In this research project, we will study the retirement process entrepreneurs and the underlying personal, organizational and societal factors that are associated with the decision to transfer into retirement in micro and small-sized enterprises. The aim of this interdisciplinary study, combining contemporary theories of psychology and ageing, is to understand a societally important phenomenon, entrepreneurs’ retirement process i.e. retirement plans, decision making, and transition and adjustment to life in retirement. Knowledge of entrepreneurs’ retirement processes is needed, not only to help them transition and adjust to life in retirement, but also to secure successful transfer of business and preservation of future jobs. To support retiring entrepreneurs, information will be produced concerning 1) the timing of the retirement transition, 2) the drivers behind retirement decisions and 3) factors promoting adjustment to life in retirement. We will collect a quantitative follow-up study among 250 retiring entrepreneurs. In addition, we will collect qualitative data by asking ageing entrepreneurs to write narratives regarding the role of family and social network in their retirement process. The longitudinal Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) will be used to explore adjustment to retirement among ageing entrepreneurs.
Academy Research Fellow Monika von Bonsdorff, Gerontology Research Center, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä