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The Power Years: A User's Guide to the Rest of Your Life Paperback – December 1, 2006
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From the Back Cover
"My life keeps getting better, not just because I've enjoyed success in the business world, but because I wake up every day with a passion for what I do. You can—and should—discover that feeling too. Let Dychtwald and Kadlec show you how. They've written a crisp, actionable guide to a great rest of your life."
—Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President, The Trump Organization and author of Trump: Think Like a Billionaire
"Are you going to live longer—or will it just feel like it? The Power Years is a wonderful guidebook that helps us realize our potential by redefining our expectations as we mature and grow more powerful. An exceptional resource!"
—Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., author of YOU: The Owner's Manual
The Power Years is your step-by-step guide to repowerment. World-renowned psychologist and leading authority on aging Ken Dychtwald and award-winning journalist Daniel J. Kadlec combine their decades of cutting-edge research and reporting to reveal how you can make the Power Years the best years of your life—by far. Sharing the inspiring stories of real people as well as plenty of prescriptive advice, the authors reveal how you can:
- Rediscover your life's purpose
- Reinvent retirement by finding a new balance between work and leisure
- Thrive in the home and location of your dreams
- Rekindle long-held passions and/or find new interests
- Rediscover and forge vital relationships
- Fund your dreams
- Contribute to society and leave a lasting legacy
- Have fun again!
About the Author
KEN DYCHTWALD, Ph.D., a world-renowned psychologist and gerontologist, is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Age Wave, Bodymind, and Age Power. He is widely viewed as North America's most original thinker and leading visionary on the longevity revolution. His Web site is www.agewave.com.
DANIEL J. KADLEC won multiple writing awards as a columnist and senior writer at Time magazine and earlier as a columnist at USA Today. Author of Masters of the Universe, Kadlec has been a contributing editor to CNN and a guest discussing aging and financial issues on the major networks.
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Contents: Welcome to the Power Years; New Ways to Have Fun; Rediscovering and Forging Vital Relationships; Creating Your New Dream Job; Lifelong Learning Adventures; Where and How to Live; Achieving Financial Freedom; Leaving a Legacy; Author's Note; Notes; Index
Dychtwald and Kadlec explore the time of your life between 55-ish and beyond, referred to as the "Power Years". The kids are out of the house, retirement is looming, and you no longer have the daily demands on your time and attention that you had in your 30s and 40s. Instead of looking at this time period as one of "checking out" and rocking on the porch, they advocate a complete mental shift. You can now explore parts of your personality and interests that were logistically difficult before. Maybe it's going back to school or taking a few classes in an area that interests you. It could be travel or house-swapping with someone else in order to see other parts of the country or world. It may even involve the continuation of your working efforts. But the thought is that you can either work at something else without the demands of advancement, or you can continue what you currently do because you have a passion for it. The key is being able to do something that you *want* to do, not that you *have* to do.
Most of the approaches in the book work much better if you've been planning financially for your power years. If you get to 65 with nothing but Social Security, your options are limited to a degree. But that doesn't mean that you can't volunteer your time to a cause that sparks your interest, nor does it mean you can't start exploring relationships that you've not had time for in the past. In some cases it might be easier said than done, but it's still a choice. The best time to get ahold of this book would be when you're in your late 30s or early 40s, and you have time to plan for the future you want (instead of the future that just happens).
I'll admit there were a few times I sorta wished I could fast-forward my life and get to the power years a bit sooner. But I'm much more encouraged now that my power years will be valuable and full, and not just marking time until the obituary gets written up...
The book is generally good, although a lot of the subject matter is common knowledge (people are living longer, Social Security is in a financial pit, etc.), it does seamlessly blend the social and societal impacts of longer life with the financial issues involved. Although I don't agree with the authors on everything, their points are well taken and worth listening to.
The book is very good at citing websites that contain much valuable information for people interested in business and retirement related lifestyle changes, and is especially strong with the theme of education. Chapter seven concerns financial planning and is a good, but very general overview. If you really want to understand this subject, you will need to buy a separate book. I also urge readers to be very cautious about the recommendations the authors make regarding annuities.
I was born in late 1964, so demographically I get lumped in with the baby boom generation. The friend that gave me this book was also born in 1964, and while we both are technically baby boomers, we both identify far more with the succeeding generation. One of the detractors of this book (and indeed some other books that I have read by boomers) is an occasional smugness about being a boomer. I noted that tendency a couple of times early in the book, but I was pleased when near the end of the book the authors made the following statement during a discussion of volunteerism and legacy: "Unless you find ways to give something back and keep contributing in your later years, you will help cement our generation's reputation as a bunch of narcissists." I was glad that the authors frankly acknowledged this perception, which while it is not applicable to all boomers of course, is widely held, especially by younger generations.
This book is a good summary of some demographic trends in American (and world) population, notably the trend toward working in retirement. The book does offer some insight into the future, but offers no specific planning advice for an individual. The strength of this book is in the resources it points out, most of which are available on the Internet, and in getting the reader to think in unconventional ways about retirement. This book is an interesting place to start, but it must be viewed as just that: a starting point on the map to retirement.