Dear People ("Especially!" those in the US),

As I mailed here before, I am carrying out a web questionnaire. I would like to ask you views on it before I field the questionnaire in. Let me make a small introduction to the subject. My PhD topic is about "gradual retirement" which means that an employee does not retire abruptly from full time work but gradually reduce his or her work effort (hours) before full retirement. For example, holding a part time work after full time work at about age 65 is a simple example of gradual retirement. In my project I try to discover the "preferences" of American respondents for gradual retirement. Let me do not give more information about it because it may bias your evaluation. What you see below will appear on a screen on the computer of the respondents. The respondents are a random sample of American society, with about 1500 respondents. These respondents have agreed to answer our questions. In evaluating the questions you will wonder about our methodology: we consider retirement plans of hypothetical persons. There are scientific reasons for such kind of methodology. Please feel free to express your concerns about the methodology but I would appreciate if you could pay attention rather to the language and general understandability of the questions (the questions will appear later. For the time being it is only the instructions).

What I would like to ask:

1. Please have a look at the instructions below and please check my grammar, and language. Is everything understandable for the average US person?

2. I have asked this before but I still cannot make a decision: I provide the labor and pension income as "net:" and I explain what "net" means below. Some of you mentioned that the average US citizen would tell you their "gross" income right off their mind but they would think about their "net" income. Therefore you suggested to consider gross income in the questions that I consider (not pasted here but I will paste later. But those questions always include a table like one indicated below) Please express your view: Should I indicate gross or net income? (pay attention that it is monthly income not annual: maybe people know easily their annual gross income but not monthly gross income but maybe they know their net monthly income than their gross monthly income?). What would be the most appropriate thing to do for the average US person? To present net or gross income in such a setting below:

These are the two main issues for the moment. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and time.


In the following questions we describe a number of retirement plans of hypothetical persons. These retirement plans are shown on a timeline. Here is an example, the retirement plan of Nicole:













Gradual Retirement


Work Hours

40 hours

24 hours










1. Above the colored lines you see the age of Nicole.

2. The colored lines indicate the labor market status at the indicated ages. In particular:

· the blue line indicates that Nicole works full-time

· the red line indicates that Nicole works part-time

· the black line indicates that Nicole is fully retired

3. Under the colored lines we indicate, for the corresponding ages:

· the number of hours per week Nicole works

· the net labor income per month she earns

· the net pension income per month she receives

We realize that the retirement plans of this kind may be very different from your own and that your employer may not even offer plans like this. Still, we ask you to evaluate each retirement plan or choose between several retirement plans, given your own preferences. When doing this please assume that

· The described persons work in the same industry, in the same type of job, and under similar work conditions as you do. They are as satisfied with their work as you are.

· The described persons' social and family lives are similar to yours.

· The described persons' employer fully cooperates with all the options that are described.

· The stated (pension) incomes are in current prices. That is, the incomes are adjusted for future price increases.

· ‘Net income’ means income after tax, social security contributions, etc.

· The pension income includes Social Security income and occupational pension provided by the employer.

· The period of full-time work (blue line) starts before age 62, and the period of full-time retirement (black line) continues after age 72. Hence, in the example, Nicole also earns net $3000 per month before age 62, and receives a pension benefit of net $2400 per month after age 72.
The table did not appear correct above. It must have been as follows:

................62 63 64.......65...66...67...68...69.....70...71...72

-----------------Work------Gradual Retirement-----Retirement
Work Hours----40 hours--------24 hours---------------0
Dear people, 

Please ignore the last table, it totally went wrong for a reason I do not know. 

Just consider the first message but please imagine that above the 

"work" "gradual retirement" "retirement" the following ages are indicated:

"work" 62 63 64

"gradual retirement" 65 66 67 68 69

"retirement" 70 71 72