The waves of the Health and Retirement Survey suggest that bridge job activity is a very important part of the retirement process for a significant number of older Americans in the 1990s. The labor force participation rates of older Americans drop dramatically with age, with significant decreases at ages that are important in pension and Social Security regulations. Traditionally, the stereotypical retirement in America was a one-time transition directly from a career job to complete retirement - simultaneous departure from career employment and the labor force. Early modeling by economists reflected this - retirement was usually viewed as a dichotomous event. Two important types of bridge employment in America are part-time work and self-employment. These employments are: part-time employment; and self-employment. Government statistics document that the prevalence of both rises with age. Some analysts have proposed a more controversial change - that the age of earliest eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits be increased from 62 to 65.