Type of Content: Research

Subtype: Journal Article

Resource Title: Racial Differences in Anticipated Satisfaction with Life during Retirement

Publication Title: Work, Aging and Retirement, Volume 5, Issue 3

Publish Date: July 19, 2019

The ability of individuals to think about their goals and imagine themselves in the future is one of the keys to developing a strategic life plan (Beach, 1998). This is a particularly important task in the context of developing a satisfying plan for retirement. In this investigation, image theory (Beach & Mitchell, 1987) was used as a foundation for exploring racial differences in individuals’ perceptions of the post-employment period. Specifically, Blacks, Whites, and Asians (n = 301, 300, 269, respectively) were asked to report perceptions of their future life satisfaction during retirement using a scale developed by Gutierrez and Hershey (2014). Mean score comparisons revealed that Blacks and Asians had significantly larger mean perceived future satisfaction levels than Whites. To explore the psychological mechanisms that underlie respondents’ perceptions, 3 separate race-based path analysis models were calculated using anticipated satisfaction scores as the criterion. Predictors in the models included: engagement in financial planning activities, retirement-related financial knowledge, retirement goal clarity, future time perspective, and a set of sociodemographic indicators. Substantial differences were observed in the amount of variance captured in the criterion, with the most variability accounted for among Asians, and the least variability accounted for among Whites. From a theoretical perspective, the findings contribute to the growing literature on race and retirement processes, and from an applied perspective, the results have implications for practitioners who seek to take race into account when developing psychologically based intervention programs.

Racial Differences in Anticipated Satisfaction with Life during Retirement