Purpose: In the context of an aging workforce and uncertain labor markets, it is a priority to identify and analyze what factors influence intentions regarding motivation to continue working, how and when to retire. From the life course perspective, this paper aims to capture the individual agency and structure perceptions to withdrawal from work early/late intentions in the mid- and late-career, identifying voluntary/involuntary factors underlying these intentions. Design/methodology/approach: Hypotheses were tested using multiple regression analyses based on a cross-sectional design, with a representative sample of 414 Chilean workers over the age of 45. Findings: The results depict several patterns of contextual factors operating at different levels underlying mid- and late-career-related intentions. Specifically, they identify how perceptions of individual agency and structure are significantly associated with voluntary and involuntary factors that guide intentions to stay working or retire early, as well as to prolong working life and to lean toward bridge employment. Originality/value: This study contributes to identifying perceptions of individual agency and structure in career intentions and can help individuals and organizations clarify the voluntary and involuntary factors behind work–life intentions in their middle and final career stages. In addition, the results can contribute to international research in this field by providing information on the underrepresented Ibero-American context.
- Early/late work withdrawal
- Individual agency
- Mid- and late-career intentions
- Structure perception