The Power Years': Make Your 40s the Best Years Yet

This book is for people like you who are beginning to contemplate what comes next and how to make the most of it. Make no mistake -- this is not a retirement guide. It's about unretiring -- about how to shed your dated preconceptions about life after forty, fifty, or sixty and stay in the game in ways you'll find satisfying and invigorating. Money is important, and we'll deal with that critical issue in Chapter 7. But that's where this book stops being like anything you've read before. Countless opportunities are developing to let you live all aspects of your life to the fullest -- from staying connected with your kids and grandkids (and, eventually, your great-grandkids) to choosing emerging housing designs and lifestyles for a new, active time in your life with fewer responsibilities; from finding love all over again with your spouse (or someone new, should you be searching) to going back to school for the fun of it; from where, how, and why to make new friends to where and why you should pick up stakes and move to a city or town that will let you live and thrive as you always dreamed.

We'll discover new passions and explore long-dormant desires. We'll stay active by working longer or volunteering, by trying our hand at writing or painting or running a small business, and our continued involvement will promote our well-being and prove a vital resource to the communities in which we live.

You are on a far different life track from that of your parents; you just may not fully understand it yet. But you soon will, and this book is meant to help you as you ramp up your learning curve.

On a recent vacation with his family in Orlando, Florida, Dan was staying at a wonderful resort, the Gaylord, where he observed an apparent oddity that both encouraged and, at least initially, dumbfounded him. The hotel had two equally spacious and convenient swimming pools on either side of the grounds. One was designated as a quiet zone for rest-seeking grown-ups and marked "No One Under 18 Allowed." That pool area might as well have been a mausoleum -- not a single person was in the water. The other pool, by contrast, was overrun with raucous teens and quite a few bawling toddlers.What stunned Dan was that many of the mature adults he would have expected to find at the quiet pool had opted away from that morguelike environ, preferring -- even in some cases with no children or grandchildren in sight -- the lively atmosphere at the pool bustling with the energy of youth.

Which pool will you choose in the years ahead?

When is the last time you seriously asked yourself what you will do with the rest of your life? Is there a second or a third career you'd like to explore? A small business you want to start? Do you want to study art or open a bed and breakfast? Have you dreamed of taking up acting or going to cooking school? Where should you live for the perfect combination of weather, fun, friendships, family, lovers, intellectual stimulation, and lifestyle? What will all that free time do to our marriages and other relationships? Where and how will we live? What will keep our minds active and our lives relevant? Will this be the worst period of our lives -- or could it possibly be the best? Most important: what choices must we make now to ensure the kind of extended life after career that we have always envisioned?

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