Findings on happiness in Calvo et al. (2007): study US 1992

Author(s)Calvo, E.; Haverstick, K.; Sass, S.
TitleWhat Makes Retirees Happier: A Gradual or 'Cold Turkey' Retirement?
SourceMPRA Paper No. 5607, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, 2007, USA
PublicEldery, United States, followed through retirement 1992-2004
 Born between 1931 and 1941, 2 assessments between 1992 and 2004. Aged 51-61 in 1992; 63-73 in 2004, 12 year interval.
Last assesment2004
 1992-2004. T1: last wave individual is fully employed between 1992 and 2004. T2: first wave individual is fully retired between 1992 and 2004.
Survey nameNot available
 Health and Retirement Study (HRS, nationally representative, biennial, panel survey of older Americans and their spouses)
SampleSelection from general population sample
 The initial cohort of this panel study was composed of 9760 age-eligible individuals born between 1931-1941, This study is based on a subsample of 2389 paricipants, who made a full transition from being fully employed to being fully retired, and who have submitted sufficient valid information.
Respondents N =2389
 1733 'Cold Turkey' retirement s (73%), 656 Gradual retirements (27%)
Non Response25%; from 3022 (fully retired in 2004) to 2389.
 5744 fully employed in 1992, 3022 fully retired in 2004. Difference also by drop-outs.between1992 and 2004.
AssesmentQuestionnaire: paper
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 5 questions: Now think about the past week and the feelings you have experienced. Please tell me if each of the following was true for you much of the time past week. Much of the time .. A You were happy B You enjoyed life C Yoy felt lonely D You felt depressed E You felt sad Rated: 1 yes 0 no Computation of state: latent variable
Author's labelLatent affect
Page in publication6,7
RemarksScore: A/2+B/2-C/3-D/3-E/3. Maximum: +1; Minimum: -1. CHANGE in Happiness: Measurement of CHANGE in happiness (affect) between last assessment during full-time employment and first assessment during full-time retirement. Per item: no change is 0; a postive change is +1 and a negative change is -1. Theoretical individual range for this change is -5- to +5.
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range -1 - 1On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation0.231.15

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Blue-CollarS09ab01'Objective' socio-economic status
Gender (male vs female)G01aaSex (male vs female)
Improved healthH14aa02Change in physical health
More than high schoolE01ab02Level of school-education
Prompt retirement (vs gradual)R14ae01Sudden retirement (vs gradual)
RetirementR14aa02Change in retirement status
Retirement wantedR14agAttitudes to retirement
Retirement wantedR14aa01aEarlier attitudes to retirement, also classified as above ↑
Spouse deathL06ab02aDeath of an intimate
Spouse deathM01aa02bEver widowed, also classified as above ↑
Spouse deathL05ab02Specific life-changes, also classified as above ↑
Summed effectsS15ab05Socio-demographic + life-events
UnemployedE02ab03Unemployed involuntary
WealthP12ab01Total wealth
White Non-HispanicE04ab03tEthnic status in the USA
Years since last employmentR14aa02aTime since retirement