Improving retirement outcomes: the role of resources, pre-retirement planning and transition characteristics

Alexa Marie Muratore, Joanne Kaa Earl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Retirement is an inherently complex process due to the multitude of variables that influence it. The present article proposes that by combining our understanding of retirement phases (a conceptual framework) with a theory that specifies a general mechanism for retirement adaptation (a theoretical framework), we can improve how we research retirement. Accordingly, this study proposes and tests a model exploring the antecedents and consequences of the retirement process across three stages: Pre-retirement, Transition and Adaptation, using data collected from 550 Australian retirees. Multiple outcomes are explored, including adjustment, wellbeing and life satisfaction, as well as variables including planning, perception of wealth, resources and mastery. The model showed a significant influence of resources on both phases and outcomes, with mastery showing the strongest relationships of all the resources. Results suggest that outcomes in retirement may be improved by promoting retirement planning, improving exit conditions and building key resources, in particular, mastery. Overall, the model demonstrates the value of combining theory and conceptual frameworks to inform the specification of statistical models to research retirement. Research implications and alternative models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2100-2140
Number of pages41
JournalAgeing and Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • structural equation model
  • retirement
  • retirement planning
  • retirement outcomes
  • mastery
  • retirement resources


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