Abstract: The Effect of Retirement Timing on Subjective Health and Well-Being of Hispanics Compared to Non-Hispanic Whites Living in the United States (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

The Effect of Retirement Timing on Subjective Health and Well-Being of Hispanics Compared to Non-Hispanic Whites Living in the United States

Friday, January 17, 2020
Marquis BR Salon 9, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
* noted as presenting author
Antonia Diaz-Valdes Iriarte, Ph.D, Doctoral Graduate, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Background: In the context of an aging society, where the proportion of older adults is rapidly increasing, ensuring healthier longer lives is key for individuals, families, policy makers and the population as a whole.  In this context the productive aging framework has gained increased importance. There is evidence showing that engagement is related to late-life well-being and health (i.e., Hinterlong, 2006; Everard et al, 2000; Rozario et al, 2004; Matz-Costa et al, 2012). However, the productive aging framework lacks cultural sensitivity and evidence about the association between the effect of retirement on health and well-being in late-life is mixed. The current study seeks to contribute to this gap by exploring the consequences of the discrepancies between planned and actual retirement age on subjective health and well-being, comparing Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. Methodology: The Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative study of people aged 50+, was used to conduct a series of regression models to explore the effect of the discrepancy between planned and actual retirement age (0=never retire, 1=retired earlier, 2=retired when planned, 3=retired after than planned) on retirement satisfaction (1=not at all satisfying to 3=very satisfying), self-rated health (1=poor to 5=excellent) and mental health (a reduced scale of CESD). Generalized structural equations were used to performed simultaneous regressions. A polled sample was used. A unique record of all non-institutionalized Hispanics who were retired between 1994-2012, who were working on the wave prior to retirement, and specified a specific time for planned retirement or the intention to never retire at any wave prior retirement, were selected. All Hispanics that met the sampling criteria were included in the study (n=590), while a matching sample of non-Hispanics (n=590 out of 6,746) was randomly selected to have comparable samples. Multiple imputation with chained equations were used. Results: Results indicates that native born Hispanics presented more differences when compared to foreign born Hispanic than non-Hispanic Whites, which could indicate the effect of acculturation and its fading effect on cultural attitudes, such as familismo. Hispanic tend to have higher retirement satisfaction than non-Hispanics which is aligned with the happiness paradox found by Calvo and collagues (2017). Additionally, SES has a significant effect on health for non-Hispanic Whites but not among Hispanics. Finally, retirement timing predicted mental health among foreign born Hispanic but among native born Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. Conclusion and discussion: Results illustrated the role of familismo among Hispanics, especially among foreign-born Hispanics, along with Hispanics’ life-long deprivation compared to non-Hispanics, marked by their migration experience and struggle merging into the U.S. mainstream.