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Family Influences On Postretirement Well-being

Marital and family circumstances not only influence retirement timing, but they also have an impact on postretirement well-being. Being married and having a high quality marriage contribute to wellbeing throughout the life span and may become especially important during the retirement years (Niederfranke 1989; Reitzes et al. 1996). Retirement satisfaction is also furthered when spouses concur in their evaluation of retirement (Buchmüller 1996), when the other spouse adjusts well to retirement (Haug et al. 1992), and when couples engage in joint leisure activities and decision-making (Dorfman and Hill 1986; Dorfman et al. 1988). In contrast, the number of contacts with relatives (including adult children) appears less important for well-being than contacts with peers (Lee and Ishii-Kuntz 1987). However, wives' involvement with friends may curtail their husbands' retirement satisfaction (Dorfman et al. 1988). Nevertheless, high-quality relations with relatives can enhance retirement satisfaction (Dorfman et al. 1988), and desired geographical proximity to relatives can motivate relocation after retirement (Cuba 1992).

The realization of retirement plans is often contingent on family circumstances (Freericks and Stehr 1990). Continued economic responsibilities for children in the household and retirement prompted by family caregiving needs lead to the perception of retiring too early (Hardy and Quadagno 1995; Szinovacz 1989). Furthermore, the Couples' interest in sharing hobbies and activities has led to the trend of joint retirement. WARREN MORGAN/CORBIS illness of spouses and care for close relatives can spoil postretirement plans and reduce retirement satisfaction (Clemens 1993; Kolland 1988; Vinick and Ekerdt 1991a). However, some men seem to derive self-esteem from caring for their ill wives (Szinovacz 1992). Retirement adjustment is also hampered when negative family events, such as widowhood or illness or death of relatives, occur in close proximity to the retirement transition (Clemens 1993; Szinovacz and Washo 1992).

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaOther Marriage & Family TopicsRetirement - Definitions And Trends, Family Influences On The Retirement Transition, Family Influences On Postretirement Well-being