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Leaving early or staying on? Retirement preferences and motives among older health-care professionals

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Document pages: 27 pages

Abstract: There is a need for improved knowledge about how workplace conditions and organisational factors may obstruct or facilitate work in late life. By means of both quantitative and qualitative data, this study aims to explore retirement preferences among employees (aged 55 and older) in a large Swedish health-care organisation and to identify work-related motives influencing their retirement preferences. The quantitative analysis showed large variation in retirement preferences in the organisation. The qualitative results were summarised into two overarching types of motives for late and early retirement preferences, general and group-specific. The general motives were shared by the early and late preference groups, and included recognition, flexibility, health and work motivation. The group-specific motives were exclusively related to either an early or a late retirement preference. Criticism towards the organisation and strenuous working conditions were specific motives for an early retirement preference, while positive accounts of work and a wish to utilise one s own competencies as well as being financially dependent on work was stated as specific motives for wanting to retire late. The results illustrate the need to improve organisational practices and routines, as well as working conditions, in order to make an extended working life accessible for more than already-privileged groups of employees.

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