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Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 10:14 AM   #1
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Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Interesting, if a bit dated, and seems pretty plausible to me. Link for the abstract is here. Boldface added by me. Seems this forum embraces most of the good predictors. Wonder if women follow the same pattern.
_________________________________________________Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol 52, Issue 3 P110-P117, Copyright © 1997 by The Gerontological Society of America

ARTICLES
The retirement adjustment process: changes in the well-being of male retirees across time

TL Gall, DR Evans and J Howard
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario.

The purpose of this prospective study was to (1) evaluate the impact of retirement, (2) monitor the change in adjustment across time, and (3) identify the resources predictive of short- and long-term adjustment in retirement. A sample of 117 male retirees was assessed on indices of physical and psychological health, perceived control, retirement satisfaction, and life satisfaction at 2-4 months preretirement, 1 year post-, and 6-7 years postretirement. The results provided support for a positive impact of retirement, as retirees evidenced increases in well- being during the first year. There was also evidence of a retirement adjustment process, in that aspects of well-being (i.e., psychological health) changed from short- to long-term retirement. Finally, physical health, income, and voluntary retirement status predicted short-term adjustment, while internal locus of control was an additional resource for long-term adjustment. Changes in resources over time also differentially predicted short- and long-term adjustment (e.g., an increase in internal locus of control predicted an increase in activity satisfaction at 1 year but not at 6-7 years postretirement).
_________________________________________________"Locus of control" is the degree to which you take the credit for success and the blame for failure. Internal implies you take a high degree upon yourself, choices, actions, decisions. External means you are more fatalistic or perceive things as due to outside factors, be it luck, religion, etc. Some psychologists believe that a healthy dose of internal locus tends to be best for well-being in North American and similar cultures.

Read more (including a self-assessment quiz) here. I scored a 33, internal end of "balanced" FWIW.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Interesting quiz, Rich. I came up close to you, a 36.

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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I'll go look at the site because this issue interests me. It may be simplistic but I hold that the main perdictor of retirement happiness is happiness before retirement. I think happiness is mostly an "inside" issue. There certainly will be a few folks better off retiring (or staying at work) but happiness itself comes from more than what we have or even "what we do all day".
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Some psychologists believe that a healthy dose of internal locus tends to be best for well-being in North American and similar cultures.
There is or was a whole cottage industry of psychologist writers who recommended optimism for good health and adjustment, and particularly for avoidance of depression. As I recall, their recommended course of action was to take internal credit for what goes well, and fob off onto externalities what doesn't.

For example, your stock goes up, you are a genius. Your stock goes down, the company lied about its prospects, Abby Joseph hyped it, and the SEC was in cahoots with both of them.

It seemed to me that if this was the route to good psychological health, most people would be poster boys for adjustment, since this is pretty much the way many of us explain life anyway.

Ha
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
There is or was a whole cottage industry of psychologist writers who recommended optimism for good health and adjustment, and particularly for avoidance of depression. As I recall, their recommended course of action was to take internal credit for what goes well, and fob off onto externalities what doesn't...For example, your stock goes up, you are a genius. Your stock goes down, the company lied about its prospects, Abby Joseph hyped it, and the SEC was in cahoots with both of them.
I think that works better when trying to fool others, but not so well when used on yourself.

A sense of personal accountability is a great asset, and even when it's your own fault that something screwed up, seems fine to take the blame, say you made the best decision you could at the time, etc. Just don't sit around wringing your hands about it the rest of your life -- move on.

Little new in all this. But I could see where the FIRE transition could be tough for people who have an "external locus of control."
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

also a 33 here. interesting. i never thought of myself as balanced before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
I hold that the main perdictor of retirement happiness is happiness before retirement. I think happiness is mostly an "inside" issue.
agreed. but also i think most happy people know they create their own happiness.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-09-2006, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I got a balanced 35. I have had some S**t "fall in my bag" so to speak so I count luck on some things. Otherwise I would be internal.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 08:19 AM   #8
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I scored a 29, still "balanced" but leaning more external than the rest of you. Not a surprise given my family and childhood. (Now isn't that an interesting "external" statement).
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

A 32. Me Balanced? Who knew? Wonder if DW would agree!
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 08:59 AM   #10
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

38...
Almost unbalanced....
I guess my DW would argue about that assessment.

I do believe that I tend to be more internally driven rather than externally manipulated by my environement. I have made my share of mistakes to demonstrate my desire to do most things on my own. I would rather tackle a job myself than call in an "expert" to do it for me; within limits of course.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 09:07 AM   #11
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I got a 29, so this quiz says that I'm balanced. I'm sure there are those who would disagree though. :P
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 10:11 AM   #12
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

35 balanced.

But as with many of these tests, I wanted to ask "what do you mean by that?" to every question. I could find multiple ways I could take it, and answers might vary widely.

Also there is a natural tendency for people to stay away from 'strongly' agree/disagree ends of study questions like this, unless you really push a button...so most people will come out balanced...
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 10:17 AM   #13
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
35 balanced.

But as with many of these tests, I wanted to ask "what do you mean by that?" to every question. I could find multiple ways I could take it, and answers might vary widely.

Also there is a natural tendency for people to stay away from 'strongly' agree/disagree ends of study questions like this, unless you really push a button...so most people will come out balanced...
I'm no psychologist, but I think that in well-constructed "tests" like this, the ambiguity as to how to "take" the question is quite intentional. How you take it tells you where you fit on the scale.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-10-2006, 12:01 PM   #14
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I got a 28 = a little on the internal side of perfect balance (24?) but more external then anyone so far. I guess that I have been very successful in most things but I also believe that luck(chance) plays a big part in life.

I have been lucky to get bosses that I liked and respected. I have been fortunate to make investment decisions that seem to work out consistently better than average.

This does not mean that there has not been plenty of hard work. Hard work and preparation tends to create the winning conditions necessary to capitalize on good fortune.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 11:33 AM   #15
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I'm a 26, balanced leaning toward the external.

Most of the good things that happened to me were mostly luck: being born in a family of folks who live well into their nineties, having a mother who instilled the joy of reading, laughter and games, wonderful teachers in school, meeting my wonderful wife of 32 years, buying the right home at the right time, getting hired on with the state, getting into an occupation that allowed me to basically solve puzzles all day until I was able to retire at 60% of my salary, (same deal my wife will have in two years,) plus full medical for both of us ...

I can't take credit for a lot of that stuff but I do wear a seat belt...
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 11:47 AM   #16
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Low end of balanced, whatever that means. Interesting marriage questions I guess.Ive always thought a couple makes things work no matter what external influcences are going on.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 12:54 PM   #17
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I am a balanced 36. I agree with donheff's comments.

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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 02:16 PM   #18
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer
I am a balanced 36.* I agree with donheff's comments.

Dreamer
I also scored 36. But, stealing a quote from Vanguard's website, I like to believe that "luck is the residue of design." I guess that gives me an "internal" bias.
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 02:27 PM   #19
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

I scored 40. Not too bad for a recovering workaholic perfectionist, I suppose :
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement
Old 07-13-2006, 03:50 PM   #20
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Re: Predictors of a Happy Retirement

Finally a score close enough to mine to make it safe to report--thanks Scrooge! Mine's 42. No balance here.
But I am INTJ lefty who learned as a pup that you make your own hell (or otherwise), thanks Dad.
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