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Perceptions of health improve with pension receipt, researcher says
Date:2/20/2013

COLUMBIA, Mo. After retirement, pensions provide consistent income to aging individuals. Although the details of pension eligibility and implementation vary by country, receiving pensions can represent a new life stage for individuals. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has studied how older men and women view their health before and after receiving fixed incomes. South African men and women in the study viewed their health more positively when they began receiving their pensions, but the heightened sense of well-being faded over time.

"We looked at individuals' perceptions of their own health. Did they worry less? Were they less sad and more satisfied with life now that they were receiving pensions?" said Enid Schatz, associate professor of health science in the School of Health Professions. "People perceive their lives and well-being as better after they start receiving their pensions because they're getting money that they didn't used to get, so they're able to do more for others and more for themselves. When they are first able to do that, it feels good. Ten years later, their feelings of progress are not as great."

Schatz, who also teaches women's and gender studies in the MU College of Arts and Science, analyzed data previously collected as part of the WHO-INDEPTH Study of Global Ageing (sic) and Adult Health Survey of men and women in rural South Africa. Women reported poorer well-being than men, although women reported feeling less worried and more satisfied after they started receiving their pensions. Conversely, men reported lower well-being in the years leading up to receiving their pensions and, after receiving the pensions, men's well-being improved for five years and then declined.

"Women get a greater benefit in those first five years from having the money in their households," Schatz said. "Women are doing more of the caregiving, and pensions give them the comfort that they have a resource to do so. South Africa
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Contact: Jesslyn Chew
ChewJ@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

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