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Changing Course: Navigating Life after Fifty Perfect Paperback – January 2, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Changing Course: Navigating Life after Fifty

Reviewer: Alan G. Greig, The Third Age Coach, Queensland, Australia

Changing Course is a most timely contribution to a better way ahead in our third age. It asks what does better look like? How can we achieve it? And then shows what better looks like and how to achieve this better way ahead.

Changing Course discusses an opportunity that presents itself for the first time in human history. It examines not only increased life expectancy but also positive alternatives in aging by tracking people over a twenty year period who have creatively redesigned their lives after fifty, a time when many people unfortunately anticipate traditional stereotypes of aging, instead of a contemporary viewpoint and the contribution that coaching provided as an external perspective that can be provided by a skilled coach.

The pivotal discovery in their research was that after fifty we have creative potential that enables us to direct and shape out lives to experience more meaning, enjoyment, purpose, vitality and fulfilment than we anticipated as we crossed the threshold into our third age.

The authors ask readers, Do you think people are genetically programmed to begin degenerating into the fifth and sixth decades of life? Are people over the hill after turning 50?

To the contrary they provide several examples of individuals, whose stories are told, and who initiated a growth process in a positive direction that postponed and transformed aging with the objective of designing a productive and fulfilling third age.

Changing Course offers specific steps for third agers in pre-tirement to prepare to change course, including the five major tasks of third age planning. It also provides seventeen lessons from third agers who positively engaged their approach to their third age. These lessons primarily concerned remaining engaged by either transforming their personal identities or remaining in the work force into their sixties and seventies.

Changing Course shows readers how to make their fifties and beyond into their most fulfilling time in life. I commend Changing Course to anyone interested in properly preparing for a happy, contented, and fulfilling third age.

Alan Greig is a professional coach specialising in preparing for the third age. He chairs the International Coach Federation (ICF) Third Age Special Interest Group. You can e-mail Alan at agreig@gil.com.au.

--Alan Greig, Queensland, Australia<br /><br />Changing Course: Navigating Life after Fifty

Reviewer: Bill Shirley, Executive Leadership Coach, Carbondale, Colorado

Changing Course is about creatively designing your life in your middle years. The book is a necessary and valuable contribution to meeting the challenge of a dramatic expansion in life expectancy.

The purpose of the book is to provide guidance in preparing for your third age middle years as mindfully as you prepared for your second age productive years. Because of extended longevity we can expect to spend more time retiring than we did working.

The Boomer generation is now faced with challenges never before faced by the general population in any era in human history: how do you create a life with meaning, purpose, and significance over thirty (or more) years without gainful employment?

Traditionally, retirement preparation has focused on financial aspects so the retiree could be busy being idle. The challenge is daunting: boredom and the feeling of useless ness are life-threatening conditions.

Changing Course is a full frontal assault on retirement-as-leisure, an obsolete, life-threatening concept that should have been retired from our society twenty years ago. Because we may have to live more --The LLI REview, Volume 2, Fall 2007

About the Author

William A. Sadler, Ph.D., has been a professor, senior administrator, author, consultant, community leader, and popular speaker. In a long academic career since receiving his doctorate from Harvard, Bill has authored five books. His last, The Third Age: Six Principles of Growth and Renewal after Forty, led to the formation of The Center for Third Age Leadership, an organization that focuses on maximizing the talents and contributions of people over fifty. Translated into several languages, in 2006 The Third Age was featured as book of the week by the Korean Broadcast System. For nearly twenty years Bill has been professor of sociology and business at Holy Names University, where he still teaches MBA leadership courses. He and his wife Sallie reside half the year in Oakland, CA and the other half on the Maine coast.

James H. Krefft, Ph.D., is president of The Center for Third Age Leadership. He works as a writer, consultant, and executive coach. In his second age Jim plied careers as a university instructor, Army officer, technical editor, Human Resources executive, and management consultant. The eldest of ten and a native of New Orleans, he charged into his third age at forty-two when he left a major corporation. In addition to coauthoring Changing Course, he has written or collaborated on two other books and a screenplay since turning fifty-five, including, along with Stephen M. Dent, Powerhouse Partners: A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results. Jim has a BA in philosophy and an MA and doctorate in English literature. He and his wife Lynn and their two children Michelle and Jim live in Colorado.


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: The Center for Third Age Leadership Press; 1st edition (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979351057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979351051
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Church on April 20, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors do the readers a helpful service by stirring our imaginations to develop what they call a Third Age Life Portfolio. This is a good exercise for all of us to undertake who are around fifty and beyond. It would consist of an accumulation of education and personal experience that could be utilized and applied to a second career or a vocation to compliment retirement.

Another important issue the book points out is the tremendous need to tap into and employ the wealth of experience of the retiring Baby Boomers. This is an incredible resource we would be foolish not to benefit from as well as increase the quality of life of those who participate. It's a win - win situation.

The weakness of the book, in my view, is that the people they choose to profile are in some cases almost unreal. Most of them have Ivy League educations and evidently have plenty of financial recourses to sustain them without having to give up much. One couple built a large home on a Maine island where they have a sailboat, raise there own sled dogs for there sled and the husband considers discontinuing to rent the attached apartment to convert it into a den or office.

Many of the people paint as a hobby or own shops or small businesses. As I read these stories of their life styles and settings it became so frequent I found my self saying "of course". It happened so often it started to become comical, yet disappointing.

Were there not any average people in the research? There are a lot more middle class people out there who could use some advice on this subject. And, I couldn't find any statement in the introduction or anywhere else that said the book was focused toward only the elites. After all, money plays a big role in what kind of retirement or third age vocation you can enjoy.

Worth reading for some of the good ideas and to prime the pump to put together that Life Portfolio, but the stories are not real enough for my pay grade.
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Changing Course is the right book at the right time. While the Boomers are challenging themselves by the question "what's next?" Krefft and Sadler respond to that query with eloquence and inspirational stories from the people they've interviewed. Interesting to me were the focus on building a positive 3rd age identity at this time when we can become more of the person we've always wanted to be, rather than the stereotype of the aging person that our parents' generation became. The authors also design a practical way of accessing our new identity via the Life Portfolio. "What makes your soul sing?" they ask. Discover what puts you in Flow, or in the zone. And "let your flow be like an eagle's wing," spreading out into new and adventurous paths. What a fun way to think about and put into practice the process of getting older!
As a coach who specializes in working with Baby Boomers who want to create a fulfilling next step, Sadler and Krefft's book gives us inspiration with practical steps to get there.
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William Sadler, Ph.D. and James Krefft, Ph.D., expand and illustrate the principles of growth and renewal that Sadler presented in his earlier book: The Third Age: 6 Principles of Growth and Renewal After 40. In this current book they provide stories of people in their 50-80's who have successfully made changes and recrafted their lives for a fulfilling "third age" of life. They elaborate and provide lovely examples which illustrate the journey and the paradoxes to be negotiated and they clarify the tasks and challenges for all of us as we create a "third age" life portfolio. I feel it's a "gem" of a book for all preparing for and/or already navigating the "third age" of life. I have recommended it to coaches and clients who have found it insightful and helpful. Sadler and Krefft have given us a very readable book filled with wisdom and guidance for a fulfilling "third age."
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Midlife crisis? Retirement?

None of the above! This book has inspired me to think of the rest of my life as an opportunity to become the person I should have been.

Clearly organized, extremely well written and full of real-life stories, give this book a good read and see why aging isn't a time to dwindle but a time to discover.

I give Changing Course a deserving five stars!
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