Entrepreneurship in a Context of Pending Retirement: The Lived Experience of Older Entrepreneurs

  • Oliver Mallett
  • Robert Wapshott


Despite being a relatively recent construct, retirement has been very successfully sold to working people (Freedman 2007). The established pattern of winding down or ending full-time work around the age of 65 (or earlier) to enjoy a life of hobbies and interests is part of the modern life plan for many people, and there is an expectation to let go gracefully accompanying visions of what a normal working life resembles (Kotter 1985). The normative effects of retirement exert influence long before paid work is left for good; retirement reaches back into working lives in pension planning or other provision and creates assumptions over what older people want from paid work and for how long. Dispositions concerning working life have consequently been adapted and propagated: with old age comes economic disengagement (Beckhard 1977). For these reasons, the transition to retirement is best considered a complex process rather than a discrete event (Zissimopoulos and Karoly 2009). But how do the processes and expectations associated with approaching retirement affect those who are self-employed? What are the experiences of entrepreneurship in a context of pending retirement?


Social Entrepreneurship Pension Planning Personal Account Narrative Approach Business Venture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Oliver Mallett and Robert Wapshott 2015

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  • Oliver Mallett
  • Robert Wapshott

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