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Residential Mobility in the Second Half of Life: The Role of Family-Related Transitions and Retirement

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of entry into retirement and family-related transitions on residential mobility among elderly people living in Germany. We use data of the German Socio-Economic Panel and apply event-history techniques to examine the risk of moving to another home among women and men aged 50–90 in the years 1992–2010. The analysis includes about 15,600 individuals who were living in multiple-person households at age 50, as well as about 1,500 people who were living in single households. Our study suggests that residential mobility during the second half of life is an increasingly important issue, as the time spent in retirement is becoming longer due to gains in life expectancy and as later birth cohorts are more prone to moving than earlier generations. The results show that the risk of moving increases in response to changes in family life, such as the formation of a new partnership or the dissolution of a union due to separation or the death of a spouse. The risk of moving is also high among people who have left the labor market, and particularly among women who have experienced a deterioration in their health status.

Keywords

  • Labor Market
  • Labor Force Participation
  • Residential Mobility
  • Union Dissolution
  • Single Household

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The concept of ‘healthy life years’ allows to split life expectancy into healthy and unhealthy years. To perform the calculation, a conventional life table and the age-specific prevalence rates of a selected health indicator—e.g., the GALI question (Global Activity Limitation)—are used.

  2. 2.

    The retirement age is 65 for the birth cohorts up to 1946. It increases stepwise to age 67 starting in 2012 for the cohorts 1947–1963. The new age limit applies to all those born in 1964 or later.

  3. 3.

    Ideally, the distance between the origin and the destination would be used in order to differentiate between several types of residential mobility. The number of cases may, however, be too small to allow for a further distinction between short- and long-distance moves.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the first author’s European Re-integration Grant within the Marie Curie Actions (FP7 People, PERG-GA-2009-249266 – MigFam) funded by the European Commission. The views expressed in this paper do not reflect the views of the funding agencies. The constructive comments of an anonymous reviewer are gratefully acknowledged as is the language editing done by Miriam Hils.

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Milewski, N., Loth, A. (2015). Residential Mobility in the Second Half of Life: The Role of Family-Related Transitions and Retirement. In: Aybek, C., Huinink, J., Muttarak, R. (eds) Spatial Mobility, Migration, and Living Arrangements. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10021-0_11

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