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Are You Making the Most of Your Thirty-Year Life Bonus?


Today, our average life span has increased so tremendously that we are, in fact, experiencing a longevity revolution. The result is that those living in modern advanced societies are having something like a thirty-year life bonus.

In The Third Age, sociologist William Sadler presents the underlining research, and describes the four ages of life’s new map:

First Age – a long period of growing up
Second Age – a period organized around productivity (jobs, income) and settling in (family, organizations, community)
Third Age – a period that sets the stage for a different kind of experience of middle age, giving rise to second growth and renewal. “Instead of tacking your bonus years on to the end of life, think of inserting them in the middle years,” Sadler says.
Fourth Age – a period of successful aging with the goal to live young while growing older and to die young as late as possible. Decisions made in the middle years are critical in shaping the later years, according to the author.

The Third Age: 6 Principles of Growth and Renewal After Forty by William A. Sadler is published by Perseus Books.