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Retirement Expectations of Older Workers with Arthritis and Diabetes Compared with Those of Workers with No Chronic Diseases

  • Monique A.M. Gignac (a1) (a2), Peter M. Smith (a1) (a2) (a3), Selahadin Ibrahim (a1), Vicki Kristman (a1) (a4), Dorcas E. Beaton (a1) and Cameron A. Mustard (a1) (a2)...


We know little about the retirement plans of adults with chronic diseases. This research recruited Canadian workers 50–67 years of age from a national panel of 80,000 individuals (arthritis, n = 631; diabetes, n = 286; both arthritis and diabetes, n = 111; no chronic disabling conditions, n = 538). A cross-sectional survey asked participants about their expected age of retirement, future work plans, whether they were retiring sooner than planned, and bridged retirement. Chi-square analyses, analyses of variance, and regression analyses examined expectations and factors associated with them. Despite health difficulties, workers with arthritis and diabetes had retirement plans similar to those of healthy controls and consistent with normative expectations of working to a traditional retirement age. However, more respondents with arthritis or diabetes reported bridged retirement than healthy controls. Contrary to predictions, health factors accounted for less of the variance in retirement expectations than other factors. These findings point to the complexity surrounding retirement expectations and highlight person–job fit rather than disease factors alone.

Les plans de retraite des adultes atteints de maladies chroniques sont peu connus. Dans le cadre de cette étude, des travailleurs canadiens âgés de 50 à 67 ans provenant d’un regroupement national de 80 000 personnes (arthrite, n = 631 ; diabète, n = 286 ; arthrite et diabète, n = 111 ; aucune maladie chronique invalidante, n = 538) ont participé à une enquête transversale sur ce sujet. Les questions posées aux participants traitaient de l’âge prévu pour leur départ à la retraite, de leurs plans de travail futurs, de la possibilité d’un départ hâtif à la retraite et de la transition vers la retraite. Des analyses de khi-carré, de variance et des régressions ont permis d’évaluer les attentes et les facteurs qui y étaient associés. Les travailleurs souffrant d’arthrite et de diabète avaient des plans de retraite semblables à ceux des participants sains, malgré leurs problèmes de santé, et ces plans concordaient avec les attentes associées au fait de travailler jusqu’à un âge de retraite conventionnel. Toutefois, le nombre de répondants souffrant d’arthrite ou de diabète qui avaient prévu une retraite anticipée était plus élevé que celui des participants en bonne santé. Contrairement aux prévisions, la part de la variance associée aux facteurs liés à la santé était moindre que celle des autres facteurs en ce qui concerne les attentes en matière de retraite. Ces résultats mettent en lumière la complexité des attentes liées à la retraite et soulignent l’importance de l’adéquation personne-travail, malgré la présence de maladies.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

La correspondance et les demandes de tirés-à-part doivent être adressées à : / Correspondence and requests for offprints should be sent to: Monique A.M. Gignac, Ph.D. Institute for Work & Health 481 University Avenue, Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario Canada, M5G 2E9 (


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This research was funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) MOP#130427. The Institute for Work & Health operates with the support of the Province of Ontario. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province of Ontario.



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