Conceptualization of a Lifestyle after Retirement Transition

By: Viera Bacova   Peter Halama  

The retirement literature has uncovered four distinct lifestyle attitudes toward retirement transition. Retirement can be seen as: an opportunity to make a new start, a continuation of pre-retirement lifestyle, an unwelcome, imposed disruption, and a transition to old age. This research proposes to examine the lifestyle postures and determine their connections with indicators of retirement adjustment. A sample of 173 recent retirees completed the questionnaires. To assess the preferred lifestyle attitude, a new scale was constructed with sixteen previously used items and sixteen newly formulated items. As expected, factor analysis confirmed the existence of four factors. Although several qualitative and quantitative studies have presented retirement lifestyle attitudes as mutually incompatible, in this research, significant relationships among them were found. This indicates that recent retirees can conceptualize the seemingly distinct lifestyles synchronously. Based on the conceptualization of lifestyles, cluster analysis identified three types of retirees in the sample. On the basis of prevailing scores of particular lifestyles, the first type of retirees (N=90) was called “New beginning and continuation”, the second type (N=44) “Imposed disruption without hope”, and the third one (N=39) “Accepted disruption and ending”. Analysis of variance showed that these three types differ significantly in the level of satisfaction in retirement, subjective happiness and life meaningfulness, where the highest level was found in the first retirees’ type and the lowest level in the second retirees’ type. The findings suggest that post-retirement lifestyle posture may impact psychological well‐being in retirement. The implications for retirement counseling are discussed.

Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Poster Session

Viera Bacova

senior researcher, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Centre of Social and Psychological Sciences, Slovakia

I am a researcher in psychology. 

Peter Halama

Researcher, Slovak Academy of Sciences