According to British Sociologist Peter Laslett, the ''Third Age" is the era of opportunity for personal fulfillment. Traditionally, it has been that time in life, post active parenting and work, when we think about retirement.
But, with added years of vitality and health and less financial security, will this generation of Baby Boomers be eager to sit back and relax? In 1933 when Social Security laws were enacted, people lived an average of 3 years after age 65; today, retirees can expect to live to be 85, even longer for women. At age 65 today, quality of life is generally good. Fully two-thirds of the population report being in good health at age 79.
So what are we to do with all the time, talent, and energy of the largest group approaching retirement in history?
Both we and they need to plan for it. We have always known that we need to plan for the financial aspect of retirement, and even though economists are telling us that we are not doing that well enough, we are doing still less to think about how to spend our days during the ''Third Age."
Indeed each time in history when the Baby Boom generation has crossed a new threshold, they have ushered in a new era of one sort or another --impacting education, civil rights, social activism, and the arts/music culture.