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A Long Bright Future: An Action Plan for a Lifetime of Happiness, Health, and Financial Security
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A Long Bright Future: An Action Plan for a Lifetime of Happiness, Health, and Financial Security

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From one of the world's leading authorities on longevity and aging comes the first book to address a uniquely twenty-first century question: What are we going to do with those twenty or thirty years we didn’t expect?

Due to unfounded fears of unhappiness and regret, many intelligent, otherwise rational people, even into their forties and fifties, are so convinced that old
ebook, 336 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by Harmony (first published July 23rd 2009)
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The suggestions are reasonable but repetitive, vague, and utopian. Will they arise through legal compulsions, incentives paid by taxes, or individual choices?
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I met Laura Carstensen after she gave a wonderful lecture at Stanford. The program was basically a "back to school" day for parents of then Stanford students and my daughter, Rosemary, said that Carstensen would be a highlight of the day - my daughter was right.
This book is a very important read and should be required reading for all members of congress. It provides keen insight into just how badly our system is broken. We have a social security system that is based on false assumptions that jus
Susan Grodsky
Has some excellent insights such as the point that your siblings know you longer than anyone else. I also appreciated her telling the story of her southern born mother, who felt guilty because she was a teenager before she realized the heinous ness of Jim Crow. My Memphis-raised dad felt the exact same guilt.

My criticisms:
Her vision of a much longer work life composed of a mix of part time work, extended schooling and volunteer activities doesn't sit well with this recent retiree who is just
Feb 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long, dry discussion of aging and ways to deal with social, economic, health and other factors across generations. Worth skimming. When I came to the last chapter I felt like I was reading the book for the third time.
Caroline Barron
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On her findings that "older people as a group suffer less from depression, anxiety, and substance abuse than their younger counterparts." I.e. mental health improves with age. Esoteric qualities of youth recede with age - health, beauty, power - which is the paradox of aging.

But I maintain there is more logic than paradox. The answer lies in something we might commonly call life perspective; a more technical term that I and my colleagues have introduced is "socioemotional selectivity
Jim Woolwine
A few too many "tobacco, fast foods, couch potato" and "my colleague xxx Stanford Professor of yyy" references, but otherwise a highly readable, provocative set of proposals to capture value from the over 65 set.

The book was written in 2009. As a result, Carstensen did not emphasize the devastating effects that economic dislocation, wage stagnation, and rising unemployment and underemployment has had on a huge swath of American society. Her prescriptions for seniors - education, continued parti
Rae Simpson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good information but a very dry read.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fresh thoughts around a topic we should all know about but somehow choose not to.

Oct 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An aspirational consideration of a society that anticipates it will (and is), on average, live dramatically longer lives and what this means to the individual as well as to the entire society. Carstensen introduces some personally useful nuggets like exploring the idea of one's "social convoy" or network of relationships with whom one travels through life. At the other end of the utility spectrum, she also delves into much broader societal issues which should be addressed but whose need is not y ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Dr. Carstensen work.

Aging has many misconceptions which Dr. Carstensen describes at the beginning of the book. Through science and research, she changes the perspective and presents a society that can thrive with a healthier, more socially integrated and stronger financially senior population.

She walk us through the main challenges that we face: baby boomers entering retirement, growing wealth inequalities, a more isolated society, etc. The best part is when
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Laura Carstensen is the Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her counterpart at UCLA (the UCLA Center on Aging) is Dr. Gary Small, of whom I have read a couple of books previously. The message of increased longevity is exciting but not without many warning signs. Gary's message was one of focus on diet, physical exercise, mental exercise and low stress. Laura's message is focused on social relationships (nourish them), work (work longer and save more), learning (throughout ...more
Jun 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: retirement
The book makes some very good points but it was a bit repetitive. The author has great life style re-engineering ideas (including working longer) but I really don't see how they could be implemented. For example, there are a number of factors that make working longer impractical or sometimes impossible. Holding that out as a solution, puts people in a position to be unprepared for a forced retirement. According to the Employe Benefit Research Institute's 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey, "half ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in a steady and slow pace. The author envisions a healthier and happier aging picture with research evidences and examples to back up. For people who don't have much idea about gerontology and advances in the field of study, this is a book worth of reading. This book has a combination of writing styles, very academic in structuring the chapters and plain language in wording and phrasing. As part of my book reading project, one thing I learned from reading this book is that even ...more
Michael Scherer
Laura presents a model for aging on the verge of the largest group of our population turning the magical age 65. Is 65 still an appropriate age to hang it up and retire? With the increasing longevity experienced by most in the US, it seems it is not. Laura's model is intriguing but ultimately a little too simple in my opinion. The book was a bit drawn out in some parts and overall felt too familiar when it came to aging and dealing with the "new normal" we are close to experiencing due to the Ba ...more
Steven Price
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent writing, easily understood, great thoughts and ideas!!
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not for a young guy that just retired last week at 55. This book suggests that people shouldn't retire until at least 80 and then gradually ease into retirement.
Susan Hollingshead
I was reading this while attending my son's graduation from college - a transitional time in life. I found it well written and discovered gems to help me in my own transitions.
Susan Grodsky
Dec 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Retired and loving it. Have no interest in the author's suggestion that I rejoin the work force.
Steve Saunders
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A book we should all read and discuss!
Tina Carstensen
Aug 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading my sister's book. Very positive advice on how to grow older and how as a society we can take care of one another responsibly. I learned a lot.
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michael J levinthal
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Feb 21, 2017
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Laura L. Carstensen, PhD, Founding Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University, where she is also the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, which explores innovative ways to solve the problems of people over 50 while improving the well-being of people of all ages. She ...more

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