Women’s Retirement Expectations: A Longitudinal Study of a Transitional Cohort in the U.S.

Jen D. Wong, Pennsylvania State University

Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Mature Women, we report between- and within-person differences in expected retirement age among women in a transitional cohort. Retirement includes a period of planning and anticipation and can be adjusted in the wake of salient events that occur at the individual, couple, or macro-level. Longitudinal expectations data from a seven-year span are analyzed to assess how expectations changed over time and are structured by demographic and status characteristics. Expectation trajectories were classified jointly on the basis of their specificity and consistency. Linear mixed models were used to examine the effects of demographic and status characteristics on age-specific retirement expectations. Eligibility for defined benefit pensions was associated with more specific retirement expectations. Higher income married women with more work seniority were more likely than their counterparts to expect an earlier retirement age. Implications of demographic and status based characteristics for retirement planning behavior are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 7