Title

Retirement Experience as Transition to Old Age

Start Time

21-10-2011 9:45 AM

End Time

21-10-2011 10:15 AM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Retirement is a critical life event in the process of transition from mature adulthood into old age. Occupational scientists study how retirees experience change throughout an occupational career (Russel, 2001). The personal meaning of the experience of occupational transition between worker and retiree are of interest to this researcher. In Japan, 94% of employers have mandatory retirement, 86% at 60-yearsold. 63% of people 58-61 yrs. would like to continue to work even beyond the age of 65. After mandatory retirement, 40% of employers offer some employees irregular, temporary status positions (Shigegaki, 2009).

Purpose: The purpose of this in-process sub-study, part of a larger project to investigate the retirement experience and find strategies to aid occupational adaptation to the new stage in one’s life course, is to analyze the experience of retirement occupational transitions of five professionals.

Methods: Four women and one man, 61-70 years old, participated in this research in Shizuoka, Japan. All were professionals who had experienced mandatory retirement. The participants had two to five individual interviews, totaling 5-10 hours. They were asked about their life history, life before and after retirement, and the experience of work and retirement. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A phenomenological approach was used to explore their occupational experience. Triangulation occurred through discussing findings with participants and interpretation with peers.

Results: Retirement from work did not occur with mandatory retirement from their professional job. Four participants had post-retirement full-time jobs and one had a part time job. Their retirement experience began as workers with new, but frequently related jobs through which they recreated their identity, investing time and energy.

The meaning of work had changed for them over their life. When young, work meant challenge, becoming an adult, occupational identity and social responsibility. Later, meanings of work changed to responsibility, stress, fatigue, but satisfaction.

After mandatory retirement they adapted to new jobs, and experienced less stress, more enjoyment in work. They advise younger employees on how to work in and for society, using accumulated skills and wisdom in occupations as work mentors, not yet those of a traditional retiree. The continuity of their occupational careers provides a gradual transition in retirement, reducing the crisis of this life event.

Limitations: This sub-study does not include non-professional retirees.

Discussion Question:

  1. I describe retirement experience about my participants. Is it different from people in your society?

References

Russel, E.S. (2001). The Occupational Career Revisited. Journal of Occupational Science, 8, 5-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2001.9686484

Shigegaki, H. (2009). Shakai to kigyouno katuryoku wo umu koureisha no koyou. [Employment of the Aged to activate the Society and Companies.] 34-47. http://www.jeed.or.jp/data/elderly/statistics/statistics01.html#sec09

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Oct 21st, 9:45 AM Oct 21st, 10:15 AM

Retirement Experience as Transition to Old Age

Retirement is a critical life event in the process of transition from mature adulthood into old age. Occupational scientists study how retirees experience change throughout an occupational career (Russel, 2001). The personal meaning of the experience of occupational transition between worker and retiree are of interest to this researcher. In Japan, 94% of employers have mandatory retirement, 86% at 60-yearsold. 63% of people 58-61 yrs. would like to continue to work even beyond the age of 65. After mandatory retirement, 40% of employers offer some employees irregular, temporary status positions (Shigegaki, 2009).

Purpose: The purpose of this in-process sub-study, part of a larger project to investigate the retirement experience and find strategies to aid occupational adaptation to the new stage in one’s life course, is to analyze the experience of retirement occupational transitions of five professionals.

Methods: Four women and one man, 61-70 years old, participated in this research in Shizuoka, Japan. All were professionals who had experienced mandatory retirement. The participants had two to five individual interviews, totaling 5-10 hours. They were asked about their life history, life before and after retirement, and the experience of work and retirement. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A phenomenological approach was used to explore their occupational experience. Triangulation occurred through discussing findings with participants and interpretation with peers.

Results: Retirement from work did not occur with mandatory retirement from their professional job. Four participants had post-retirement full-time jobs and one had a part time job. Their retirement experience began as workers with new, but frequently related jobs through which they recreated their identity, investing time and energy.

The meaning of work had changed for them over their life. When young, work meant challenge, becoming an adult, occupational identity and social responsibility. Later, meanings of work changed to responsibility, stress, fatigue, but satisfaction.

After mandatory retirement they adapted to new jobs, and experienced less stress, more enjoyment in work. They advise younger employees on how to work in and for society, using accumulated skills and wisdom in occupations as work mentors, not yet those of a traditional retiree. The continuity of their occupational careers provides a gradual transition in retirement, reducing the crisis of this life event.

Limitations: This sub-study does not include non-professional retirees.

Discussion Question:

  1. I describe retirement experience about my participants. Is it different from people in your society?