paid employment to retirement or from full-time paid employment to part-time or temporary postretirement work is of great importance for individual well-being. The process of aging is in most respects gradual; in contrast, retirement for many people is an abrupt transition. Whether it comes as welcome or unwelcome, retirement signals significant changes in an individual's (or couple's) pattern of activity, use of time, and network of social relations. It is a life event of major importance with implications for both the stock and flow of well-being.
Cross-national research on aging should include the development of overall measures of subjective well-being (life satisfaction), as well as further development and assessment of measures of emotional states and moods. Cross-national comparisons should also include the experience of major life events, especially those stressful events that are increasingly likely in old age, such as illness, bereavement, retirement (complete or partial), and changes in activity patterns.