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Journal cover: Journal of Consumer Marketing

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Online from: 1984

Subject Area: Marketing

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Making the transition to retirement: appraisals, post-transition lifestyle, and changes in consumption patterns


Document Information:
Title:Making the transition to retirement: appraisals, post-transition lifestyle, and changes in consumption patterns
Author(s):Christopher D. Hopkins, (Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina, USA), Catherine A. Roster, (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA), Charles M. Wood, (University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)
Citation:Christopher D. Hopkins, Catherine A. Roster, Charles M. Wood, (2006) "Making the transition to retirement: appraisals, post-transition lifestyle, and changes in consumption patterns", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 23 Iss: 2, pp.87 - 99
Keywords:Baby boomer generation, Lifestyles, Market segmentation, Retirement, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/07363760610655023 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This research proposes to examine how the retirement experience in the USA is cultivated via the appraisal process and reflected in post-retirement lifestyle postures and consumption changes.

Design/methodology/approach – A sample of 298 recent retirees were surveyed to test hypotheses suggested by a proposed model of the retirement experience. The model proposes that the appraisal process is integral in determining how a retiree interprets impact of the event for self-identity and reflects self-realignment strategies in post-retirement consumption patterns.

Findings – Findings show that perceptions of resource availability are important predictors of retiree appraisals. Furthermore, appraisals directly impact retirees' adoption of a post-transition lifestyle posture, whether “new start”, “continuation of life”, “disruption to life”, or “beginning of old age”. Also explored are differences between lifestyle postures and post-retirement consumption expenditures across a number of product categories. Generally, retirees who adopt the perspective of retirement as a “new start” or as a “disruption” tend to increase expenditures in “experiential” and “outward-oriented” product categories. Retirees who adopt the perspective of retirement as the beginning of “old age” or as a “continuation” of past selves tend to increase expenditures in “non-experiential” and “inward-oriented” product categories.

Practical implications – Retirees are an increasingly important cohort for marketing in many industries. The findings demonstrate that individuals appraise the retirement event very differently and in turn respond to marketing activities very differently, which has implications for marketing segmentation strategies.

Originality/value – This research extends prior research of life transitional events by highlighting the importance of considering individuals' attitudes toward major life transitional events as an important factor in predicting their responses to these events.



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