Marc Freedman, hailed by the "New York Times" as "the voice of
aging baby boomers seeking] meaningful and sustaining work later in
life," makes an impassioned call to accept the decades opening up
between midlife and anything approximating old age for what they
really are - an entirely new stage of life, which he dubs the
encore years.In "The Big Shift," Freedman bemoans the fact that the
discussion about longer lives in America has been entirely about
the staggering economic costs of a dramatically aging society when,
in reality, most of the nation's 78 million boomers are not getting
old ... at least not yet. The whole 60- to 80-year-old period is
simply new territory, he writes, and the people in this period
constitute a whole new phenomenon in the 21st century."The Big
Shift"is animated by a simple premise: that the challenge of
transitioning to and making the most of this new stage--while
deeply personal--is much more than an individual problem; it's an
urgent social imperative, one affecting all generations. By
embracing this time as a unique period of life - and providing
guidance, training, education and support to the millions who are
in it - Freedman says that we can make a monument out of what so
many think of as the leftover years. The result could be a windfall
of talent that will carry us toward a new generation of solutions
for growing problems in areas like education, the environment, and
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