Monday, Nov 3
Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits
Understanding the relationship between mobility and the family and work transitions experienced by individuals approaching retirement is an important research topic. Both family transitions, such as divorce, widowhood or children leaving home, and work transitions, particularly retirement, influence where individuals will reside and, as they age, how much assistance they may need. This paper uses Waves 1 and 2 of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) to examine the residential mobility of the HRS cohort in the context of family and work status changes. The results demonstrate that respondents experiencing both household change and change in work status were more likely to have moved. While household change is a strong predictor of mobility, neighborhood and regional effects are significant predictors of mobility as well. These findings are discussed in the context of the migration and mobility data available in the HRS. Currently, the greatest limitation of using the HRS data for migration research is the lack of information on distance moved. An appendix discusses this issue in detail and suggests ways to make the HRS data more useful for understanding the relationships between mobility and the life transitions experienced by this cohort.