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Pensions, Retirement and Ageing Seminar 20 April 2020

Speakers: Ioana Ramia (Centre for Social Impact, UNSW) and Mălina Voicu (Research Institute for the Quality of Life, Romanina Academy)

Topic: Life satisfaction and happiness among older Europeans: the role of active ageing

Abstract: The older population is growing globally, and more so in some European countries. Aimed at enhancing the quality of life of older people, active ageing has been on the policy agenda in Europe since the beginning of the 21st century. Using a subsample of the European Quality of Life Survey consisting of individuals aged 65 and over living in 27 European countries we explore the effect of active ageing on subjective quality of life. The central argument of the paper is that active ageing is cumulative, consisting of a mix of various interconnected activities. Hence, when assessing the impact of active ageing on quality of life we include the whole collection of activities in which seniors engage and avoid limiting to a single activity. Latent Class Analysis is employed to find the mix of interconnected activities in which older adults engage. We identify three classes: home keepers (mainly engaging in housekeeping activities), carers (mainly engaged in caring, but also some housekeeping activities) and those engaged outside their homes (engaged primarily in paid or unpaid work). Multilevel regression models test the connection between the different strategies to remain active in later life on life satisfaction and happiness, the cognitive and affective indicators of subjective quality of life. Our results show that remaining active in later life does not always lead to improvements in subjective quality of life and that separate strategies to remain active in later life are at work to increase life satisfaction and happiness in later stages of life.

Pensions, Retirement and Ageing Seminar, 20 April 2020