Reciprocal Relationships Between Subjective Age and Retirement Intentions


Organizational researchers and practitioners have become increasingly interested in how subjective age—employees’ perceived age—is related to important work and career outcomes. However, the direction of the relationship between employees’ subjective age and retirement intentions remains unclear, thus preventing theoretical advances and effective interventions to potentially delay retirement. We contribute to the literature on work and aging by investigating the relationship between subjective age and retirement intentions longitudinally, using a sample of n = 337 workers who participated in a study with six measurement waves across 15 months. Results of a random intercept cross-lagged panel model show unique between-person and within-person relationships linking subjective age and retirement intentions. As expected, we found a positive relationship between subjective age and retirement intentions at the between-person level of analysis. At the within-person level of analysis, results suggest that retirement intentions positively predicted subjective age, but not vice versa. Overall, these findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of subjective age in the context of work and retirement.

European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology