Ageing Baby-boomers, Housing Wealth and Retirement Trajectories

Misa IZUHARA, Ray FORREST

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Abstract

This paper examines the interconnections between housing wealth, returns to education and retirement trajectories of the ageing baby-boomer generation. In particular, it explores the substantial, unprecedented but highly uneven pattern of housing wealth accumulation enjoyed by the post-war ‘generation own’. There is also a positive and systematic relationship between income levels and levels of housing wealth across this generation. These new relationships between the length of the earning working life, income, education and housing wealth are assuming progressively greater importance with societal ageing signalling growing inequalities within older cohorts and their differentiated patterns into retirement. By bringing housing wealth more fully into the equation, this paper attempts to go beyond conventional indicators of income, qualification and nominal retirement age to analyse retirement inequalities. Drawing on data from the UK census, governments surveys and other secondary sources as well as setting in the context of trends in other home-owning societies, it examines these relationships via three contrasting ‘biographies’ of the post-war babyboomers: ‘Equity rich intelligentsia’ (highly-educated older individuals who own multiple properties and work longer in the knowledge economy), ‘Moderate equity retired’ (retired early and using housing equity to meet welfare need in old age) and ‘Equity poor workers’ (less-qualified homeowners with mortgage debts who continue to work for financial necessity). In doing so, it offers new perspectives on processes of social stratification and the widening of inequalities in contemporary Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Event14th European Sociological Association Conference: Europe and Beyond : Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Aug 201923 Aug 2019
https://www.europeansociology.org/conferences/esa-conference-2019-manchester-uk

Conference

Conference14th European Sociological Association Conference
Abbreviated titleESA2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period20/08/1923/08/19
Internet address

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IZUHARA, M., & FORREST, R. (2019). Ageing Baby-boomers, Housing Wealth and Retirement Trajectories. Paper presented at 14th European Sociological Association Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.