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Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement And Transform America Paperback


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Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement And Transform America + Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life + The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (March 21, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586481207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586481209
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Marc Freedman predicts that "a new kind of aging" will soon bring new life to America. In Prime Time, he writes that the baby boomers will turn their golden years into an intense time of social activism, volunteerism, and lifelong learning. In retirement, the Woodstock generation will still be trying to change the world. "The boomers will not accept the old notions of later life and retirement--they will refuse to remove themselves, go away or put up with being taken 'out of use or circulation'," writes Freedman, founder of the private, nonprofit Civic Ventures. However, to harness that energy for society's benefit, Freedman argues, government and business need to create programs that capitalize on baby boomers' love of learning and community service. The country also needs to wipe out ageism and other barriers.

Prime Time highlights a handy list of initiatives that already tap retirees for such roles as foster grandparents and volunteers at free medical clinics. The book also profiles people who are now reaping the benefits of remaining socially productive. Freedman debunks the notion that old boomers will only be a burden on the nation's health care and Social Security systems. Instead, they will be the largest, best-educated, and healthiest group of retirees ever, he writes. Insightful and well written, Prime Time is for anyone concerned about the economic and social changes under way with the aging of the baby boomers. --Dan Ring --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Freedman (The Kindness of Strangers), founder of Civil Ventures and an adviser to government and private groups on aging, contends that drastic social changes must be made to adjust to the coming demographic shifts in America. Within the next 50 years, based on current life expectancy, the number of people age 65 and older will surpass the number of people under age 18. With people healthier and living longer than ever before, the vision of retirement as leisure time is obsolete. The aging boomer population will be unwilling to accept traditional retirement, according to Freedman. But rather than see the glut of oldsters as a drain on the economy and health care system, as many forecasters do, Freedman sees it as an opportunity. To accommodate these older Americans, Freedman says, there will have to be more educational opportunities as well as flexible job positions. To help achieve these goals, he advocates the development of new institutions such as a Center for Unretirement, to help prepare people for new careers; an Institute for Learning in Retirement; and Experience Corps, to let older workers teach and help others in a variety of fields. While the individual case histories presented by Freedman are interesting and some of his proposals are sound, the book is less concrete nuts-and-bolts proposal and more advocacy for turning what he sees as a new stage in life into a constructive time for both elderly people and society as a whole. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Those who gave a negative view of this book quite frankly shocked me.
Martin R. Kimeldorf
A must read for anyone who is interested in what our society will look like over the next few decades.
kjkstar
Marc Freedman points out that the key is to achieve a better balance of work across generations.
"serakip"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
Marc Freedman's book communicates a forward thinking idea that is the next step in social development. Similar to how childhood was reinvented as a valid life stage in the nineteenth century and adolescence in the twentieth century, the new life stage of older retired adults represents the potential for dramatic civic renewal in our time. Those who believe Marc Freedman is advocating for further work after retirement are sorely mistaken and have missed the basic founding premise for his book. He is by no means attempting to guilt trip retirees out of taking a deserved break and rejuvenating themselves with plenty of golf and travel. Marc Freedman points out that the key is to achieve a better balance of work across generations. Our society manages to skew work into a massive time commitment, monopolizing our entire lives for the span of our careers and leaving time for nothing else. People naturally become either absolutely addicted or repelled by the idea of further service. He emphasizes that most people do need to get an R&R fix after working hard for decades but that after a certain amount of relaxation, many older people testify to needing deeper purpose and something to commit to in their retired lives. This empty place in their lives may be best filled through meaningful civic service, perhaps in areas that they had never considered before like mentoring school children or by continuing their lifelong career paths such as the doctors at the Samaritan House Clinic.
Freedman advocates for a revolution of society's attitudes towards older people in order to give them the option of remaining active and contributing to society or not.
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45 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I DO agree that the Del Webb history is fascinating.
Also, the book is well written.
BUT, I am a tired 53 year old lawyer. I have had
one job or another since I was a teenager.
I was an over-achieving student, so I worked
very hard at school from first grade forward.
(Graduated #1 from 8th grade; #3 from undergrad;
#1 from law school - you get the pattern.)
My family was dysfunctional (I know, whose
wasn't?) and I was not given a chance to be
a kid - I had to grow up fast, be serious,
etc. etc. After decades of work of one sort
or another, I am ready for R&R; for travel; for play. Indeed
I LONG for it. I want to learn how to garden; learn Spanish;
study art. I see my in-laws, who
have been retired happily for a quarter of a century,
enjoying life with gusto without feeling a need to
work or volunteer at anything. Yet they are two
of the most interesting people I know.
This book's thesis was just exhausting and depressing.
I became so irritated that I stopped reading it.
... If some people want to work for
their whole lives, let them. Personally, having
never had much of a chance to "play" as a child,
I look forward to learning how to do it - and
doing it well. If I can touch some lives positively
along the way, terrific. Hopefully I will someday
have grandchildren and will have the time and energy
in retirement to love and spoil them, as well
as to host family gatherings and give to people
that way (as my in-laws do so lovingly). But I resist the message
that, after having worked this hard, and paid
plenty of SSA taxes to keep my elders financed
in their retirement, that I have to forego my own.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert on November 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Freedman is a refreshing voice who puts a welcome human face on the aging of our society--a topic most often dealt with through dire statistical predictions and paranoia. Prime Time illustrates that, while the demographic revolution is real, a negative whammy on America doesn't have to be the result. The profiles of everyday heroes reveal the classic American values of ingenuity and social concern applied through a new generation of retirement-age people. The perspective on the formation of the notion of "golden years" is informative. The succinct reporting of the prevailing social value attached to older Americans from the Puritan era (revered sources of wisdom) to more recent decades (keepers of leisure time) is important. And the telling of the selling of Sun City is a hoot--an "only in America" tale that provides lots of context for understanding society's ambivalence and confusion in dealing with the opportunity and challenges inherent in an aging population. This is a good book for anyone interested in new visions for an older country.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Philip Heinrich on March 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I hope Freedman is right, and that we are on the brink of a major shift in how seniors utilize their time. Early retirement to the golf course is attractive to many after a long time in the workplace, and golf deserves its reputation as one of the most challenging games ever invented. But in the end, it's still just a game. Should grown men and women spend the final 20-40 years of their lives playing games? Prime Time offers a wide range of examples of seniors who are taking another, more fulfilling path. They are giving back to their communities in various ways, from working in hospitals as Foster Grandparents, to working in schools as members of the new Experience Corps, to founding and operating health clinics. They are trading a later life of leisure for a later life of impact, and end up happier and healthier in the bargain.
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