UK - A transition refers to the change or turning point at various stages in a person's life, writes Mary Davies, director at the Pre-Retirement Association.
These transitions may be influenced by social forces such as employment. However, many transitions are nowadays more dependent on individual action and responsibility.
Recent research has shown that a crisp transition from employment to retirement at a standard age is being replaced by a part-time work pathway as a bridge into retirement for some people. So the timing of retirement and the routes into it are now more varied and unpredictable.
Transitions after the age of 50 are not just about work and retirement. For many, life is now more “crowded”, children do not always leave the nest and large numbers of baby boomers have elderly parents to care for.
The idea of “stepping down” in terms of activity levels, is being replaced by the idea of “stepping across”.
According to some, modern life is one in which self-development is a more individual and less institutionalised process. This means that the prime objectives for transitions after 50 would be to strengthen people’s engagement in civil society and support a broad range of activities and relationships.
Three overlapping transitions have been proposed:
- Citizenship transitions, constructed around closer involvement with family, friends and community.- Consumer and leisure transitions.- Work transitions constructed around new types of engagement with paid work.
This transformed life course means that on the one hand there are more possibilities and potential and on the other, more uncertainty and risks.
The possibility of uncertainty and risk will be greater if people do not have an adequate income at all stages of the life course, especially in retirement.
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