Vanaprastha literally means "retiring into a forest". It is also a concept in Hindu traditions, representing the third of four ashrama (stages) of human life, the other three being Brahmacharya (bachelor student, 1st stage), Grihastha (married householder, 2nd stage) and Sannyasa (renunciation ascetic, 4th stage).
Vanaprastha is part of the Vedic ashram system, which starts when a person hands over household responsibilities to the next generation, takes an advisory role, and gradually withdraws from the world. This stage typically follows Grihastha (householder), but a man or woman may choose to skip householder stage, and enter Vanaprastha directly after Brahmacharya (student) stage, as a prelude to Sannyasa (ascetic) and spiritual pursuits.
Vanaprastha stage is considered as a transition phase from a householder's life with greater emphasis on Artha and Kama (wealth, security, pleasure and sexual pursuits) to one with greater emphasis on Moksha (spiritual liberation).