Subjective Well-Being of Russians: the Risks of Preretirement Age

Subjective Well-Being of Russians:
the Risks of Preretirement Age

Manuilskaya K.M.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Research Fellow, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecast of RANEPA, Moscow, Russia.

Solodovnikova O.B.

Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Research Fellow, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecast of RANEPA, Moscow, Russia.

Malkova E.E.

Research Fellow, Institute of Social Analysis and Forecast of RANEPA, Moscow, Russia.

ID of the Article: 9492

The article was prepared within the framework of the RANEPA State task

For citation:

Manuilskaya K.M., Solodovnikova O.B., Malkova E.E. Subjective Well-Being of Russians: the Risks of Preretirement Age. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 2. P. 104-114


The authors of the paper analyse the aspects of subjective well-being in different age groups of Russian people, with focus on the study of subjective well-being in preretirement age. The results of the national telephone survey conducted by Institute of Social Analysis and Forecasting, RANEPA in 2021 demonstrate that respondents at age 56–65 are the most vulnerable social group in the country. The preretirement age can be called the most disadvantaged age in Russia, although it is traditionally perceived within the administrative system as an unproblematic category of citizens, characterized by a steady demand for stability, predictable behavior and formed attitudes. In answers to the question “In general, how do you assess your life today – as good, rather good, rather bad, or bad?” people of preretirement and early retirement age are more likely than other respondents to choose the variants “bad” or “rather bad” (42% of respondents, in comparison with sample average of 28%). The article attempts to identify the causes of this phenomenon as well as the main factors affecting subjective well-being in the “third age”. The authors conclude that changes in social status, i.e. foremost retirement, family changes (children leaving the parental home) and changes in family support networks, physical discomfort, are the main factors for transformation in subjective well-being experience. As a result, there is a decline in the emotional state, a lack of expectations for the future and anxiety state, which can lead to social exclusion. The article was written on the basis of the RANEPA state assignment research programme.

subjective well-being; third age; pension reform; life satisfaction; aging adults; vulnerable age


Гимпельсон В.Е., Капелюшников Р.И., Вишневская Н.Т. Российский рынок труда через призму демографии. М.: НИУ ВШЭ, 2020. С. 145–204. [Gimpelson V.E., Kapelyushnikov R.I., Vishnevskaya N.T. (2020) Russian labor market through the prism of demography. Moscow: NIU VHSE: 145–204. (In Russ.)]. DOI: 10.17323/978-5-7598-2167-0.

Колпина Л.В., Бояринова И.В., Вангородская С.А. Некоторые аспекты субъективной детерминации здоровья представителей старших возрастных групп // Nomothetika: Философия. Социология. Право. 2020. Т. 45. № 4. С. 644–654. [Kolpina L.V., Boyarinova I.V., Vangorodskaya S.A. (2020) Some aspects of the subjective determination of the health of representatives of older age groups. Nomothetika: Filosofiya. Sociologiya. Pravo [Nomothetika: Philosophy. Sociology. Right]. Vol. 45. No. 4: 644–654. (In Russ.)]. DOI: 10.18413/2712-746X-2020-45-4-644-654.

Мануильская К.М. Самоопределение и самовосприятие людей старшего возраста: результаты фокус-групповых дискуссий // Общественные науки и современность. 2020. № 5. С. 155–164. [Manuilskaya K.M. (2020) Self-determination and self-perception of older people: the results of focus group discussions. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost’ [Social Sciences and Modernity]. No. 5: 155–164. (In Russ.)]. DOI: 10.31857/S086904990012329-3.

Bai X. (2019) Hong Kong Chinese aging adults voice financial care expectations in changing family and sociocultural contexts: implications for policy and services. Journal of Aging and Social Policy. Vol. 31: 415–444.

Blanchflower D.G., Oswald A.J. (2008) Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle? Social Science and Medicine. Vol. 66(8): 1733–1749.

Bussière С., Sirven N., Tessier P. (2021) Does ageing alter the contribution of health to subjective wellbeing? Social Science & Medicine. Vol. 268: 113456.

Carstensen L.L., Turan B., Scheibe S., Ram N., Ersner-Hershfield H., Samanez-Larkin G.R. et al. (2011) Emotional experience improves with age: Evidence based on over 10 years of experience sampling. Psychology and Aging. Vol. 26(1): 21–33.

Frijters P., Beatton T. (2012) The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. Vol. 82(2): 525–542.

Grant M.S., Back A.L., Dettmar N.S. (2021) Public Perceptions of Advance Care Planning, Palliative Care, and Hospice: A Scoping Review. Journal of Palliative Medicine. Vol. 24: 46–52.

Hajek A., König H.-H. (2021) Does the beginning and the end of income poverty affect psychosocial factors among middle-aged and older adults? Findings based on nationally representative longitudinal data. Aging & Mental Health. Vol. 25. Iss. 5: 906–912. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2020.1725740.

Heid A., Cartwright F., Wilson-Genderson M., Pruchno R. (2021) Challenges Experienced by Older People During the Initial Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Gerontologist. Vol. 61: 48–58.

Kahneman D., Deaton A. (2010) High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol. 107(38): 16489–16493.

Moreno-Agostino D., de la Fuente J., Leonardi M. et al. (2021) Mediators of the socioeconomic status and life satisfaction relationship in older adults: a multi-country structural equation modeling approach. Aging & Mental Health. Vol. 25. Iss. 3: 585–592. DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1698513.

Moreno-Agostino D., de la Torre-Luque A., de la Fuente J. et al. (2021) Determinants of Subjective Wellbeing Trajectories in Older Adults: A Growth Mixture Modeling Approach. Journal of Happiness Studies. Vol. 22: 709–726.

Ouchida K.M., Lachs M.S. (2015) Not for doctors only: Ageism in healthcare. Generations. Vol. 39(3): 46–57.

Steptoe A., Deaton A., Stone A.A. (2015) Subjective wellbeing, health, and ageing. Lancet. Vol. 385(9968): 640–648. DOI: 2443/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61489-0.

Varlamova M., Sinyavskaya O. (2021) Active Ageing Index in Russia – Identifying Determinants for Inequality. Journal of Population Ageing. Vol. 14: 69–90.

Weber J., Angerer P., Muller A. (2019) Individual consequences of age stereotypes on older workers: a systematic review. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie. No. 52: 188–205.


Content No 2, 2023