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Prime Time: How Baby Boomers Will Revolutionize Retirement And Transform America Paperback – March 21, 2002
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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 With people healthier and living longer than ever before, the vision of retirement as leisure time is obsolete.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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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. His heartening message of potential social renewal seeks to "expand opportunities and option, not obligations" and to show what a massive potential resource we have at hand. I found especially inspiring the idea of "the aging of America as an impending civic renaissance."
The book itself is extremely well written, and even if you do not agree with its message, it is worth reading for the first person narratives of older Americans. These are very inspiring and interesting because many of the perspectives are ones that I would never have encountered otherwise and that give me a greater hopefulness for my own ability to continue to affect change in old age.
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