Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

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This chapter compares retirement expectations, retirement patterns, and expectations of future work across different cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study, including the new cohort of Baby Boomers currently in their late 50’s. We find that the Boomers are more strongly attached to the labor force as they enter their retirement years than were earlier cohorts at the same age. Compared to the preceding birth cohort, they expect to retire nearly one year later, they are 14 percent more likely to expect to be working full-time at age 65, and they are 21 percent more likely to expect to work in the future if they are not currently working. We find that these differences are not entirely explained by cohort differences in socioeconomic status, pension incentives, demographics, or health. We conclude that the Baby Boomers may have stronger preferences for work than previous cohorts.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2007 publication: Redefining Retirement: How Will Boomers Fare?.

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Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council . © 2006 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.


The author thanks Xiaoyan Li for excellent research assistance and the National Institute on Aging for funding under grant number 1 P01 AG022481-01.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 August 2019