Sigal Naim of the University of Haifa under the supervision of Dr. Israel Doron conducted in-depth interviews with men who up to five years earlier had consented to taking early retirement. The retirees said they did not feel old and would not have retired without workplace pressure, but most described themselves in detail in terms of their career, while their family life was squeezed into one or two sentences.
The study found the retirees viewed retirement age as an artificial "finishing line" intended primarily to satisfy insurance companies' actuarial tables -- none considered themselves old and they all felt they still had a long and productive life ahead.
The main sentiment expressed by almost all of the participants was of profound disappointment in the workplace, the study finds.
The study also finds even if the retirees expressed satisfaction with retirement it was just a cover story used to mask the reality of disappointment and insult. Most said they took early retirement so their pension rights would not be harmed and would not have retired without workplace pressure.
"This is in fact a sort of mask for themselves that helps them to build a new reality that they can live with," Naim says.