Health Consequences of Retirement Among Married Couples: The Moderating Effects of Spousal Characteristics

Sae Hwang Han , University of Massachusetts Boston

The objective of this study was to examine the consequences of retirement for self-rated health in the context of married relationships, focusing on the moderating roles of spouse’s labor force attachment and depressive symptoms. This study was based on nine waves (1998-2014) of national couple data from the Health and Retirement Study (dyad N = 4,084; 40,464 person-wave observations). Two sources of endogeneity (i.e., reverse causality, omitted variable bias) were taken into consideration in the estimation of the retirement transition-health relationship. Findings from multilevel models showed that the relationship between retirement and subsequent self-rated health is different for wives and husbands, and that the health consequences of retirement vary depending on whether the transition was driven by poor health or non-health reasons. Further, the linkages between retirement transitions and subsequent self-rated health were moderated by labor force status and depressive symptoms of the spouse.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2