Dr Jennifer Algie is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Management, Operations and Marketing, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong, Australia. Dr Algie is a behaviour change expert in the area social marketing and undertakes research in the fields of road safety advertising, donation behaviour, innovations in sunscreen protection and sunsafe behaviour, and is an advocate of research exploring ways of “living well, longer”. Her publications have appeared in Psychology and Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing, Traffic Injury Prevention, Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, and the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. Dr Algie is currently supervising a PhD candidate, Valerie He/Xiaoshen (firstname.lastname@example.org), who is conducting this research project into health planning for retirement.
An Exploratory Study of Health Planning for Retirement
This research explores ways to encourage people to think about their health goals for retirement in the same way that they currently prioritize their wealth goals for retirement. The ultimate aim is to determine effective behavior change initiatives to shift the mindsets of younger baby boomers into engaging in current health and social activities that will establish a healthier – and not just wealthier – retirement. Academic literature in this area has focused heavily on the work and income aspects of retirement planning with little attention concerning the health and social care aspects for retirement planning. Previous research has revealed that people are reluctant to make long-term plans as they are more attached to their ‘current self’ and not their ‘future self’. We manipulate this time orientation in 20 scenario-based semi-structured interviews with people 50 to 60 years old to explore ways to encourage more proactive attitudes towards health and social planning for retirement. In particular, the three constructs of ‘life experience radius’, ‘longer working span’ and the ‘bucket list effect’ are elicited. Despite the increasing knowledge toward cardiovascular disease, cancer and many other health issues, current health-related behaviors of baby boomers may put this cohort at high risks of having chronic disease, disability and social exclusion. The method of this study, based on functional theory, challenges the baby boomer cohort’s lack of engagement with the problem and the fact that do not understand how preparedness for good health in their retirement could affect their healthy ageing process. Research participants project what they want their own retirement to look like and whether or not they feel they need to adapt their own current behaviors to achieve these ideals. The findings of this study represents an initial step in building a ‘Health Action Plan’ for baby boomers to contend with the ‘Financial Action Plan’ that is top-of-mind for the majority of this age cohort. It is anticipated that the findings from this research will contribute to a longer-term gradual change in attitudes and behavior to assist with combating ageism.