Center for Productive Longevity Urges People to Shed Negative Stereotypes About Older Age
Added: Wed. Jun 20, 2012 2:45pm
Posted in: Career
As people continue to live longer and
retire earlier, the term “Third-Stage Adulthood” has more relevance than ever
before. Referring to people 62-85 years old, this stage of life is chock-full
of senior workers who are qualified and
ready to continue working after the traditional retirement age of 65 or sooner.
This means that there is a large and growing talent pool with experience,
expertise, seasoned judgment, and proven performance (referred to by CPL as
EESP), to meet the workforce needs of the 21st century.
The concept of “Third-Stage
Adulthood” was first conceived in a paper, “The
Evolution of Adulthood: A New Stage” co-authored in 2000 by Dr. Elliott
Jaques, who conceived the mid-life crisis in 1965, and CPL Founder and CEO
William Zinke. Zinke created
CPL, which is based in Boulder, Colorado, to stimulate the substantially increased engagement of
people 55 and older in productive activities, paid and volunteer, where they
are qualified and ready to continue adding value.
Now in 2012, the concept of Third-Stage Adulthood is even
more important than when the term was coined. CPL urges everyone to recalibrate
their thinking for this new reality because the results could be dire if action
isn’t taken. If Baby Boomers are pushed to the sidelines, the nation’s
entitlement programs (e.g. Social Security and Medicare) will become
unsustainable even sooner than projected. To prevent this crisis, the country
should tap the talent pool of retired
workers in Third-Stage Adulthood and put their knowledge, skills and
abilities to use.
‘Third-Stage Adulthood’ can be a positive life-changer as people enter this
next phase,” says William Zinke, 85. “The concept urges society to recognize
that older people can continue to add value for significantly longer periods of
time and that they should be viewed as individuals, instead of all being lumped
under the clichés of being ‘over the hill’ and ‘out of the game.’ The result will be that millions of
older people with EESP can continue contributing to, instead of drawing from,
the national economy and society.”
to a concept of adulthood that falls into three stages, described as follows:
First stage of early adulthood (18-40) – the time to build experience
and expertise; to decide whether to work in the private, public, or non-profit
sectors and perhaps even gain some cross-sector experience; to decide whether
to develop a career in a company or to become
an entrepreneur; to focus on the development of particular skills and
abilities; to build a solid foundation for the next two adult stages.
Second stage of mid-adulthood (40-62) – the time when
experience and expertise produce problem- solving capabilities and sound
judgment (CPL likes the saying that good judgment comes from experience and
experience comes from bad judgment) and perhaps even the beginnings of wisdom.
Any mid-life crises have been traversed and assurance and self-confidence have
become more firmly established as a result of learning how to function more
effectively. There is also continuing growth and development during this stage.
New-stage of mature adulthood (62-85) – the time when many
individuals, although not all (e.g. people who have been engaged primarily in
physical labor, who have not maintained a commitment to physical fitness, or
who have debilities or disabilities), can continue to be significant
contributors. They have had about 40 years to gain experience and expertise, to
develop seasoned judgment and proven records of performance and to build their
intellectual and social capital. While documented research indicates that
cognitive capability may have plateaued for some, the intellectual growth curve
continues to move upward for people who have continued to remain productively
launched the Later-Life Story Contest
on June 1 to solicit empowering stories from people 55 and older. The
competition has two separate categories: Entrepreneur Success Stories and
Inspirational Later-Life Stories. A panel of three independent judges will
select one winner from each category who will receive $1,000 and a specially
designed trophy. CPL will post the best stories on its website (ctrpl.org)
throughout the contest under “Success Stories.” The contest runs through August
31, and winners will be announced on October 1, 2012.
a story, visit www.ctrpl.org/laterlifestorycontest
and complete a submission form. Entrants must be at least 55, have a compelling
story to share, and be willing to have it posted on the CPL website for viewing
and for possible publication. Stories may also be emailed to James Hooks, CPL’s
Director of Marketing and Technology, at email@example.com.
information on CPL, the contest and Entrepreneur Success Stories,
visit ctrpl.org or Facebook at facebook.com/CTRPL.
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