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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Personality And The Decision To Retire

    This afternoon I came upon a very interesting research paper that adds a new dimension to ways we can explain our decision to retire[i] It is interesting not only because it was published this month but also because it considers the importance of personality in retirement decision making.
       The authors suggest that retirement decisions go through three Assessment Phases:
1.  Imagining the possibility of retirement in the future
2.  Assessing when it is time to let go of Long-held jobs
3.  Putting concrete plans for retirement into action in the present.
    Changes considered in the retirement context are:
a.    Joint decision making within the family
b.    Social normative expectations of colleagues and friends
c.    Greater opportunities for growth and development.

       The authors suggest we should look more directly into personality and retirement relationships. Specifically, “…personality theory has the potential to substantially enhance our understanding of this process.”  They go on to suggest that we begin by using “the Big 5” as a model as a tool.  I intend to do this in my next blog entry.

[i] Feldman,D.C. & Beehr,T.A. (2011)  A three-phase model          of retirement decision making, American Psychologist, vol 66(3) ,

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