Why do we retire? - a simple question for which the answer has evolved for decades and continues to evolve in the 21st century. Therefore, the question is the first to be addressed in the first of a series of four whitepapers being published by the Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement as part of the long-lasting cooperation with the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing.
The rise in life expectancy over the past 150 years has brought us both the blessings of a longer life and the challenges of the pension systems' long-term financial stability.
The measures policymakers have suggested to address these issues have largely focused on the economic aspects of the equation through measures like cuts in government pensions and benefits, rises in pension age, and urging employers and employees to be conscious about financial planning for retirement. However, the results of the surveys of Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement and Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing have exposed a wide variety of wishes and ambitions that people have for retirement.
Phase of life
It is much more than just a financial challenge; it is a phase of life where people aspire to stay socially connected, participate in their communities, and remain economically active. Therefore, research areas that deal with the connection between retirement and important aspects of later life such as health, vitality, life satisfaction and the image of elderly can contribute to helping people prepare for retirement and their societal position and engagement after retirement. However, the starting point in each of these areas is asking an important question: why do we retire?
Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement has invited the researchers of Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing to help reflect on retirement from different academic angles, and inspire Aegon to encourage the debate on retirement beyond the traditional financial scope. This has resulted in the two whitepapers, Why do we retire and Health and retirement. In the two papers that will follow, we will further broaden the view on retirement from the perspectives of well-being and the image of retirement.