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Challenging choicesIdeology, consumerism and policy$
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Michael Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847423986

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847423986.001.0001

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(p.154) (p.155) Ten Retirement
Challenging choices

Michael Clarke

Policy Press

This chapter discusses how the unclear marginal status of the retirement group, and the lack of clear expectations, recognition, and rewards that should attend it in the way that they do other groups, makes the retired a highly problematic social category. It explains the objective of the state pension and identifies the problems posed by the success of the economy and increases in incomes for the said welfare benefit for the retired. It argues that increased longevity and the ability of increasing numbers to retire earlier have created a substantial and very uncertain ‘third age’. It notes that retirement for most demands a complex, shifting array of choices about identity and life management which did not exist when retirement was seen as no more than an implicitly limited period of well-earned rest.

Keywords:   retirement, state pension, economy, income, longevity, third age, life management

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