Personality Traits Influence Our Post-Retirement Life Satisfaction, Study Finds

Psychology News

An emerging study conducted at Kasetsart University, Thailand, showed how certain personality traits in older adults affected their life satisfaction after work. The study is published in PLOS ONE.

The Study

The researchers examined the link between older adults’ personality traits, the manner in which they left the labor market, and their life satisfaction after quitting their jobs. They analyzed data from 2,000 adults, aged 50–75 years, who participated in the British Household Panel Survey. The dataset focused on their “Big 5” personality traits: neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness or intellect.

It also assessed their voluntary/involuntary ways of quitting employment and their well-being and satisfaction in life after work.

The Findings

According to the results, older adults’ personality traits influenced the ways in which they quit the labor market and their subsequent satisfaction with life, income, and leisure.

For instance, thanks to the trait of conscientiousness, people who underwent mandatory retirement or became unemployed due to ill health/caregiving demands enjoyed increased satisfaction with leisure time. They appeared, in the words of the authors, “more proactive in finding new fulfilling life patterns” and this, in turn, impacted their life satisfaction after work.

On the other hand, people who underwent voluntary retirement displayed higher degrees of extraversion which resulted in lower satisfaction with life, income, and leisure.

Towards Interventions

The researchers are enthusiastic that this study can help guide retirement plans, interventions, and policies that boost the well-being of aging adults post-retirement. The findings can also benefit communities and policymakers who are currently handling the mass exodus of workers from the labor market in the context of the Great Resignation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Know More You May Refer To

Kesavayuth, D., Rosenman, R. E., & Zikos, V. (2022). Leaving the labor market: Exit routes, personality traits and well-being. PloS one, 17(3), e0263670.

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