The Case For Phased Retirement

The Case For Phased Retirement
Photo by stevepb (Pixabay)

In the same way that flexibility has come to the workplace — where, when and how we work — so, too, has arrived the age of the tailor-made retirement. Phased retirements, bridge jobs, “un-retirement” and second and third acts have caught on. Workers are demanding it, and firms have good cause to accommodate the idea that work does not one day simply stop.


“One of the reasons is that our life-spans are expanding and people are healthier longer, and so there were a lot of wasted resources with people retiring on an old industrial age model,” says Stewart Friedman, a practice professor of management at Wharton and director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project. “There is also, because of the economic pressures, the fact that workers have to extend their working lives to pay for their longer lives. It’s inevitable — because of the changes in medicine and lifestyle, it’s a lot less punishing for me to be doing what I am doing than it was for my grandfather.”