Feeling Like It’s Time to Retire: A Fit Perspective on Early Retirement Decisions

Daniel C. Feldman

in The Oxford Handbook of Retirement

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746521
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Feeling Like It’s Time to Retire: A Fit Perspective on Early Retirement Decisions

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  • Psychology
  • Organizational Psychology
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This chapter examines early retirement decision making from the perspective of person-environment (P-E) fit theory. First, we suggest that changes in workplace environments as well as in workers’ values and skills are likely to lead to declines in fit as individuals approach retirement. Second, perceptions of employee fit held by coworkers and supervisors also have a strong influence on self-perceptions of P-E fit; others’ perceptions of fit are likely to become more negative as employees reach retirement age, too. Third, changes in the nature of occupations and organizations have cascading effects on how older workers perceive fit with their jobs and work groups. These signals of declining fit, in turn, lead to increased motivation to retire early. The chapter concludes with avenues for future research on the relationship between P-E fit and early retirement decisions.

Keywords: person-environment fit; person-job fit; person-organization fit; person-vocation fit; older workers; early retirement; retirement; retirement decisions

Article.  10432 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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