Retirement History Longitudinal Survey Series

Investigator(s): Social Security Administration

In 1969, the Office of Research and Statistics of the Social Security Administration designed a ten-year longitudinal study to investigate the changes in the economic and social characteristics of men and unmarried women in the United States, aged 58-63, as they approached and entered the retirement phase of their lives. The main purpose of the study was to assess the Social Security Program's provisions for retired workers, not only for recording the socioeconomic situation of Social Security beneficiaries, but also to aid policymakers in planning program changes. A series of six biennial surveys was conducted by the United States Census Bureau beginning in 1969 and ending in 1979. The surveys cover the following areas: (1) labor force history, (2) retirement and retirement plans, (3) health, (4) household, family, and social activities, and (5) income, assets, and debts.