Retirement Decisions of Women and Men in Response to Their Own and Spousal Health

Retirement Decisions of Women and Men in Response to Their Own and Spousal Health
By: Serhii Ilchuk
Source: RAND, PRGS Dissertations
This dissertation examines the impact of individual and spousal health on the retirement decisions of both spouses in dual-earner families. The author uses survival analysis techniques to analyze eight biennial waves of a nationally representative panel survey of the U.S. population over age 50. Of the various causes of early retirement, the onset of work disability or functional disability has the biggest effect, followed by major health events and chronic illnesses. The onset of a husband’s work disability can lead to an earlier age of retirement not only for the husband himself but also, through joint retirement, for his wife. The author also calculates cost-of-illness estimates for indirect costs (productivity lost through an early retirement) of different health conditions at the individual and societal levels, and estimates total family productivity lost due to the spouse’s work disability.
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