Making Sense of Retirement — 48 Great Movies About Retirement and Aging — Updated List!

Prepare for Retirement by Watching Movies!

Prepare for Retirement by Watching Movies!

Movies – like all art forms – can be a great way to explore important themes in your life.  Here is our list of movies related to retirement and aging.  While you should probably do more to prepare for retirement than watching movies — use a retirement calculator or consult a financial advisor for example — you can probably find inspiration, solace and a good laugh in these films.

Best of all, you might be surprised to find some great animated choices to watch with your grand kids!  Plus comedies, dramas and action heroes.

  1. St. Vincent (2014): A comedy where a hedonistic retired war veteran finds a second career as a babysitter.
  2. Birdman (2014): A washed up actor who once played a superhero tries to reinvent himself and reclaim past glory by producing a Broadway play.
  3. The Expendables 3 (2014): Even action heroes struggle to stay relevant as they age.
  4. The Giver (2014): Your teenage grand child has probably read the book by Lois Lowry about a young boy chosen to learn from an elderly  man about the world.
  5. Elsa & Fred (2014): It is never too late for love — Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.
  6. Nebraska (2013): Aging father and son embark on a road trip.
  7. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2013): A Swedish movie about the events of Allan Karlsson’s life following his excape from the old folk’s home on his 100th birthday.
  8. Armour (2012): Critically acclaimed German movie about a couple in their 80s struggling after the wife has had a stroke.
  9. Quartet (2012): A home for retired musicians, directed by Dustin Hoffman.
  10. The Artist (2011): Academy award winning movie about early retirement in Hollywood.
  11. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011): A British film about retirees traveling to India.
  12. Arthur Christmas (2011): Santa refuses to retire?  Grand Santa comes out of retirement?  A cute holiday movie. (Great choice with grandchildren.)
  13. Late Bloomers (2011): Adjusting to retirement.
  14. Toy Story 3 (2010): You may be surprised to learn that this animated film deals with many retirement themes. In this installment the toys’ boy Andy is now seventeen years old and headed to college. As a result his toys are facing a kind of forced retirement. (Great choice with grandchildren.)
  15. Red (2010): Retirees save the world.
  16. Up (2009): Another animated film?  Yes – a beautiful one at that!A grouchy old man loses his zest for life until a persistent 8 year old enters into his world. (Great choice with grandchildren.)
  17. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008): A man who starts aging backward.
  18. Get Low (2009): Robert Duvall as a hermit wants to plan his own funeral.
  19. Is There Anybody There? (2008): A family turns their house into a retirement home and copes with their decision.
  20. Gran Torino (2008): Acclaimed movie withClint Eastwood as a retired Korean war vet.
  21. The Bucket List (2007): Two terminally ill men try to accomplish everything on their list before they kick the “bucket.”
  22. Young at Heart (2007): A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians.
  23. Away from Her (2006): After a 45 year long marriage, Fiona is admitted to a long term care facility for Alzheimer’s treatment.
  24. The Notebook (2004): A World War II love story is brought to life through the readings of a man, out of his notebook.
  25. The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2004): This touching movie follows an 83 year old retiree through his death and into the tale of five people he meets in the afterlife.
  26. Secondhand Lions (2003): A 14 year old boy travels to live with his two eccentric uncles who have a sketchy past and a seemingly endless supply of money.
  27. Calendar Girls (2003): A true story based on a group of older women who become international celebrities by taking it all off for charity.
  28. Something’s Gotta Give (2003): Love after 50.
  29. About Schmidt (2002): A retired insurance salesman’s plans are altered and his life changes forever after the death of his wife and the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn’t like.
  30. Tuesdays with Morrie (1999): An old student visits his retired professor who has fallen ill and learns what is truly important in life.
  31. Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993): Two retired men become best friends and travel together along a path of new insights into their lives.
  32. Grumpy Old Men (1993): The title says it all.  Stars Walter Matheau, Jack Lemmon and Ann Margret.  See also Grumpier Old Men.
  33. Unforgiven (1992): Clint Eastwood as a retired gunman.
  34. Fried Green Tomatoes (1991): Stories of women gathering strength for themselves through other women.
  35. Dad (1989): A son who returns home to care for his sick father learns a new way to see his dad.
  36. Cocoon (1985): A swimming pool fountain of youth? These retirees find one!
  37. The Trip to Bountiful (1985): An elderly woman yearns to break free from her son’s small home and return to her old life in the town where she was born.
  38. Lost in America (1985): Comedy from Albert Brooks about retirement gone wrong.
  39. On Golden Pond (1981): In this classic, Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn deal with what could possibly be a last birthday spent together.
  40. Going in Style (1979): A comedy with George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg living off Social Security.
  41. Harold and Maude (1971): A story of how two complete opposites make their life happy together.
  42. The Lion in Winter (1968): Who should inherit the throne from aging Henry II?
  43. The Long Gray Line (1955): A retired army hero greatly influences generations of military leaders.
  44. Shane (1953): Alan Ladd as a retired gunfighter.
  45. The Quiet Man (1952): Retirement in Ireland in the fifties.
  46. High Noon (1952): A man plans for his life as a retired marshal of a small town, but his plans soon change.
  47. As Young As You Feel (1951): A comedy about a man who after being forced into retirement, pretends to be the president of his parent company.
  48. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946): A truly wonderful classic that follows a down and out George Bailey through the “what if’s” of life.

What is your favorite retirement movie?  Add to the list in comments or email us!

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