Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones
versión impresa ISSN 1576-5962
Is the transition from work to early retirement generally a cause for distress? This question has been addressed in several research studies over many decades. It was also the focus of a longitudinal study of individuals of 55 years and older who retired as part of a downsizing program in a Swedish insurance company. The consequences in terms of health and well being during the first two post-retirement years were evaluated using two different approaches to data analysis. This paper brings together results from two different reports (Isaksson, 1997; Isaksson and Johansson, 2000) aiming to provide a concluding picture and to relate to recent research. Using longitudinal questionnaire data, the study compared early retirees and persons continuing to work over the years following downsizing. The effects of voluntary/forced choice, employment status and gender on the subsequent adaptation of older individuals were evaluated. The results revealed no signs of a general retirement crisis. More importantly, voluntary (as opposed to a forced choice) choice of employment or retirement was directly and positively associated with satisfaction and psychological well being for both groups. Women showed lower values of work centrality, appeared to be more inclined to apply for retirement and were generally more satisfied with the outcome than men. Health problems were significantly lower 1.5 years after retirement but no similar effect was found among stayers. Furthermore, an attempt was made to identify patterns of adjustment to early retirement by means of cluster analysis. Four stable patterns were described: continuous working, positive adaptation to retirement, one small group with signs of high distress and finally a group with improved health at T2.
Palabras clave : Early retirement; Adjustment over time; Gender.