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Ageing and the life course: the confluence of family, work and housing trajectories International Symposium on Life-Course Studies NUI Galway, 23/24 October,

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Presentation on theme: "Ageing and the life course: the confluence of family, work and housing trajectories International Symposium on Life-Course Studies NUI Galway, 23/24 October,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ageing and the life course: the confluence of family, work and housing trajectories International Symposium on Life-Course Studies NUI Galway, 23/24 October, 2014 Jim Ogg Unité de Recherche sur le Vieillissement, CNAV, Paris

2 Two important contributions of the life course approach to the study of ageing  Chronological age by itself is not a marker from which to understand later life experiences  The social relationships of older people are generally robust:  Adult children continue to support their ageing parents  The life course approach allows us to see more clearly the importance of relationships across the domains of private and public spheres

3 Life course events between the age of 45 and 70 years Family relations Work and retirement Housing and the environment

4 The Baby-Boomer Study: London/Paris, 2006: Cnav/Ined  90 semi-structured interviews with birth cohort (age 50-59)  Method: to trace the history of the family life of the baby-boomers, from the time they grew up through to adulthood and into middle age  Object: to explore whether the baby boomer generation had reconciled the rise of individualism with family obligations

5 Family life: the impact of increased longevity Greater life expectancy Expansion of morbidity Increased demand for social and long-term care

6 Family life: competing priorities  Solène, age 57:  ‘My mother has a lift but doesn’t go out much. I don’t leave her on her own, I call her every evening; she calls me every evening. Just to make sure everything’s OK. I help her a little bit, but she’d like me to do much more, she’d like me to be around far more, but I just can’t, I’ve not gone down to a four-day week, I’m still working full time’.

7 Family life: changing solidarities  The expectation of filial duty and obligation to help ageing parents exist, but it is mitigated by other factors.  There are few instances where adult children are not involved in some way in caring for their elderly parents when help is needed.  Norms about family solidarity have certainly not disappeared, but they exist alongside greater individualism and the desire to feel unique and fulfilled.

8 Work and the transition to retirement Changes to the structure of work and a series of economic downturns have resulted in diverse patterns of work histories

9 Work and the transition to retirement: uncertainties and contradictions  Putting back the age of retirement remains unpopular  Retirement as an institution is under question  Current policies to increase the working life bring about uncertainties and contradictions

10 Housing wealth  Release housing equity to supplement incomes in retirement and/or to pay for long-term care?  Equity release schemes  Home reverse mortgages  BUT:  Uncertainties of the housing market  Impedes intergenerational transfers via inter vivo transfers and inheritance

11 Housing adaptations  The physical and psychological adaptations made to and within the context of home environments are contingent on the availability of different forms of socio-economic and cultural capital:  ‘Autonomous’ individuals either anticipate and act preventively to forestay any eventual problems or wait until a problem presents itself and act ‘when the time is right’.  Individuals with lower level levels of resources tend to act in concert with other family members or be resigned to not modifying or adapting their home environment.

12 Concluding comments  The importance of the interdependency of private and public spheres of life domains.  The challenge to build on the founding principles the of social welfare, such as ensuring income security in old age through just retirement systems, and redeveloping social insurance schemes for long-term care.  Thank you for your attention!

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14 Work and the transition to retirement Situation in year preceding retirement Retired between 2005 and 2008 (n=346) Retired between 2008 and 2011 (n=286) % col In wage employment Self-employed Unemployed Ill Home worker or inactive Other Total100% 41.5%35.8% Changes to the structure of work and a series of economic downturns have resulted in diverse patterns of work histories (Source: Gender and Generations Survey, France)

15 Publications from the Baby-boomer project

16 Increase in 75+, more time spent in a couple and above France métropole Source : Insee RP % of total Women % Married % * Increase in volume and % Shift men/womenLiving in a couple more frequent

17 Un facteur-clé : le marché immobilier 17 Source : OECD, 2012.

18 Les divers profils des emprunteurs des « equity release schemes » au Royaume-Uni 18 Source : Enquête sur l’usage de « equity release » en Angleterre, Overton, 2009.


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