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Subjective Perception of Social Relationships in Retirement in Germany

Date 04 Nov 2015

Presentation of Dr. Volker Cihlar from the Federal Institute for Population Research at the 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting of the Canadian Association on Gerontology.

1.971 retirees aged 55 to 70 years were asked about their subjectively experienced changes in their relationship to their partner, children, grandchildren, and friends since the transition to retirement.
The transition to retirement is a crucial event in people's life. Aim of this study is to examine how social relationships with family members and friends change through retirement, and to display the factors which influence this.

The study shows the following results:
Active and planning life investment, taking care of grandchildren, and providing help for friends, acquaintances, and neighbors in everyday life tasks, showed significant correlations with a more positive perception of social relationships in retirement. Bridge employment more often led to the perception that the relationship to the partner did not improve in comparison to life before retirement.

The positive perception of social relationships in retirement depends on everyone's own preparation of this phase of life. To be actively engaged for others and in social relationships contributes to building or maintaining a socio-emotionally bearing network of people in retirement.

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