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Lecture 7

Lecture 7 - Retirement and Health

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Western University
Sociology 3308F/G
Kim Shuey

Lecture 7: Retirement and Health Population Aging  Fertility rate below replacement rate  Increased life expectancy due to improvements in health o Improved resources o Improved SES  3 historical examples o 2001: those aged 65+ is around 12% o 2011: those aged 65+ is around 14% o 2021: the ages throughout the population even out  As the baby boomer cohorts are aging, they have a huge impact on the aging of a population Workplace Aging  „Older workers‟: 45-64  see a larger compliment of older workers within the workforce that are getting close to retirement Workforce Aging  1980s: 5 workers per retiree  2031: 2 workers per retiree  Fewer workers within the labour force compared to those retiring from the workforce  Lots of adjustment of policy changing of retirement ages to reflect these changes Changes in Transition from Work to Retirement (Marshall article)  Changed dramatically over time o Work like ended at death  Wasn‟t a period of retirement per say o Now a nearly universal period of retirement  For the most part, there has been a dramatic shift in norms surrounding retirement so people either expect or aspire to a period of non-work after a period of work that does not end due to poor health or death o Creation of retirement as a social institution  We see a normative life course that ends in a period of retirement that occurs around a certain age in North America o Created by the corporate world and governments  The development of a pension – saving up your pension over time and you receive it at a certain age – encourages you to retire  Seen as both a benefit to workers – seen as almost a reward and created loyalty to a company  Used to regulate labour supplies – opening the labour market for new workers to come in that earned lower salaries o Delayed transition to adulthood Model of the Life Course  Tripartition of life into 3 stages o Preparation for work o Breadwinner o Retirement  Pensions built around the idea that for people that this tripartition of life was normative – what the majority of people experiences  Normative life course is a myth o (Some) men only – was really only the life course of certain men who have had higher levels of education o Lower class men more likely to work until poor health or death  Since the 1970s the model has not applied very well o More variation in what people‟s lives look like – no longer a normative patter o Seen more variation in work and attachment to work Destandardized Work Life Course  Less structured, more individualized  Increase in job changes o People move in and out of the labour force, not channeled through educational/work institutions  Less ordered pathways o People go in and out of education and work more than in the past  Individuals more responsible for the shape of work careers o Take longer to start their careers, changing their career  Coping with underemployment and retraining A Generation of Workers Caught in the Middle  Today‟s older workers/recent retirees o Grew up thinking one way about work and experienced another o Subjected to being laid off, let go, etc. Changes in the Timing of Retirement  Trend toward earlier retirement o Over time, there has been a long-term trend for early retirement o Partly in terms of the changes in government policies regarding pensions, etc. have had an effect on retirement o Decline in men and women in the average age of retirement  Around 65.5 for men in the 1970s to around 62.5 in the late 1990s  Continued trend  See 2/3 of Canadian retiring before that 65 cut off where they are eligible for CPP benefits o Governments  Set eligibility rules where workers can receive full benefits –how they structure retirement  Change in pension changes when people decide to retire on an aggregate level  By 2016 the age will be bumped up and penalties put in place for those who retire earlier  Have the ability to manipulate the average age of retirement and people‟s behaviours towards retirement o Economy  Fluctuations in retirement age associated with economic downturns o Corporations  Shift from defined benefit to defined contribution pensions  Has not been good for people‟s retirement or retirement security  Greater variation in form o “Retirement” difficult to measure and determine whether a trend toward earlier retirement is going on o thought of an event that was one once and that was done at a certain age o due to destandardized workforce we cant think fo retirement as an event anymore – no longer people‟s reality What is Retirement?  Doesn‟t capture part time workers who have worked part time for a long period of time or at the end of their work lives  Doesn‟t capture from retirement from one‟s career is often followed by employment in another job  Used to be seen as a crisp transition and is now seen as a blurred transition  Doesn‟t take women‟s work lives into account – taking time off to start a family, etc.  Measurement o Working any hours for pay? o Left a full time job? o Receiving a pension? o Do you considered yourself retired? Potential Challenges of Work Faced by Older Workers  Age discrimination/stereotypes o Can impact when someone retires/push them out of the workforce – if they feel
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