Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


Date of this Version

Spring 5-1974


Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College in the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Adult Education Area Under the Supervision of Roger P. Hiemstra


This study was designed to determine how older workers in Nebraska perceived their own retirement situation, specifically as related to financial issues and pre-retirement planning. Twelve questions were developed as guides: for use in conducting this study. These questions were designed to determine older worker perceptions of: Personal retirement income adequacy, proportion of pre-retirement income necessary for retirement, responsibility for retiree finances, the role of children in the retirement finances of older persons, the responsibility of the government, present retiree income situation, willingness to make increased social security payments In order to increase the income of present retirees and themselves, spokesmen or leaders seen as most influential in improving the financial conditions of retired people, the need for pre-retirement planning, groups responsible for providing pre-retirement planning education and assistance, and the point in their work life that pre-retirement planning should begin. The sample population was limited to older workers age 45 and above, employed at randomly selected manufacturing firms in full-time blue collar jobs for which the entry level education requirement was high school graduate or less. Data collected for this study were obtained via a survey questionnaire from 372 respondents. The survey questionnaire was constructed and pre-tested by the researcher. The data were analyzed in terms of providing answers to the original twelve guide questions. Responses were further compared on the basis of personal characteristics to determine possible relationships. Important results of the study are summarized as follows: More than half of the participant s felt their retirement finances would be inadequate. Approximately half indicated they would need more than 60 percent of their current income to achieve an adequate retirement income. Over half of the respondents perceived the government as responsible for indigent retirees. The second most indicated group was business or industry. None of the participants felt that their children should be a major retirement income source. Most felt that children should not participate in the retirement support of family members at all or help out only in special emergencies. Approximately two thirds of the respondents felt that present retiree income was inadequate. Participants were willing to make increased social security payments to improve benefits for both themselves and present retirees. Government and business were the groups seen as the most influential spokesmen to improve financial conditions. A majority of respondents felt that the average person’s preparation for retirement was inadequate. The majority felt that planning should begin at least 10 or more years prior to retirement. Respondents were not in agreement as to sponsorship or location for pre-retirement information programs. A majority of the respondents looked forward to their own retirement. The major recommendation, for which specific policies are suggested, is that immediate and positive action be taken by adult educators in Nebraska to coordinate research, development and implementation of pre-retirement planning programs to meet the expressed needs of the older workers.