The Well-Being of Retirees: Evidence Using Subjective Data

Keith A. Bender

WP#2004-24

Abstract

While previous economic research focuses on the financial well-being of retirees, this paper examines the determinants of overall well-being of retirees. Using data from the 2000 Health and Retirement Study, the strongest predictor of retirement well-being is the reason for entering retirement. If individuals were “forced” to retire, their well-being is significantly lower than those who chose to retire. This indicates the importance of expectations on retirement satisfaction. Additionally, health, current income, and comparison retirement income have important roles in determining overall well-being.