A Life-Course Perspective on Housing Expectations and Shifts in Late Midlife

This US study applies a life-course approach and retirement migration theory to develop a model of future housing expectations and actual moves for a random sample of men and women in late midlife. Results suggest that late-midlife workers and retirees expect to age in place; expectations to live in highly supportive environments are uniformly low. Older, non metropolitan respondents with less education and more years in their homes express the strongest expectations that they will age in place. Those people who rent their homes, have weaker ties to their communities, and have more symptoms of depression tend to foresee a move in the future. However, physical health of respondents and their spouses do not predict future housing expectations. Prior expectations about aging in place, residential history, and life-course changes in marriage and retirement predict actual moves within the next two years, with differing patterns for men and women.