Looking Toward the Future: Predicting Retirement Satisfaction

Guyla D. Davis


Many retirees experience a decrease in life satisfaction after retirement. One explanation for the dissatisfaction is that retirement was not as one had expected (i.e., feelings about retirement were inaccurately predicted). Planning for retirement involves predicting aspects of retirement and making decisions accordingly. The present study used a between subjects design to examine the predicted feelings of workers regarding their retirement expectations compared to the actual feelings of retired workers. The major finding was that pre-retirees' predictions of retirement satisfaction were significantly different from retirees' actual retirement satisfaction, even though regression analyses revealed that similar variables predicted satisfaction (e.g., social support). This study lays the groundwork for future research which would determine the potential reasons for these findings. 

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