chapter  13
Heavy Work Investment, Bridge Employment, and the Transition to Retirement
Pages 18

The concept of retirement has evolved dramatically in recent decades. For example, while the notion of “working in retirement” has been viewed as an oxymoron in the past, retirement is no longer tantamount to a lack of paid employment (Shultz & Wang, 2011). Instead we see older workers today redefi ning what it means to be “retired.” More often than not, being retired now includes continued work investment in some form, particularly in the early stages of the retirement process. This continued, but often somewhat reduced, work investment is referred to as bridge employment. In fact, Cahill, Giandrea, and Quinn (2006) estimated that approximately 60 percent of older workers in the United States engaged in some form of bridge employment before exiting the workforce. Engaging in bridge employment has been found to have both physical and psychological benefi ts for retirees, depending on the type of bridge employment retirees engage in (Zhan, Wang, Liu, & Shultz, 2009). As a result, the concept of bridge employment is comprehensively explored in this chapter.