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The experience of the transition to retirement: Rapid evidence review

Retirement from work is a major life transition. For many, retirement from paid employment is something to look forward to. But for others, retirement can pose many challenges and they find it difficult to adjust to their new role and circumstances.

The nature of retirement is itself undergoing a period of transition. Governments in many countries have enacted policies to encourage people to work until later in life. Alongside a general increase in labour market participation amongst older workers, we are also witnessing the emergence of new forms of working in later life, such as partial retirement, bridge jobs and un-retirement. These new ways of working and retiring present a range of challenges and opportunities for older workers.

The purpose of this rapid evidence review is to synthesise the existing research on the experience of the retirement transitions to better understand how best to help individuals navigate this transition. This information is crucial if key groups in society, such as policymakers, employers, advocacy groups, retirees and those preparing for retirement are to act to address these issues.

We were tasked with answering two research questions:

1. What are people’s attitudes towards their upcoming retirement and what determines any variation in outlook?

2. What are people’s experiences of the period post-retirement and what determines any variation in those experiences?

The experience of the transition to retirement: Rapid evidence review

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