Retirement patterns from career employment

Kevin E. Cahill, Michael D. Giandrea, Joseph F. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This article investigates how older Americans leave their career jobs and estimates the extent of intermediate labor force activity (bridge jobs) between full-time work on a career job and complete labor-force withdrawal. Design and Methods: Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we explored the work histories and retirement patterns of a cohort of retirees aged 51 to 61 in 1992 during a 10-year period in both cross-sectional and longitudinal contexts. We examined determinants of retirement patterns in a multinomial logistic regression model. Results: We found that a majority of older Americans with career jobs retire gradually, in stages, rather than all at once. We also found that the utilization of bridge jobs was more common among younger respondents, respondents without defined-benefit pension plans, and respondents at both the lower and upper ends of the wage distribution. Implications: Older Americans are now working longer than pre-1980s trends would have predicted. Given concerns about the traditional sources of retirement income (Social Security, employer pensions, and prior savings), older Americans may have to rely more on earnings. This article suggests that many are already doing so by moving to bridge jobs after leaving their career employment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-523
Number of pages10
JournalGerontologist
Volume46
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Economics of aging
  • Gradual retirement
  • Older workers
  • Partial retirement
  • Retirement income

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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  • Cite this

    Cahill, K. E., Giandrea, M. D., & Quinn, J. F. (2006). Retirement patterns from career employment. Gerontologist, 46(4), 514-523. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/46.4.514