This blog is about redesigning a long life where careers never end or the final finish for work occurs at 85 years old – a new and more appropriate model for retirement- than 65.
There are mid-life bloggers for health, fashion, beauty, love, romance, humor and aging. There are elder bloggers, people to follow in their RV travel, websites to explore saving the world and communities of people with encore careers.
None of those helped guide me in the transition from a successful career to choices about what my best future life could be at 60 and beyond. No one alerted me this transition into the second half of life would be just as hard, if not harder, than one generally accepted as the most difficult in cultures all over the world – adolescence.
Adolescents are charged with moving toward a more mature sense of themselves and their purpose and to question old values without losing their identity.
Sounds like an apt descriptor of life at 60 when it’s too late to be middle-aged and too early to be old and a new sense of self must be constructed. And those physical changes? Not nearly as exciting as breasts or wet dreams.
Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., one of the world’s foremost visionaries and original thinkers in the field of aging, and named the 2013 recipient of the American Society on Aging Leadership Award described the outcome of his company’s initiative and set the stage for this blog:
“We gathered together the experts on finances, health, aging, encore careers. We found no expert voice on the personal experience of aging. Who do we talk to? Who are our guides?”
This is your “Field Guide to a Future Long life of Work and Freedom.” We’ll talk about the challenges, find opportunities, share new and introspective information supported by research and you’ll find valuable tools.
In my search for knowledge I ask for help locating books on productive longevity at my local Barnes and Noble. The clerk paused then said, “I think you are starting a new section for our bookstore.”
“Really? What would that be? “
“Aging and Self-Improvement.”
We smiled and I executed imaginary cartwheels to my car. Someone gets it.
Make no mistake. In the new life stage in front of you, age sets the tone and that makes it very different than other transitions. There is not going to be quite enough time for everything you want to do; that weighs on you.
- How do I make use of a long life?
- What “possible selves” should I explore to establish my new working identity?
- What could my endless career be?
- Am I designing a lifestyle? A career? Both?
- What do I take with me and what do I leave behind?
- What does the new thinking on longevity mean for me?
- Whom might I become? How do I re-work my story?
Mid-lifers racing to the future take heed. Hell bent on being fantastic parents, in hard pursuit of career success or stuck in an impassioned career, the average 40 or 50-year-old still thinks there’s a finish line up the road – that day in his/her late sixties when the call comes for work life to slow and real life to begin. Drifting toward this a model of retirement is dangerous for many; in my case, it was all just baloney.
If you are looking for ideas on traditional retirement, they won’t be here. Work, albeit defined by each individual, is part of the new retirement manifesto. Work can consume whatever time you choose to give it, but it has purpose and excites you. For most of us, career will be intertwined with other priority activities that will produce a lifestyle of work and freedom. But establishing your working identity, now and into your eighties, is as critical to your future well-being as when you were twenty-five.
I didn’t have a nervous breakdown but I did spend far too much time in this life’s passage gravitating to a slowed-down life, then finally began to – seek information, find the right questions, apply research outcomes to my life, feel un-confused and make choices.
I want you to have everything you need right here.
Blessed with good health, I am privileged to enter the kingdom of the second half of life and share all of what I know with you. Finding my endless career and lifestyle has best of all, most of all, made me happier than I have ever been and that’s saying a lot.
Welcome to your long bright future. Please join the conversation.