Experienced support from adult children in the retirement process

M. Damman, R. van Duijn

Research output: Working paper/discussion paperWorking paper/Discussion paperScientific

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The retirement transition is often characterized by major changes in the lives of individuals. Support from their children may assist retirees in coping with these changes. Little is known, however, about intergenerational support upon retirement. To what extent do parents feel they are supported by their
children in their retirement process? And how can differences in the degree of perceived support be explained? Two central theoretical frameworks from the literature on intergenerational relationships – one based on the principle of altruism and the other based on the principle of exchange – are combined with
insights from the retirement literature to formulate hypotheses.
These were tested by analyzing panel data collected among 709 fully retired individuals in the Netherlands. Information about perceived support
from children upon retirement was collected during Wave 3 in 2011. The findings show that only a minority of the studied retirees experience support from their children in the retirement process. Retirees who do not have a partner, who have a poor financial situation, who regularly look after their
grandchildren, or who often help their children with practical chores, are relatively likely to experience support from their children upon retirement. The number of working hours in preretirement years, involuntary retirement, and subjective health are not associated with the support experienced. This
suggests that children are relatively likely to offer support to their parents upon retirement if support is exchanged, and only act on potential indicators of need for support surrounding retirement to a limited extent.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherNetwork for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement (NETSPAR)
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameNetspar Discussion Paper
No.DP 10/2015-048


  • retired persons
  • intergenerational solidarity
  • altruism
  • exchange
  • support


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