In the work that follows, I present four empirical studies. The first two studies concentrate on the effects of health shocks, financial incentives and their interactions on the propensity to exit the labour market either through the retirement or the inactivity / disability route. They aim to provide evidence for the two research questions posed in the previous paragraph. The last two chapters look two types of health perceptions that are commonly used in modeling several economic decisions, in particular decisions about labour force participation, and investigate the validity and formation of forward and backward looking health perceptions. The third chapter compares the validity of two alternative ways of measuring recent health changes by examining their ability to predict subsequent survival. The fourth chapter does the same for survival expectations but also goes on to examine their formation.