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4 Personality Traits That Influence the Path to Retirement

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Older workers’ decisions to keep working full time, shift to part time or stop working altogether  partly depend on their personality, according to a recent study.

A new blog post from the Center for Retirement Research examines recent research from the RAND Corp. that found that the paths older workers choose are influenced by their personality and by how well they’re able to hold the line against the natural cognitive decline that accompanies aging.

“Only about a third of the older people who are working full-time will go straight into retirement. Most take zigzag paths,” writes Kim Blanton in the CRR’s Squared Away Blog. “These paths include gradually reducing their hours, occasional consulting, or finding a new job or an Uber stint that is only part time. Other people ‘unretire,’ meaning that they retire temporarily from a full-time job only to decide to return to work for a while.”

To determine why this is, researchers at RAND in the United States and a think tank in the Netherlands followed older Americans’ work and retirement decisions over 14 years through a survey, which also administered a personality and a cognition test.

Through this study, they uncovered interesting connections between retirement and cognitive acuity and, separately, and a variety of personality traits.

“While you’re looking at your finances, it would also be smart to look beyond money and ask yourself what else might weigh into whether or not you’re ready to retire,” Blanton writes in the blog post.

Check out the gallery to see how personality traits may affect one’s path to retirement.

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