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Retiring together, or not

  • By Grant Schellenberg and Yuri Ostrovsky


  • Among 29% of dual-earner couples in which one spouse retired in 2001, the other spouse retired within two years. However, the most common pattern was for a wife to retire after her husband (43%).

  • Dual-earner spouses appear to be retiring in a more independent manner. Between 1986 and 2001, the proportion of dual-earner spouses retiring within two years of each other declined by 2 percentage points and the proportion retiring within four years declined by 11 points. Conversely, the proportion of wives retiring five or more years later increased by 7 points; the proportion of husbands, by 4 points.

  • Among the factors associated with spousal retirement transitions are the husband's age, the age difference between the spouses, receipt of Employment Insurance benefits, earnings and pension coverage.

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