Successful transition to retirement in Australia

Peter Forster, Mary Morris


This study proposed and investigated a model of retirement in which successful retirement in Australia is achieved by sustaining community connections. A total of 650 participants (360 men, Mage=61.08, 290 women, Mage=58.39) from the general community, over the age of 45, participated in the study. The participants completed online questionnaires including the Sense of Community Index (SCI-2), the DASS-21, and Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Consistent with the proposed model, this study found that sense of community for retirees was positively related to life satisfaction and negatively related to anxiety. Retirees who were members of community groups were happier than those who were employed, independent of the employed person’s community membership. For retirees, having a sense of community remained a significant predictor of happiness, even after controlling for self-rated health. The results suggest that community connections are important for a successful and healthy retirement, and therefore that retirement planning should include advice about creating positive connections with family, friends, and community.


continuity theory, life satisfaction, life transitions, retirement, sense of community, social connections


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