Life expectancy in Israel is lengthening along with an increase in the level of health, and with them also increases the number of years of work and the public debate about retirement age, but how does the decision to continue working affect the level of happiness? A new study by the “Taub Center” published this morning (Tuesday) examined the level of happiness of people aged 80-60 and the economic and social factors that affect it. The average age of the study participants was 67, almost 50% men, about 72% married, about 70% natives, about 73% secular, and about 56% employed.
Employed persons declare a significantly higher level of happiness than that of the unemployed. With increasing age, there is a drastic decrease in the employment rate and a certain decrease in the level of happiness. No significant differences were found between women and men, although women’s employment rates are significantly lower than those of men.
An examination of employment variables found that the impact on the level of happiness depends mainly on the type of work. Employment in developing work (jobs that require thinking like development, management, research) has a significant positive effect on the level of happiness, as well as volunteering, while employment in stressful work (work under constant pressure of time due to workload, multitasking and deadlines) has a clear negative effect. The number of working hours also has an effect – many working hours in stressful work lower the level of happiness.
Examining the effect of various socio-demographic variables on the level of happiness found that the highest level of happiness is among those in a relationship (whether employed or not) and increased with the number of children. The lowest level of happiness is among single employed persons and among non-divorced employed persons.
Also, the level of happiness is higher as income increases and as the health condition improves: poor health level impairs the level of happiness among employed and non-employed alike. No clear effect of gender, marital status and higher education was found.
An international comparison showed that the unemployed in Europe indicate a higher level of happiness among the employed, while in Israel there is no clear difference. In terms of the type of work, a similar effect was found – stressful work impairs the level of happiness and developing work raises it.
Retire early but do not object to raising the retirement age
The average (actual) retirement age among men in Israel is about 61 and among women about 59, although the respondents indicated an intention to retire at a later age (70 for men and 67 for women). It also shows that there is no objection to raising the retirement age.
The main reason for continuing to work after the age of 60 is increasing income, and other reasons are enjoyment of work, preservation of human capital and ability to work, and the social factor. The data also show that more than half of those retiring from work have retired voluntarily and have a higher average level of satisfaction.
The decision to retire is driven by several factors: 22% cited a health reason, 11% cited a low-wage expectation if they decide to continue working, and 16% cited the difficulty of getting a job in their field. Health reasons have a significant impact on the decision to retire, and poor health lowers the retirement age by an average of 6.5 years. Difficulties in finding a job lower the retirement age by more than two years on average, and so is content with an existing income.
“Adapted policies that focus on improving health and expanding the supply of jobs available to adults may significantly increase their employment rates. The law prohibiting age discrimination should be enforced, and vocational retraining programs should be developed for older workers as well,” explains researcher Dr. Hela Axelrad.
Approved at retirement age
Highest level of happiness – Among those who are in a relationship (whether employed or not) and has grown with the number of children.
Lowest level of happiness – Among single employed persons and among non-divorced persons employed.
The main reason for continuing to work after the age of 60 – It is the increase in income and after it: enjoyment of work, maintaining work capacity and the social factor.
The main reasons for voluntary retirement – Health problems, reduction in salary after retirement and difficulty in finding work in the field due to age discrimination.
Source: Maariv.co.il – חדשות מהארץ והעולם by www.maariv.co.il.
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