Retirement saving and mental health in China

Dong Chen, Dennis Petrie, Kam Tang, Dongjie Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Chinese population is aging rapidly while both the pension systemis underdeveloped and the traditional family care arrangement is in retreat. This article's objective is to assess the relationship between concerns over retirement saving sufficiency and the mental health status of middle-aged and older Chinese adults, and identify the socioeconomic and demographic profile of those with insufficient retirement savings. A survey from about 2000 respondents collected information on self-assessed physical and mental health status based on the EQ-5D-5L framework, self-assessed longevity, retirement plans and financial preparedness and socioeconomic status. Multivariate ordered logistic regressions are used to identify the relationship between mental health status, financial preparedness for retirement and self-assessed longevity, as well as socioeconomic factors associated with mental health status and financial preparedness for retirement respectively. It is found that 59% of the respondents thought that they have not saved, or will not be able to save enough for their retirement. For these people, the odds of having less anxiety or depression are 0.36 (95% CIs: 0.16 0.43) times lower than those who are financially prepared. Havingmore external sources of financial assistance including family and governments, did not help ease mental distress. Rural people are half as likely to be financially prepared for retirement, regardless of whether they remain in rural areas or migrate to cities. Health promotion strategies should consider the role for financial planning in improvingmental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • aging
  • mental health
  • urban and rural comparison

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