This chapter explores potential changes that affect academics when their paid employment ends. As a next phase in life, retirement can either be a liberating opportunity or a time of dread. The chapter begins with a consideration of the purposes of retirement and offers suggestions that the point retirement begins can vary. The ‘third age’ can either challenge academics’ sense of self or they can maintain their identity through continued engagement in scholarly activity. The chapter concludes with a personal reflection on experiences of retirement and a valediction to work.