Psychological perspectives on the changing nature of retirement

Am Psychol. 2011 Apr;66(3):170-9. doi: 10.1037/a0022411.


The concept and the process of retirement are rapidly evolving. As a result, psychologists are in a unique position to understand and explain the dynamics behind the changing face of retirement. We begin this article with a brief overview of the history of retirement and then note the various definitions used when studying retirement. We then propose that taking a temporal view of studying retirement would be most advantageous for psychologists. Psychological conceptualizations of retirement are then discussed, and we link these conceptualizations to studying the changing nature of retirement. Finally, we conclude with some suggestions for future research in the area of retirement that would be particularly relevant for psychologists to consider.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Pensions
  • Research
  • Retirement / psychology*