First Advisor

Charles White

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Retirement, Retirement age



Physical Description

3, x, 246 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


This study focuses the effects of demographic characteristics, health status, income, work attitudes, and leisure activity involvements have on satisfaction in retirement and the retirement timing decision. The review of the literature revealed that no single variable alone is the predictor of retirement satisfaction and the timing of the retirement decision. Therefore, a conceptual model was developed to measure the two central research questions. The conceptual model is based on five categorical factors as the determinants of retirement satisfaction and timing. The five main factors in the model are: demographic characteristics, health status, income level, work attitudes and leisure activity involvement. Multi-item scales were developed from data on 231 retirees and 908 older workers. The two samples were currently and/or formerly employed with the same high technology, Fortune 500 firm. The adequate number of both males and females in the two samples provide the opportunity to do a comparative analysis between men and women. It was clear from the data analysis that the independent variables selected explained a low percentage of the variance in both retirement satisfaction and the timing of the retirement decision. The comparative analysis between men and women did suggest that the retirement experience for women is different from men. The findings suggest that the variables that contribute to the two outcomes lay outside the conceptual model. However, the findings suggest that satisfaction in retirement is partially determined by gender, health status, income, work attitudes and leisure activity involvement. The research findings indicate variables that contribute significantly to the timing of the retirement decision, but no one variable or combination of variables have strong predictive power. This implies that the independent variables found in the literature are not the key determinants of retirement satisfaction or retirement timing. Policy implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


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Portland State University. School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Persistent Identifier