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Gerontological literature abounds with studies of retirement and has successfully refuted many of the prevailing myths and misconceptions about the negative effects that retirement was purported to have upon health, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Atchley (1971) concluded that a large majority of retirees generally expressed satisfaction with retirement. Heidbreder (1972) and Streib and Schneider (1971) also found mostly positive attitudes expressed by professional, white-collar and blue-collar workers and a majority in each occupational group reported that they were pleasantly surprised with their ease of adjustment to retirement. These and other studies, however, relied almost exclusively upon surveys of urban populations. The elderly farm population has been somewhat ignored by researchers in the field of gerontology and this study is designed to shed some light on this group's attitudes toward and patterns of retirement. The purposes of this study are two-fold: (1) identify and compare farm operators' retirement attitudes and practices to the findings of research on non-farm occupations; and (2) identify patterns of retirement exhibited by elderly farm operators.



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