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Age 50 is time to gear up for a personal renaissance

(Shanghai Daily)

16:07, April 27, 2013

For Abigail Trafford, the R-word - "retirement" - is a misnomer.

"It's a kind of second adolescence," she says in her book, "My Time: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life."

"Instead of winding down after age 50, you're having to gear up. Longevity's imperative is regeneration," she says.

If "second adolescence" sounds too trivial, use "My Time" then, as the author does, to describe your years after middle age but before old age, a period the author calls a "personal renaissance."

In her prologue, she explains her inspiration to write the book.

"Something huge is happening. A demographic wave has swept over the social landscape. It's not just that people are living longer - they are healthier longer," she says. "The biological calendar has been reconfigured so that people are physically younger than their chronological age."

"A century ago, even 50 years ago, there was no My Time. Life was too short. Today many girls born in the United States can expect to live to 100," she says. "It's just dawning on Americans that a social revolution is taking place as people are living longer - and healthier - lives."

"As a health writer, I have seen how the longevity revolution has altered every aspect of the culture," she observes. "Political leaders wring their hands over the swelling ranks of Medicare ... At the same time, entrepreneurs have built a burgeoning anti-aging movement that offers everything from Botox injections and supplements to weight-loss regimens, spiritual retreats, life-long learning centers, and sex manuals - all targeted to people over 50 and older."

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