Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

JoNell Strough

Committee Co-Chair

Amy Fiske

Committee Member

Kevin Larkin

Committee Member

Melissa Latimer

Committee Member

Julie H Patrick


Retirement timing has been linked to a host of outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Well-known predictors of retirement timing include health, wealth, and cognitive capacity; a few studies have also linked gender and family caregiving to retirement timing. In the present study, data from the Health and Retirement Study were used to create profiles of pre-retirement family caregiving (operationalized as time and financial transfers to participants' aging parents and adult children). These profiles, as well as participant gender and cohort, were used to predict later retirement timing. All profiles retired, on average, earlier than their full eligibility for Social Security benefits. The Eldercare profile, which was characterized by high levels of time and financial transfers to aging parents, retired the earliest. On average, women retired earlier than men. Members of the War Babies cohort (b. 1941-1947) retired earlier than members of the HRS cohort (b. 1931-1941). There was not a significant interaction between caregiving profile and gender, revealing that when men enacted female-typical caregiving roles, their retirement timing resembled women's. Implications for individual retirement decision-making and policy are discussed.