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Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50 Hardcover – November 10, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Portfolio Life: The New Path to Work, Purpose, and Passion After 50 + The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life + Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement
Price for all three: $39.13

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078798356X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787983567
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As the boomer generation's hair turns gray, it's not surprising to see retirement advice books like this one, which argues against conventional scenarios. As founder and CEO of New Directions, which coaches older workers on making the transition from working to life after a career, author Corbett points out that boomers' longer life expectancy and better health means that reprioritizing may be more rewarding than simply stopping working. In his first few chapters, Corbett discusses why the concept of retirement needs to be retired, then quickly moves to his central proposal. He encourages readers to focus on building a portfolio of skills, which allows them to shuffle their skills in the same way they would remix a financial portfolio, rather than follow a linear career trajectory. Instead of abandoning work altogether, people can refocus later in life on the preferred skills and meaningful pursuits that suit them best. This insightful and readable book provides not only a convincing argument for the portfolio concept but also concrete instructions on how to get started. If there's a drawback, it's that the subtitle dismisses younger readers who could benefit by putting this plan into action long before reaching age 50. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

We are not only living longer and healthier lives; those of us over 50 are tackling a life stage that did not exist twenty-five years ago—a new arena that could last three or four decades after our initial careers have ended.

In this groundbreaking book, David Corbett, a thought leader on life transitions for executives and professionals, offers a compelling alternative to traditional retirement. Portfolio Life shows how to adopt a new way of thinking and living in extended middle age. This period was once relegated to winding down, but now it holds the promise of our most significant and passionate years, a time when we can be ourselves and contribute. Corbett describes a "life portfolio"—a balanced mix of work, learning, leisure, family time, and giving back that individuals tailor to their personality and goals. Using compelling stories, the book shows how to allocate one's time and energy among competing needs and personal dreams. The author includes advice on discovering our callings, the entrepreneurial spirit, spirituality, the role of legacy, and more.

Corbett elaborates a disciplined, step-by-step process for creating a life portfolio. He explores long- and short-term portfolio planning, offering practical suggestions and exercises. He also shows how to deal with the emotional turbulence that is inevitable in this transition. Portfolio Life is a guide not to surviving but to flourishing after careers end. Corbett holds that a life portfolio touches on what is really worth living for—those goals and purposes we need to call to mind throughout life's journey.


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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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It's definitely a must-read.
Heidi Selberg
This book provides a fresh look at how one can change to make the most of the situation they are facing.
Mike Boyd DM
Great concepts that are helpful and inspirational.
D. Hahn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Raymond A. Nash Jr. on January 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Conventional retirement books tend to focus on the event of the end of normal full-time employment, followed by some sort of activity-oriented shift into hobbies and possibly consulting and/or Board Membership. On the other hand, Portfolio Life makes the reader focus on thinking about how we want to spend our time, what balance of activities would be fulfilling, and what rewards (psychic and material) we expect. It suggests not an activity-oriented process, but rather what might be called a liberal enlightenment process. If done successfully, it provides a road map (admittedly and rightfully being updated from time to time) for the rest of our lives. And in Portfolio Life, Corbett provides the reader with useful and practical advice to manage the process and come up with a strategy that can be implemented.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By TL Griffin on December 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With clarity, good humor and remarkable insight, Corbett provides a simple and smart perspective on the primary issue hitting my "senior" generation - "What do I do next?" He not only identifies the issues we (I) face - but maps out a thought provoking way to build a balanced plan for our remaining decades that is based on our own priorities. It was a much appreciated gift.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L. D Sears on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Corbett's Portfolio Life was a breath of real fresh air to me. My own retirement had been a muddled mess for a year or more when this book was suggested to me. Read in consort with Marc Freeman's Encore, it will stir your imagination to a better understanding of the creative possibilities of this next stage of life. I cannot recommend it enough and do, in fact, recommend it to people on almost a daily basis.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R Newton on November 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Born in the "bulge" of the baby boom, I've been looking for a perspective on my career that doesn't make a false distinction between my work and my life. The cliche of "work-life balance" still accepts the notion that somehow the two are at odds. This book is the first I've read that's written for someone my age (let's just say I've outgrown the Parachute), that speaks to me in the way I've been looking for. I highly recommend it both to people like me who have climbed the ladder to a high rung, wondering what happens now...AND to those employers who hope to harness and retain our talents in terms that make sense to us, and to the company. This is an important read, and a fun one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good book about what you might want to think about before you retire. It is about what I think of as the last third of my life. It talks about thinking about what you will do after you retire. The main idea is finding a balance. My one complaint is that all of the examples were people who make it to the top and it would have been instructive to have some who were not quite as successful in their working life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Selberg on September 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book will help you redefine the period of your life after 50--when maybe you don't want to do what you have been doing, but you're too young to "retire"--and who isn't! It's definitely a must-read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed reading this book about the next phase in life which we endearingly call retirement. I just turned 50 and I was downsized, so I couldn't have picked up this book at a better time, as it provides much insight into the possibilities and opportunities of this next phase in life. It's simplistic, inspirational and full of stories that one can relate too. Yes, at times it does seem a little hokey in it's prescribed exercises, but if you follow a good portion it does make you think outside of the box and see what you have to offer in a new light. I especially enjoy the concept that this is not about the next job that finds you, but more about the next opportunity that YOU choose and for all the right reasons! Great read for those in their fifties, but I would agree with the author that it's a mindset that's best started probably in your thirties, so you could truly get the most out of life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike Boyd DM on September 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The world of work has changed and everyone must change with it or suffer the consequences. Unfortunately the timing could not be worse for the baby boomers as they approach an important part of their career and of their life.

This book provides a fresh look at how one can change to make the most of the situation they are facing.
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