Preparing for retirement today means more than dusting off your fishing gear and trying to ensure an adequate income from pensions and social security.
Many people will find that they don't stay retired. They will leave their jobs only to go back to part-time jobs. ''The notion of retirement as a permanent state of nonemployment is changing,'' says Helen Dennis of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California.
The change is primarily due, she says, to financial uncertainty and necessity. Many older people actually want to continue working, however, because of the intrinsic rewards and the social contacts.
Some people never fully retire, but simply retire from full-time work to part-time work, Ms. Dennis notes.
Others retire, then work as consultants, often for their own companies. Ms. Dennis says that people nearing retirement age need to consider the possibility that they might ''retire to work.''
''Workers approaching retirement age might think about developing new skills that can be turned into moneymaking ventures, if necessary,'' she suggests.
To help people do that, some colleges and universities are offering courses on career and skill development in the later years.