Early Retirement: Promises and Pitfalls by Robert C. Williamson Ph.D., Alice Duffy Rinehart Ed.D.,

By Robert C. Williamson Ph.D., Alice Duffy Rinehart Ed.D., Thomas O. Blank Ph.D. (auth.)

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These groups became the real authority. " Of course, it is difficult to separate the political climate from the usual interpersonal tensions on the job. " RetiremeDt: Push or Pulll 43 The Never-Ending Pressure Overload for workers was frequently mentioned, as would be expected in this period of reductions in force and in cost. Bruce Shoemaker, a mailman for almost thirty years, took early retirement with a lowered pension because they are pushing, pushing, pushing. Every time they'd add more territory onto my load and expect me to do it in the same amount of time.

In the days when the work ethic loomed, retirees often gave "health" as their reason for retiring, when in reality it was the desire for leisure that promoted their retirement,7 In other words, rationalization also applies to the act of retirement. The participants in our study were asked to check a list of reasons for their retirement and to rank them in importance. Their responses are seen in Table 2-1. Five principal motives are apparent: the pension system, health, work stress, pursuit of leisure, and finances.

Politics was a major problem for civil service administrator Willard Schulz in municipal government of Philadelphia: "Around 1961 stuff began to get very political-lots of political interference. Then about 1982 they began to try to move me around. I was approaching fifty-five. The situation had become so political that it was very difficult for a person who is a professional administrator to maintain any sense of reasonableness in the kind of things that were going on. Decisions should be made the way the general community thinks, not for special interest groups.

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