Positive psychological attributes and retirement satisfaction

Sarah D. Asebedo, Martin C. Seay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study investigated the association between positive psychological attributes and retirement satisfaction using a sample of 5,146 retired individuals from the 2006 and 2008 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Utilizing Seligman’s (2012) well-being theory, positive psychological attributes, as represented by the acronym PERMA, were measured by dispositional optimism (Positive emotion), reading the newspaper daily and having a hobby (Engagement), family support (Positive relationships), purpose in life and religiosity (Meaning), and perceived mastery (Accomplishment). Significant evidence was found supporting the association between positive psychological attributes and retirement satisfaction. Specifically, results of the ordinal logistic model revealed that, holding all else constant, dispositional optimism, family support, purpose in life, and perceived mastery were each positively associated with retirement satisfaction. Relevant implications for financial planners, counselors and educators include learning and developing optimism, cultivating family relationships, fostering purpose in life, discovering accomplishment during retirement, and structuring a phased transition to retirement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-173
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Financial Counseling and Planning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • HRS
  • Positive psychology
  • Psychological well-being
  • Retirement satisfaction
  • Subjective well-being


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