Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bauer-Maglin (director, CUNY Graduate Ctr.) and Radosh, who has taught psychology at Brooklyn College, have compiled this timely volume just as the baby boomer women come into retirement age. The book offers 32 reflective essays and interviews, mostly by women who have, or who are about to, retire. Two-thirds are academics with university jobs that give them pension plans and opportunities to continue working in some form. Few of the essayists are facing hard economic choices beyond the age of 65. With the exception of some caregiving essays, the issues discussed lean toward leisure-class concerns (e.g., the loss of professional identity, doing meaningful work in retirement). Though generally lacking in diversity, the collection does feature a lesbian couple, a disabled Native American, and an African American single mom who won't be able to retire. This meditative, anecdotal approach presents many lively, enterprising women, some of whom have tried new adventures in retirement-Peace Corps volunteer, house renovator, horse breeder, and political activist. As a complement to Nancy Dailey's more academic and statistical study When Baby Boom Women Retire, this is recommended for larger public and academic libraries.-Janet Sassi, New York Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813531250
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Thinking About Retirement 31
One More Stretch of the Road 33
The Old Brown Bag and the Used Tinfoil : Lessons from My Mother about Work and Retirement 40
Exploring the No-Woman's Land of Old Age; or, How May Sarton's Counterstory Prepare Me for Retirement 53
Clearing a Path to Retirement: Excerpts from a Journal 66
Retiring into Intensity, Experiencing "Deep Play" 79
On My Own Terms 89
Cut Me Some Slack: Reflections on the Eve of Retirement 97
Making a Difference 108
Rethinking Ambition: Women on the Edge of Retiring 117
Circling the Wagons: A Guide to Lesbian Retirement 126
Baby Boom Women: The Generation of Firsts 150
Pt. 2 Stages Of Retirement 159
Notes from the First Year 161
Time to Look Back: My Family and the Movement 177
Every Day a Sunday? Reflections on a First Year of Retirement 187
Cheating a Self in Context 201
"The Last of Life for Which the First Was Made" 216
Afterthoughts 227
A Mennonite Retirement: From Work Projects to Play Projects 237
Rewriting the Books: Onward in Retirement 245
Doc Finds Happiness in Arts Community 256
Does an Activist Ever Retire? 262
Discovering What Matters: A Focus Group on Retirement 275
Still in Circulation: A Librarian Retires 289
Harvesting the Threads of Commitment 297
Retirement without Regrets 305
Carpe Diem/Follow Your Passion 311
Pt. 3 Never Retire 317
Retirement - The Final Question Mark? 319
Progressions 326
Social Insecurity: A Cautionary Tale 336
Retirement: From Rags to Rags 340
Change of Life 348
Never Retire 357
Selected Bibliography 367
About the Editors and Contributors 373
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