- This research deals with individuals who have remained in independent
housing after retirement. The study attempted to describe
the physical characteristics of their housing, to study the stated satisfaction
and to study the relationship of the satisfaction with housing,
retirement, and income. Three main areas were considered: 1) a
description of the amount of space in selected living areas, 2) a description
of the housing features that were most satisfying, and 3) a
measurement of satisfaction with this housing, with retirement, and
with present income.
All respondents were 1) women, 2) either single or widowed
at least a year, 3) retired, 4) maintaining independent housing situations
unassociated with specially planned retirement housing, 5) living
in the Corvallis, Oregon metropolitan area, and 6) at one time had
been employed by Oregon State University or married to someone who
had been an employee of Oregon State University.
The names of qualified participants were obtained from the
office of the Oregon State University President. These women were
contacted by a letter which explained the research. An appointment
was then made for the author to interview each of them. An interview
schedule was used to collect the data.
The questions in the interview schedule concerned: 1) personal
information, 2) description of past housing and future plans, 3) description
of social interests, 4) description of the house, 5) importance
of selected living areas, 6) satisfaction with housing, 7) satisfaction
with retirement, and 8) satisfaction with income.
The respondents ranged in age from 64 through 96. Of this
group 55.8% had graduated from college compared to a national average
of 4%. 64.7% considered themselves in better than average
Twenty-seven owned and seven rented the homes they were
living in. Six had lived in rented houses for a longer period of time
than they had lived in houses they had owned. The average number of
rooms for the sample was 5.9 compared to 4.9 for the total United
All of the respondents had a hobby or collection or both. All
of the respondents entertained in some way in their homes, and all
except one had overnight guests.
When each woman was asked to describe her living room,
dining room, kitchen, and bathroom, 74.3% described these rooms as either "adequate" or "perfect." 13.2% were described as "too
small," but none were described as "too large." When asked for suggestions
for changes or additions for their present housing, 19 suggestions
involved enlarging the area or room.
When asked what features they liked most about their houses,
the features mentioned were: 1) specific rooms and areas, 2) location
of the house on the lot and within the community, 3) physical
characteristics such as room arrangement, 4) the whole house in
general, 5) spaciousness, 6) circulation or traffic within the house,
and 7) the view.
When rating the importance of the various areas, the living
room was considered important by all respondents, and a dining area
outside of the kitchen area was considered important by slightly over
two-thirds of these women.
Analysis of the responses to the questions on satisfaction revealed
65.6% were satisfied with their housing; 67.7% were satisfied
with retirement; 73.3% were satisfied with their income. The relationship
between retirement and income was similar to that found in
the study by Crabtree (1966). A positive relationship was found to
exist between these three items.