Life After 50 Options

Life After 50 Options

As adults approach their fifties, they can generally expect 25 or more years of productive living before they have to confront the physical and mental decline traditionally associated with the very elderly. Options can abound for them – whether it’s beginning a new relationship or re-igniting an old one, starting a new business or encore career, going back to school to re-tool skills or pursue a passion, exploring the world or their own neighborhoods, or volunteering as a way to give back to their community or add meaning to their life. However, many mid-life adults also take on new responsibilities like caring for aging parents, raising grandchildren, or managing their own chronic illnesses. In keeping with the “you can have it all” philosophy that has characterized this generation, Boomers are often navigating more than one of these life options or challenges at a time.

What is noticeably absent are the clear markers, tools and supports to assist mid-life adults in managing and succeeding in this stage of their lives. With new opportunities and responsibilities come the requisite investments of time, money, and energy necessary to discover their goals and passions, develop new life plans, learn new skills, and find a balance of purpose and meaning.

Public libraries can position themselves as life option resource centers on such topics as aging and health, care-giving, small business ventures, volunteerism, tourism and travel, arts and culture, education and skill building – to name just a few. Libraries can also serve mid-life adults by being a broker to other community resources that can help Boomers navigate this new, extended stage of mid-life.

Did you know?

Around age 50, many individuals begin to think about and plan for life after raising children and pursing a primary occupation. They launch second or third careers, develop new interests and relationships, and seek out new ways to be productively engaged.


Author/Presenter:Alboher, Marci.Resource:Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Difference in the Second Half of Life.Publisher:New York, NY: Workman Publishing, 2013.Notes:Nine million baby boomers have already skipped retirement to enjoy meaningful work instead, and another 31 million are hoping to join them soon. Covering everything those readers will need to know, this road map points to passion, purpose, and a paycheck in the second half of life..Organization:

Freedman, Marc


Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life


New York, NY: PublicAffairs, 2007


Examines why millions of sixty-somethings are choosing to carry on working. Describes the competing visions for work that may capture the hearts, minds and time of Baby Boomers who are not content, or affluent enough, to spend the next 20 or 30 years of their lives on the golf course


Long Bright Future – 2010 (0:38)

Laura Carstensen