Experience of Chinese Recent Retirees on the Effects of Retirement on Healthy Ageing in Shenzhen and Hong Kong

Daniel W. L. Lai*, Yong Xin Ruan, Julia Juan Wang, Emma H. S. Liu, Jia Jia Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study examined perspectives of recent retirees in Shenzhen and Hong Kong on how retirement influenced their healthy ageing. It investigated retirees' perceptions of healthy ageing and the ways in which healthy ageing connected with retirees' transition into retirement. A qualitative design with narrative interviews was used to interview twelve recent retirees in Shenzhen and thirteen in Hong Kong. The participants elaborated their perspectives on healthy ageing, which covered physical, mental, social, and financial domains. Retirees in both cities identified healthy ageing as maintaining an independent life and avoiding becoming a burden on family members. This study found that retirement declined physical health (in parallel with raised awareness of health promotion), posed both negative and positive influences on mental health, and shrank peripheral social networks of retirees. In addition, regional social welfare systems have different impacts on retirees' financial security and social participation. Retirees in Hong Kong reported higher stress of financial security and a strong desire for labor participation. Migrant-local welfare gaps were documented by retirees in Shenzhen. This study suggested that retirement planning, establishing a multi-pillar retirement-protection system, and narrowing the welfare gap between migrants and local residents should be implemented to reinforce healthy ageing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2820
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • retirement
  • healthy ageing
  • participation
  • financial benefits
  • China
  • Hong Kong


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