golden years

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golden years pl (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Old age; especially, the leisure years in later life after one has retired from employment.
    Synonyms: twilight years, sunset years; see also Thesaurus:old age
    • 1958 October 16, Robert Peterson, “Growing Old Disgracefully”, in St. Petersburg Independent[1], US, page 9:
      To make the most of your golden years, study the points enumerated above and then resolve to do just the opposite.
    • 1986 December 18, “Planning key to financially secure retirement”, in Edmonton Journal[2], Canada, page C1:
      If, by the time you are 50, you haven't started planning for retirement, the golden years won't be golden.
    • 2011 February 8, Janet Morrissey, “Preparing for Long-Term Care: Any Good Options?”, in Time[3], archived from the original on 24 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.
    Synonyms: prime, golden age, heyday
    • 1903 September 26, The Rural New Yorker, volume LXII, number 2800:
      The later time of life, when white hairs show that reflection must take the place of action, may well be called golden years.
    • 1920 May 27, F[rancis] Scott Fitzgerald, “The Offshore Pirate”, in Flappers and Philosophers, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, published September 1920, →OCLC, part III, page 19:
      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”, in Reading Eagle[4], US, page 22:
      Certainly no champion in history was as all-conquering, as invulnerable, as was Mrs. Moody during her golden years.
    • 1959 October 16, “Basketball: Wilt Giving Warriors Illusions of Grandeur”, in Daytona Beach Morning Journal[5], US, page 9:
      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.
    • 1975, David Bowie (lyrics and music), “Golden Years”, in Station to Station:
      I'll stick with you baby for a thousand years / Nothing's gonna touch you in these golden years