golden years

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golden years pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) Old age; especially, the leisure years in later life after one has retired from employment.
    • 1958 Oct. 16, Robert Peterson, "Growing Old Disgracefully," St. Petersburg Independent (US), p. 9 (retrieved 27 August 2013):
      To make the most of your golden years, study the points enumerated above and then resolve to do just the opposite.
    • 1986 Dec. 18, "Planning key to financially secure retirement," Edmonton Journal (Canada), p. C1 (retrieved 27 August 2013):
      If, by the time you are 50, you haven't started planning for retirement, the golden years won't be golden.
    • 2011 Feb. 8, Janet Morrissey, "Preparing for Long-Term Care: Any Good Options?," Time (retrieved 27 August 2013):
      A huge wave of baby boomers may need long-term care in their golden years.
  2. (idiomatic) The period during which someone or something flourishes.
    • 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Offshore Pirate" in Flappers and Philosophers:
      Almost before Carlyle realized his good fortune he was on Broadway, with offers of engagements on all sides, and more money than he had ever dreamed of. . . . It was when he realized that he was spending the golden years of his life gibbering round a stage with a lot of black men.
    • 1938 August 25, Henry McLemore, "Today's Sport Parade," Reading Eagle (US), p. 22 (retrieved 27 August 2013):
      Certainly no champion in history was as all-conquering, as invulnerable, as was Mrs. Moody during her golden years.
    • 1959 Oct. 16, "Basketball: Wilt Giving Warriors Illusions of Grandeur," Daytona Beach Morning Journal (US), p. 9 (retrieved 27 August 2013):
      Seven foot Wilt Chamberlain one day will rule professional basketball with greater authority than George Mikan in his golden years, the Stilt's coach predicted yesterday.