The Professional Woman's Decision to Retire: The Process of Transition

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Virginia Tech


The transitional process to retirement by today's professional women is an issue of great significance. Beginning in the 1960s, these women became the first generation en masse to form long-term careers and to join the professional ranks. Retirement is now affecting over seven million women who are age 55 or older. A void exists in literature concerning these women's experiences as they approach retirement. Their pre-retirement transitions and decision-making process have not been previously addressed. This study addressed the void and through qualitative research, employed a multiple-case study with a phenomenological frame. Through in-depth interviews, the data collected addressed professional women's pre-retirement decision-making. A five-phase working model was developed that illustrates the transitions to retirement of professional women.



professional women, Phases of Professional Women's Decisions to Reti, transitions, transition to retirement, Aging, retirement, retirement sabbatical