First Advisor

Carol A. Burden

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Policy




Beaverton School District (Or.) -- Officials and employees -- Retirement, School employees -- Oregon -- Beaverton -- Retirement, Retirement -- Decision making



Physical Description

1 online resource (4, vii, 123 pages)


The purpose of the study was to examine retirement decision making of certificated employees (N = 284 respondents N = 241) of the Beaverton School District in a near retirement age category. The Beaverton School District is a large suburban school district near Portland, Oregon. It currently serves over 25,000 students and employs approximately 2,600 certificated and classified employees. The study answered the following questions:

  1. Can psycho-social factors be identified that will enable the Beaverton School District to help potential retirees make an informed decision to retire?
  2. What personal factors affect a person's decision to retire?
  3. Does it matter, in the ranking of variables, if a person is either vested or not vested in his or her retirement fund?
  4. What demographic factors (gender, age grouping, education, position and marital status) affect a person's decision to retire?

Discriminate analysis enabled this researcher to conclude that finance and job satisfaction were significant factors in predicting retirement decision making. Other factors listed (health, activity time, support system, degree of control, personal identity as it relates to the job, and availability of medical benefits) were significant but did not add appreciably to predictive capability.

Personal factors effecting a person's decision to retire were obtained through self- reports and were grouped into two categories:

  1. Directly stated informational requests, and
  2. Implied informational needs.

Responses were grouped according to their common themes and each fit well within the parameters of the previously identified psycho-social variables. Directly stated informational requests related to concerns about finances and the availability of medical benefits. Implied needs were primarily related to the need for relief from job stress, pressure, and burnout. Concerns were also expressed regarding a perceived lack of administrative competence and/or support and a lack of personal control relative to the job.

Respondents were asked if they would be vested at the point of retirement. This question was asked to assess if being either vested or not vested would make a difference to one's decision to retire. Though the findings were significant, the sample size for individuals who would not be vested was too small (1%) to constitute a valid sample.

Gender, the first demographic variable examined, was found to be significant. Males reported less job satisfaction than their female counterparts. Job satisfaction was the most significant psycho-social variable affecting retirement decision making. Other demographic variables (age, marital status, education, and position) were not found to be significant predictors of retirement decision making.

This study was clearly exploratory. Therefore, recommendations for further research include replicating this study in other school districts. Additional variables might be identified that impact one's decision to retire. There was clear indication for the need for further study in the area of job satisfaction. In addition, a longitudinal study would enable a researcher to determine the congruence between pre-retirement perceptions and post retirement "reality."


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