Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN01_01b: Quality of Life, Life Satisfaction and Well-being in Older Age
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Dirk Hofaecker, University of Duisburg-Essen
Location: UP.3.205
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road

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The Relativity of the Financial Quality of Life in Old Age – An Empirical Analysis of Pensioners’ Subjective Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction (in Finland)

Liisa-Maria Palomäki

Finnish Centre for Pensions, Finland

Many quality-of-life oriented gerontological studies have established a lower income position for old-age people as a determinant of a lower financial satisfaction. This finding illustrates the relative view on subjective well-being (SWB) that has gained ground also within the sociological research agenda since the 2000s. Nevertheless, the conclusions on the association between pensioners’ income position and financial satisfaction are mainly based on objective income comparisons among unrepresentative old-aged populations. Very little is known about how pensioners at large perceive their income position relative to that of other pensioners, but also in relation to other population groups such as the employed, the unemployed, immigrants and families with children. Equally unclear is the link between subjective comparisons and financial satisfaction. Based on a survey conducted by the Finnish Centre for Pensions in 2017, covering a representative sample of Finnish pensioners (n= 2 909), this study aims to answer the following questions: 1) to which population groups do pensioners compare their incomes, 2) what are the determinants of pensioners’ most relevant income comparisons, and 3) how are subjective comparisons linked to financial satisfaction. The results provide a means to evaluate to which extent financial satisfaction is a matter of income and social and/or intra-biographical comparisons. They also offer valuable input for the evaluation of pension adequacy.

Silver Workers' Dimensions Of (Life) Satisfaction - How Satisfied Are They?

Regina Ilona Gerlich

Careum School of Health LTD, Switzerland

Data from the largest German household survey (GSOEP) show that people who work full-time beyond their normal retirement age (Silver Workers) are significantly more satisfied than full-time workers of regular working age. This applies to various areas of satisfaction such as: work, income, health, and sleep as well as for the overall life satisfaction. Silver Workers show significantly lower levels of leisure satisfaction compared to regular full-time employees. In this dimension even Silver Workers reach the lowest level within all the available satisfaction dimensions.

First results indicate that satisfaction with leisure time decreases as soon as the situation of the Silver Working occurs, but this appears to be compensated by the other areas.

Although Silver Workers generally have higher scores in most satisfaction dimensions, it can hardly be expected that Silver Working will be more satisfying overall. Rather, according to initial calculations, it is an effect of self-selection: people who are close to their statutory retirement age and more satisfied with their lives, work, and income are also more willing to continue full-time beyond their normal retirement age.

A Cross-cultural Study of Social Exclusion and Subjective Well-being among Older Adults: findings from European Social Survey

Sunwoo Lee

Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

This study investigated how different indicators of social exclusion are associated with older adults' subjective-wellbeing across different European populations. Five underlying factors of social exclusion among older adults were examined: material resources, social relations, civic activities, basic services, and neighborhood cohesion. Using data sampled from European Social Survey (ESS8-2016), a cross-cultural study design was employed. A total number of 44,387 Europeans aged 65+ from 23 countries were analyzed. Study sample was divided into three groups according to the nationality—Nordic (e.g., Norway), Western (e.g., France) and Central-Eastern (e.g., Czech). Measured variables included discrimination due to age, social activities engagement, social interaction with friends, emotional attachment to the society, participation in politics, social trust, and health service. Covariates in the analyses included major predictor variables and demographic variables such as gender, marital status, and education level. Results indicated that social exclusion indicators were weakly to moderately correlated with one another (.02 to .23). Regression model was developed including social exclusion and subjective wellbeing measures, and standardized significant path coefficient was estimated between the study variables. Social exclusion variables all significantly affected subjective wellbeing across the three European populations, while magnitude and significance of the association between study variables varied. Study findings contribute to the existing knowledge about social exclusion in older age by measuring varied forms of social exclusion from relatively new databases.