benefits for those who have achieved their career goals in labor markets, thus retirement decisions are often difficult for the majority of its citizens. Retirement is not only a social institution shaped by labor market and social welfare policy, but also a process affected by personal life chance and family situations, and therefore influences their citizen’s well-being. While scholars have maintained that retirees’ happiness is related to earlier life experiences, there is little empirical evidence that explains this relationship. This paper investigates the midlife work experiences and the resources workers acquired to determine the extent to which they affect the happiness of retirees. Data for examining study hypotheses are drawn from four waves of the Taiwan Longitudinal Survey on Aging. The results indicate that midlife work experiences exert significant influences on life satisfaction, and also play a moderate role on the relationship between seniors’ resources and their life satisfaction. Bridge employment is found to have varying effects on seniors’ life satisfaction depending on their occupation. We conclude that the happiness of older Taiwanese men is mainly a product of both their present situations and their recollections of their earlier occupational experiences.


Career employment Bridge employment Timing of retirement Quality of life  Life satisfaction Taiwan 



This study was supported by the grants of Ministry of Science and Technology: a post-doctoral grant to Li-Hsueh Wu, and a research project grant to Ruey-Ming Tsay. Many thanks to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions, and to Ching-Li Yang and Wei-Pang Wang for their valuable comments on the manuscripts. The data were drawn from Taiwan Longitudinal Survey on Aging (TSLA), conducted by the Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare. The dataset is available from the Survey Research Data Archive, Academia Sinica.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyTunghai UniversityTaichungTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced Studies on AsiaThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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