Your Well Being Post Retirement is Connected To Your Personality Traits

Statistical analysis of the data uncovered associations between the routes people took to exit their jobs and their subsequent satisfaction with life, income, and leisure.

A recent study has found new links between older adults’ personality traits, the routes they took to quit their jobs, and their well-being after exiting the workforce. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘PLOS ONE’.

As the world’s population of older adults grows, communities and policymakers are increasingly interested in the well-being of those leaving the labour market. Researchers have begun to explore how different exit paths — mandatory retirement versus voluntary retirement, for instance — may be associated with subsequent life satisfaction.

To help clarify, Kesavayuth and colleagues analysed data from more than 2,000 adults aged 50 to 75 who participated in the British Household Panel Survey. The dataset included an assessment of participants’ “Big Five” personality traits — a standard evaluation of personality — and subsequent life satisfaction after participants left their jobs, whether voluntarily or not, without plans to begin working again.

Statistical analysis of the data uncovered associations between the routes people took to exit their jobs and their subsequent satisfaction with life, income, and leisure. However, these associations did indeed vary according to their personality traits.

However, for people who stopped working due to ill health or caregiving demands, extraversion was linked to higher satisfaction with leisure time. The authors speculate that extraverts might miss social relationships at work, but might also be motivated to find sociable, rewarding hobbies. Associations were also found for the traits of agreeableness, openness, and neuroticism.

These associations do not confirm any causal relationships between the various factors, and proposed explanations can only be speculative at this stage. However, the findings could help guide targeted interventions and policies to boost the well-being of ageing adults. Such efforts could be especially relevant during the current mass exodus of workers from the labour force in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The authors added, “Our study uncovered associations between the routes people took to exit their jobs and their subsequent satisfaction with life, income, and leisure. These associations varied according to people’s personality traits. Conscientious individuals were more proactive in finding new fulfilling life patterns.”
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