Retirement and Encore Adulthood: The New Later Life Course

Phyllis Moen, Jack Lam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Retirement became an institutionalized, primarily male, later life-course transition by the middle of the twentieth century; an expected, routine exit from a lifetime of paid work that was also seen as the passage to old age. However, large-scale social forces (globalization, aging populations, women's labor force participation, reduced social protections) have upended conventional expectations about retirement and the later life course. The period roughly between ages 55 and 75. years has arguably become a new life course stage, an 'encore' to conventional adulthood occurring typically after the career- and family-building years, but prior to the infirmities associated with old age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Constrained choices
  • Encore adulthood
  • Engagement
  • Family caregiving
  • Gendered life course
  • Health
  • Institutional theory
  • Later life-course populations
  • Retirement
  • Work


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