Summary of The Big Shift

Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife

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The Big Shift book summary
Baby boomers embark on the “Encore years.”


7 Overall

8 Importance

7 Innovation

6 Style


Social entrepreneur Marc Freedman argues against the cultural perception that people pass directly from middle age into old age. Perhaps overoptimistically, he sees great hope for baby boomers during an “Encore Stage” when they make a broad societal contribution after the typical retirement age. The extension of healthy, productive years after age 60, he explains, has created a new type of midlife crisis. Coping with these years requires a “big shift” in thinking from baby boomers and society, not to mention the sociology experts who study such movements. Freedman’s reasoned, expert analysis of the encore stage leads getAbstract to recommend his insights to boomers who face the challenge of changing themselves and the world...again.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the traditional “map of life” does not apply any longer,
  • How this affects older-than-60 baby boomers and shapes their societal impact, and
  • Which 10 approaches people can employ to promote the “Encore Stage.”


“A New Map of Life”
Conventional thinking about typical life span no longer applies. In 1900, the life expectancy of an average American was 47 years. Today, Americans can expect to live almost into their 80s, and life expectancy may eventually approach 100. Yet even though people live...
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About the Author

Marc Freedman, CEO of Civic Ventures, also wrote Encore, Prime Time and The Kindness of Strangers.

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