Aspects of Postretirement Satisfaction
Satisfaction with one’s circumstances of life after leaving the labor force is, at least in general outline, much like one’s satisfaction while still in the labor force. A great deal depends on the material conditions and status characteristics that define capacities, constraints, elasticities, horizons of opportunity and expectation, and various other features of one’s circumstances. Certainly it is to be expected that satisfaction with being “retired” will vary more or less as the material conditions and associated characteristics of that heterogeneous status called “retired” vary. Thus, persons who have “adequate” incomes, who are in “good” health, who reside in a “suitable” environment, who have access to an “adequate” network of social support, and so forth, are more likely to be “satisfied” with life after retirement, on average, than are those persons who have contrary characteristics (see, e.g., (xcBeck 1982); (xcMutran and Reitzes 1981); (xcReitzes, Mutran, and Pope 1991); (xcSeccombe and Lee 1986). But it should also be evident that the various factors of material condition—income, health, environment, and so on—are as inherently relative as the currencies of “adequacy,” “suitability,” and the like, through which those factors are evaluated toward some verdict of “satisfaction.” That being the case, the question of “satisfaction” and its conditions always depends on another question: “Relative to what?” Or as (xcSen 1987) put it, an “over-exhausted coolie” may “take pleasures in small mercies.”
KeywordsEarly Retirement Status Satisfaction Special Plan Retirement Plan Regular Plan
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