A Longitudinal Study of Retirement Satisfaction in Baby Boomers and Vietnam-Era Veterans

Ashley Elizabeth Selkirk, Fordham University


Baby Boomers represent the largest cohort to ever reach old age and as a result are expected to redefine concepts of retirement. Though the United States can expect older adults to comprise 20% of the population by 2030, little research has been dedicated to understanding this newest generation of older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine which psychosocial resources predicted retirement satisfaction in a sample of Baby Boomers and Vietnam-era veterans. The sample was comprised of 311 Baby Boomers, 55 of whom identified as veterans. Participants were part of the Health and Retirement Study. Two data wave years of this longitudinal archival data set were utilized in this study, 2004 and 2012, corresponding to likely pre- and post- retirement years. The results indicated that for non-veteran Baby Boomers, pre-retirement physical health and financial status were significant predictors of retirement satisfaction; post-retirement physical health, emotional health, and retirement choice were significant predictors of retirement satisfaction. No pre- or post- retirement predictors significantly predicted retirement satisfaction for the sample of veterans. Also discussed are directions for future research, study limitations, and implications for: (a) understanding the impact of the Baby Boomer generational cohort on current understandings of retirement satisfaction and (b) determining the effect of military service on late life experiences.

Subject Area

Aging|Counseling Psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Selkirk, Ashley Elizabeth, "A Longitudinal Study of Retirement Satisfaction in Baby Boomers and Vietnam-Era Veterans" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10601118.