This study probes the utility of older men's labor force participation rates (LFPRs) as indicators of the work-to-retirement transition. Specific attention is directed at how shifts in the retirement life cycle are related to LFPRs. Based on Current Population Survey data for the 1970s, a life table modeling approach showed that LFPRs are relatively weak indicators of the work-to-retirement transition. This was demonstrated by the relative stability in older men's age profiles of LFPRs despite significant changes in the timing and 'organization' of the work-to-retirement transition. The 1970s evidenced a contraction of the main career and the expansion of both post- retirement work activity and retirement, yet none of these changes substantially altered the age profiles of older men's labor force participation rates.
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