It is likely that your employer does not have a formal policy supporting or encouraging extended work or flexible or phased retirement. Without such clarity, the first step in deciding whether or not to pursue the options outlined in ThePhazer™ is to assess how supportive your environment might be.

You are the best judge of the wisdom of making a proposal to your manager and ultimately, your employer. Their policies, attitudes and practices in a number of areas can suggest how straightforward this process can be.

There is no clear go/no go screen, but we suggest reviewing the following statements and checking those that apply to your situation. An abundance of check marks should be encouraging, while a lot of empty boxes might point to a more challenging path.

My company has formal or informal flexible work options, such as flextime and work-from-home.

My manager is open to negotiating general scheduling issues.

There are people in roles like mine who work into their 60s.

All levels of management are more concerned with what gets done than how it gets done.

We have a collaborative process for determining who gets to take vacation time and when.

Performance evaluations are focused primarily on how well you achieve the results expected in your position.

Age of employees is not seen as a significant indicator of capability.

Jokes about “old people” are discouraged or at least not encouraged.

Innovative proposals from staff are encouraged by my manager.

With this analysis in mind, a next step is to consider some principles that have marked successful extended work and flexible and phased retirement options elsewhere.