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Key Findings Details

Occupations and Work Characteristics: Effects on Retirement Expectations and Timing
Brooke Helppie McFall, Amanda Sonnega, Robert J. Willis and Peter Hudomiet
WP 2015-331

• While the traditional blue collar-retire earlier and white collar-work longer associations emerge, we find interesting exceptions that suggest fruitful directions for future research.

• Findings from this study suggest that both HRS and O*NET variables are useful and probably complementary levers for understanding retirement outcomes.

• Many more occupations are associated with earlier workforce departure than longer work, suggesting that increased attention be paid to identifying characteristics of occupations that encourage earlier retirement rather than just longer work.

• Case studies would be an important step to delve into the black box of what it means to work in a particular job and how that affects retirement outcomes.