Women Confronting Retirement showcases the voices of thirty-eight women from a wide range of professions, ages, and life situations as they confront the need to redefine who they are when they leave the workplace behind them. The women of the Baby Boom generation were the first to enter the professional world in large numbers, and the first to encounter the hazards of retirement. The contributors urge us to reach for new approaches to this major stage of life, to find new self-images, to balance meaningful work and creative play, and to work for the new public policies that support enhanced opportunities for retirement. Many of these women were involved in the key activist movements of the sixties and seventies, and their work often has been an extension of their social commitment. Defining themselves through their careers, they have challenged traditional models at every stage of their lives and are now being challenged by their own negative stereotypes about retirement.
The stories in this book compellingly chronicle the fears and hopes of women who have only begun to think about retirement, those who are in the process of retiring, some who have been retired for many years, and a few who have decided that retirement is not for them. They address issues such as identity, aging, creativity, family, and community. Unlike traditional “how-to” books, Women Confronting Retirement makes clear how individual the choices are, how there are no right and wrong answers to the many questions this uncharted stage of life poses for women of the Baby Boom generation, and those who follow. These women help us to explore the next steps with the same courage and questioning attitudes that they have brought to every aspect of their lives before they reached retirement age.