Profiles of Interdependence: The Retirement Planning of Married, Cohabiting, and Lesbian Couples

Research paper by Steven E. Mock, Steven W. Cornelius

Indexed on: 17 May '07Published on: 17 May '07Published in: Sex roles


As the traditional nuclear family gives way to diverse couple types, questions regarding planning and satisfaction within relationships can be applied to partnerships outside of traditional marriages. The levels of interdependence in retirement planning and timing were investigated across three couple types: married heterosexual couples, cohabiting heterosexual couples, and lesbian couples. Analyses suggested that although all couples were interdependent in their retirement plans, this may be particularly the case for lesbian couples’ financial planning. In addition, relationship satisfaction was significantly associated with retirement lifestyle planning, but more so for lesbian couples than for heterosexual couples. The results are discussed in terms of gender, couple dynamics, and the social structures inherent in the three different couple types.