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Encore AdulthoodBoomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose$
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Phyllis Moen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357277.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Improvising Plans for the Future

Improvising Plans for the Future

(p.77) 4 Improvising Plans for the Future
Encore Adulthood

Phyllis Moen

Oxford University Press

This chapter is about Boomers’ decisions in the unsettled period of encore adulthood. A confluence of forces is opening a window of risk but also of potential prime time, a new life stage coming after career- and family-building and prior to old age. Boomers are having to make their own plans and develop their own expectations. The chapter describes decision-making under uncertainty and the elusiveness of choice for some, as well as offering an institutional framing of the ways plans and structures reproduce the gendered life course. Decisions are constrained or opened up by historical, cultural, and organizational environments. When laid off, insecure, burnt-out, well-heeled, or enterprising Boomers seek what’s next in the face of ageism and essentially two institutionalized choices, full-time work or full-time retirement, the encore adult years become an improvisational work in progress. Concluding sections address whether couples plan together, along with singles’ plans and possibilities.

Keywords:   plans, expectations, variability, decision-making, leaning out, leaning in, gendered life course, improvisation, couples, singles

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