Aging & Older Adult Services

We all know that Americans are getting older and living longer. But there are many reasons for believing that an age apocalypse won’t arrive. Like your grandfather’s Oldsmobile, the image of an America debilitated by age belongs to a different economy and an earlier generation. Don’t take my word for it. Pick up a copy of The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife by Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures.

By the time the boomers are done with it, old age is likely to be a very different beast than when they found it. Some, like Marc Freedman, author of The Big Shift, argue that a new life stage will have emerged. Just as adolescence became a household concept in the early 20th century, so too will this as-yet-unnamed period – starting somewhere around 55 and continuing roughly through one’s mid-80s – become synonymous with a particular mode of life.

Marc Freedman is a natural storyteller, deep researcher and forward thinker. The founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, he’s banging the drum for deep-seated social and cultural change to accommodate a new stage of life for the years between midlife and old age. In his new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, he says of the boomers facing this stage: “This group constitutes what may be the largest group in society, entering a period that could approximate half their adult lives.”

With his new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, Civic Ventures founder and CEO Marc Freedman not only wants to name a new phase of life – after your main income-producing career ends but before complete retirement begins. He wants to align public policy, communities, education, employers and individuals for success. Writer Cali Williams Yost interviews Freedman about the meaning and importance of encore careers for boomers in this life stage.

Marc Freedman Brings `The Big Shift' to Philadelphia

Editor’s note: This post was written by Robin Morris, national programs and initiatives coordinator at the National Constitution Center for the center’s blog, Constitution Daily.

On April 5, 75 people filled a conference room in the National Constitution Center to think about how an engaged citizenry can do work that helps realize the Founding Fathers’ vision of “a more perfect Union.”


In this excerpt from the new book The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, author Marc Freedman (founder and CEO of Civic Ventures) explains how at age 50, he made a startling realization. He says he was burning out, but nowhere near retirement – and he wasn't alone.

With thousands of people a day turning 60 and the widespread fear they’ll eventually bankrupt Social Security, at times it can feel the country is headed for a battle between young and old over federal government dollars. Marc Freedman, founder and CEO of Civic Ventures, hopes to help stem that tide with the publication of his new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife.

Big Shift Author Marc Freedman to Launch Tour April 5

So many Americans are finding themselves in a new stage of life. They are neither young nor old. They still have much to contribute but don’t always know how.

Does that describe you?


Scores of women today are changing the aging experience for the better by providing us with new models for positive aging. Jan Hively, for one, became a Purpose Prize fellow in her 70s and is the founder of the Vital Aging Network at the University of Minnesota. Shift, an organization she co-founded, supports people in midlife transitions who are looking for greater meaning in life and work.

Help Spread the Word About The Big Shift

Marc Freedman’s new book, The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife, promises to spark discussion about an encore stage of life characterized by purpose, contribution and commitment.

If you want to talk about it – and tell your friends to talk about it – here are a few simple things you can do.


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