Retired educators are the nation’s most contented pensioners, a major study of retirement showed.
The survey, conducted by the nonprofit Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI) and released on Wednesday, found that health, disposable income and personal interactions are the three factors that were most likely to affect pensioners’ sense of well-being and satisfaction with life.
The poll was conducted from Oct. 21 to Oct. 31 and interviewed pensioners aged over 50. A total of 1,068 valid samples were collected, with a 95 percent confidence level and a 3 percent margin of error.
Of the respondents, 64.6 percent said they were satisfied with their lives after retirement and 43 percent said their lives in retirement were better than they had expected.
The survey used a 1 to 5 scale to gauge the pensioners’ sense of well-being or happiness.
Retired educational personnel marked themselves generally higher than pensioners from other professions in terms of well-being, returning an average score of 4.02, which was higher than the overall average of 3.76 points.
Retired civil servants came in second with a score of 3.96, followed by former employees of the banking, insurance and financial services fields with an average score of 3.94.
In contrast, those who retired from the military or police service were discontented overall. The sense of well-being was also relatively low among the agriculture, forestry, fishery, manufacturing and service sectors.
CDRI deputy director Wu Shih-hao (吳師豪) said military and police pensioners’ low sense of well-being probably resulted from their unfamiliarity with slower-paced and less orderly lives in retirement.
As to the lower level of satisfaction felt by pensioners from the agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors, Wu said, the reason might lie in their relatively small disposable incomes.
According to the survey, about 60 percent of local pensioners have a monthly disposable income of less than NT$20,000, compared with an average of NT$45,000 in disposable income for retirees from the education, civil service and military sectors.
Female pensioners feel better about their retired life than their male counterparts and can adapt faster to retirement, the results showed.
The poll found that those who have been retired for six to 10 years are happiest, while those who have been retired for more than 10 years are less happy, probably because of declining health and lessened interaction with friends, Wu said.