RAND Corporation

To understand how joint retirement and partial retirement interact

  • Amount $347,872
  • City Santa Monica, CA
  • Investigator Katherine Carman
  • Year 2015
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Working Longer

Whereas retirement in a traditional marriage of breadwinner and homemaker involves a single retirement decision, in a two-earner marriage, the decisions are dual, and in many cases, joint. Yet, exactly what the pathways are for both members of working couples as they transition from full employment to full retirement are less than clear. This grant to the RAND Corporation supports a research project aimed at increasing our understanding of couples’ work and retirement trajectories by developing a theoretical model describing joint work-to-retirement transitions that can be applied to 12 waves of the Health and Retirement Study data. The data will allow the RAND team to examine how preferences for joint retirement and opportunities for partial retirement interact in the retirement decision, provide the first estimates of the prevalence of different joint work-to-retirement trajectories, and examine how factors such as age differences, part-time work opportunities, and leisure cause couples to make similar or different retirement transitions. In addition, the RAND team will explore how multistate models can be applied to the analysis of Health and Retirement Study data to explain retirement transitions across a range of pathways from full-time work to full-time retirement, including transitions through part-time employment.

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