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Journal Articles Ageing and Society Year : 2022

Conditions of existence and subjective perceptions of retirement: quantitative evidence from France

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Abstract

This article explores subjective perceptions of retirement in France, using original quantitative data on the customers of a not-for-profit insurance company. The sample contains individuals aged 40–84, who are either in the labour force (N = 923) or retired (N = 705). Perceptions of retirement are measured using closed questions on views of the retirement transition (these views can be positive, negative or neutral) and definitions of retirement (retirement can be interpreted as a period of freedom, boredom, greater risk of precariousness, etc.). Using a number of different social indicators, we examine whether differences in social conditions translate into heterogeneous perceptions. We also investigate whether social differences in perceptions fade away with increasing age. Both working-age individuals and retirees generally have a positive view of the retirement transition and often define retirement as a period of freedom. Perceptions of retirement are shaped by social conditions: a higher level of education and income, greater wealth, better health and stronger social involvement go hand in hand with rosier perceptions. Moreover, we uncover a strengthening of this social gradient with increasing age. Finally, perceptions are positively correlated with satisfaction in various domains, for retirees.

Dates and versions

halshs-03029882 , version 1 (29-11-2020)

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Bénédicte Apouey. Conditions of existence and subjective perceptions of retirement: quantitative evidence from France. Ageing and Society, 2022, 42 (3), pp.564-587. ⟨10.1017/S0144686X20001002⟩. ⟨halshs-03029882⟩
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