On SAGE Insight: Preparations for Old Age and Well-Being in Later Life in Thailand: Gender Matters?

From Journal of Applied Gerontology

Longer life expectancy and increasing proportions of older persons within countries are contributing to growing interest among researchers and policy makers in how individuals and societies are preparing for population aging. Thailand is no exception. According to the United Nations (UN) estimates, the population of 60 years and above accounted for 15.8% of the total population in 2015 and is expected to increase to approximately 40% by 2050.

Data from the 2011 Survey of Older Persons in Thailand examines the association between preparations for old age (financial, health, caregiving, living arrangements, and spiritual) and three measures of well-being: financial satisfaction, life satisfaction, and physical health.

Utilizing nationally representative data from Thailand, this study sought to identify the relationship between older adults’ preparation for old age and their post-retirement well-being based on their satisfaction with finances, overall life satisfaction, and self-rated health. The findings reveal that preparation for old age is positively associated with all well-being outcomes. This study contributes to the literature with new evidence regarding the gendered dimensions of the association between planning for later life and post-retirement well-being, as well as by exploring the influence of social stratification in Thailand. Overall, the results support existing research that men and women differ in their preparation for later life.

Societies must recognize that structured preparations for later life are not available to all persons. Furthermore, reflexive planning and preparation, whereby one adjusts their later life plans according to the reconfigurations of their social and material resources, is also difficult especially if one is already in an economically vulnerable position. Moreover, in Thailand, as in other parts of the world, well-being in later life is gender sensitive. As population aging is a feminized phenomenon, and future older adults may be less able to rely on family members for support, it is crucial for societies to emphasize gender equality in paid and unpaid labor, and strengthen social protection policies for all segments of society so that individuals can effectively prepare for later life..

Abstract

Data from the 2011 Survey of Older Persons in Thailand examines the association between preparations for old age (financial, health, caregiving, living arrangements, and spiritual) and three measures of well-being: financial satisfaction, life satisfaction, and physical health. The study further explores the role of social stratification and the gendered nature of these relationships. The sample (N = 10,235) is restricted to adults 60 years and above, who are retired and answered the survey independently. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicate that different forms of preparation are positively associated with post-retirement well-being for men and women but socioeconomic resources are positively associated with all three well-being outcomes. Furthermore, for women, there are significant negative interaction effects of income and financial preparation on life satisfaction, as well as negative interaction effects of disability and caregiver preparation on self-rated health. Implications for long-term care, socioeconomic inequality, and gender inequality in paid labor are discussed.

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Article details
Preparations for Old Age and Well-Being in Later Life in Thailand: Gender Matters?
Wiraporn Pothisiri, Nekehia T. Quashie
DOI: 10.1177/0733464816649281
Vol 37, Issue 6, 2018
Journal of Applied Gerontology,

 

 

 

     
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