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Patterns Retirement

The Institutionalization Of Retirement, From Early Retirement To Variable Retirement, Gender And Retirement, The Future Of Retirement

The pattern of retirement at the end of the work career is shaped less by aging per se than by institutional mechanisms that provide incentives and support structures for workers’ exits from the labor force. The origins of retirement institutions across industrial societies have been traced to emergent economic and governmental conditions in the late nineteenth century. These institutions developed gradually until the mid-twentieth century, then rapidly over the next quarter-century, and are undergoing critical review and reorganization in the early twenty-first century. Factors driving these developments changed over time, and ranged from the politics of veterans’ pensions to class politics in the context of economic downturns and globalization. The twenty-first-century reorganization of retirement and other welfare institutions is being motivated by population aging, the growing insecurity of financial and labor markets stemming from global economic restructuring, and the changing nature of the family. These changes raise questions regarding the future of retirement as a standardized and permanent age-related transition from an income status based on employment to one based on transfers and assets at the end of the work career.

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Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 4