Tag Archives: Life expectancy


Midlife marks the beginning of what is known as “Third Age”. Third Age is an emerging life stage, running roughly from ages 50 to 75, made possible by our longer life expectancy. In essence it grants us a life bonus of 30 years not available to previous generations. Rich in possibilities and potential, it involves the creating of new roles and identity, a search for new meaning and profound change.

Third Age can be a time of renewal and transformation if we regard it as an opportunity as well as a challenge. Its opportunity lies in seeing our life as full of possibility, as a process of continual and surprising unfolding—building on our past, envisioning our future and living a more fulfilling present—and in knowing that we can make decisions geared to regeneration and fulfillment.

Its challenge lies in its uniqueness. Third Age provides an unprecedented opportunity with few maps of how to get there. It challenges our “response-ability” – to respond to our life circumstance and to find fulfilling ways to contribute our gifts, talents, experience and wisdom in ways that matter to us.

Third Age requires us to make those daily choices which help us to co-create, along with the people and circumstances of our life situation, the kind of living we want to claim for ourselves in the second half of life.

… Third Age, then, as a major life phase actually begins whenever the opinions and achievements of the external world become less important and we begin to ask questions about what it all means, what really matters to us and how we want to be more mindful and intentional about how we choose to live and work. It involves a major shift for many of us from living according to the expectations of others to living even more authentically, from the inside out.

In Third Age our focus shifts to an internal sense of, and a desire for, personal fulfillment. External achievements and successes such as status, position, and income no longer motivate us as they once did. The opinions and achievements of the external world become less important.

We may experience a “midlife crisis” of sorts where we begin to consider, “Is this all there is?” “What else is there for me?” “What really, truly matters to me?” However, going more deeply into this questioning process, we can shift from living according to the expectations of others to living even more authentically from the inside out. That requires the courage to ask ourselves questions like these:

  • “How can I celebrate and enjoy living my life?”
  • “What are my passions and how can I let them lead me into my future?”
  • “How might I change my work into doing what I enjoy with people I care about?”
  • “Where can I make my most meaningful contribution?”
  • “How can I make the most of my Third Age so that my Fourth Age is truly a completion of my fulfilling and meaningful life?”

To paraphrase Thoreau, an examined life is a life worth living. And choices that arise from that examination lead us not only to survive but to fully thrive as we grow into the wisdom and fulfillment of that exploration.

See on root5systemics.com


Advance planning can help you control these unexpected costs.

The timing of your retirement can affect your Social Security and annuity payouts.

By  What’s the scariest thing about retirement? The things we don’t know. There are bound to be some surprises in retirement. But here are seven retirement unknowns that you can prepare for in advance:
1. Unexpected expenses. We carefully plan our monthly budget. We need so much to pay for the house, utilities, car and groceries. But then suddenly you need a new roof that costs $6,000, or you need a surgery with a $5,000 co-pay. What are you going to do? You need to be prepared. And if you follow a monthly budget, you may not be. In addition to your monthly budget you also need a supplemental annual budget, figuring in a realistic lump sum to cover uncertain but inevitable emergency expenditures.

2. Don’t delay investment decisions. Retirement is a big step, and with everything else going on, you may not get around to reformulating your IRA and other investments to accommodate your new stage of life. It’s also a big job that’s easy to put off. But your investment objectives change after you retire from wealth accumulation to wealth preservation and income production. So don’t procrastinate. Sit down with your spouse or financial advisor and make a decision to reinvest your nest egg for your new life.

3. Timing your retirement. Be very careful before you retire early. Your monthly Social Security benefit will be smaller and your savings will have to last longer, meaning your monthly income will be less. For example, an annuity with an initial investment of half a million dollars will bring in about $2,400 per month if you start at age 62, but $2,700 if you wait until 68. It may not seem like much, but what other way do you have to give yourself a 12.5 percent raise? If you absolutely hate your job, consider halfway options such as phased retirement or part-time work, which will supplement your lower income and help protect your nest egg from being depleted too quickly.

 4. Playing it too safe. We need income in retirement, and the temptation is to protect our principle and live off the interest. But that’s almost impossible in these days of ultra-low interest rates. Instead, design your portfolio to produce total returns of 6 to 7 percent, even though the interest you get might be closer to 3 percent. That means you periodically sell some investments, and there will be years when your portfolio declines and you’ll dip into principle. But there will also be years when returns are higher, adding to your portfolio. This approach may seem uncomfortable at first, but it offers a higher probability of not outliving your money.

5. Figure in inflation.  A monthly budget of $2,400 a month, or $2,700 a month, may seem like a reasonable amount of money to live on today. But if you retire in your 60s, you can expect to live another 20 years or longer. In 20 years, at recent inflation rates, that $2,400 will be worth less than $1,500. Social Security is indexed to inflation – for example, benefits will increase 1.7 percent for 2015 – but many other income producing products, such as annuities, typically are not. Inflation is yet another reason not to retire too early or play it too safe with your investments.

6. Falling victim to fraud. Everyone thinks they’re too smart to fall for a scam or sleazy solicitation. Tell that to the people who invested with Bernie Madoff. Also, like it or not, as we get older our cognitive abilities slow down. We think we won’t be taken in, but it happens all the time. So, only deal with reputable investment firms, keep a skeptical eye out for anything that seems too good to be true and think long and hard before jumping into any gold or real estate offer you hear about in the media.

7. Selling your life span too short. On average, a person who’s 65 will live to age 85. But one out of five men, and one out of three women, will live past age 90. So, you will probably live for another 20 years, but you have to plan for another 30. That means managing your money more carefully to ensure that it will last the rest of your life and you won’t have to cut back when you’re older and more vulnerable. Yes, you want to have some fun in your 60s, but you also want to husband your resources so you have some autonomy and dignity in your later years.

Tom Sightings blogs at Sightings at 60.

The Anxiety Beast In Middle Age

My Midlife Mayhem By Louisa Simmonds

I’m tired.

English: An anxious person English: An anxious person (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know that feeling is justified as we approach the end of another year, and in particular the end of the school year, and the fatigue is further compounded by the shops that are already taunting us with Christmas trees and tacky Christmas carols. (Which, quite frankly, is fucking overwhelming right now).

FUCK OFF CHRISTMAS! I love you but I’m just not ready for you yet.

I blame the anxiety beast of middle age that kicks in for some women during menopause and peri-menopause. It’s physically and mentally exhausting when you constantly have to worry, and not only about yourself but about everyone else as well.

And I feel so guilty about worrying about such inane stuff. Because there are women in my life who have far harder lives than me – who have coped with the devastating effects of…

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