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My Time

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My Time

Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life

Basic Books,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You’re ready to retire, and you still have 30 healthy years ahead. What do you really want to do with your life?

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Abigail Trafford’s compassionate guide to the post-retirement years is a fascinating collection of personal stories, mixed with a healthy dose of sociological and scientific findings. Her research into what she calls “the Bonus Decades” began when she found new meaning in her life after age 50. As she talked with hundreds of members of her generation, or “My Timers,” Trafford uncovered a quiet revolution in the making. These adults, who are finished with child-rearing and have reached the end of successful careers, are wondering, “now what?” as they face longer, healthier lives post-retirement. It is this generation, she predicts, that will change the structure of the workplace, reaffirm the values of family and community, and leave an enduring legacy. Trafford’s insightful comparison of the storms of adolescence to the emotional and spiritual crises of late adulthood will resonate with anyone facing retirement, a late-in-life career change or simply a growing feeling of anxiety and dissatisfaction with the norm. This is not a how-to book or a survival manual, but a reassuring travel guide to the uncharted territory of “Second Adolescence.” getAbstract recommends this book to everyone older than 50 or soon to arrive there – after all, it’s about time.


The Social Revolution

More and more Americans are living longer and healthier lives. The average life expectancy has increased from less than 50 years to age 77 in the past 100 years. By 2010, one-third of Americans – 85 million people – will be between 50 and 80 years old. This demographic shift has profound implications for our society. The meaning of work and retirement will change, as will the importance of family and friendship.

This generation is history’s largest, healthiest group of senior citizens. Advances in medical technology, nutrition and personal fitness have contributed to increased life expectancy. Not only are people living longer, they are spending a larger proportion of their lives as healthy, active adults. Retirement no longer means the end of your productive life. If you retire today, instead of having just a few years of leisure, you are likely to live in good health for decades.

Even if you have not quite reached retirement age, you are not alone if you feel restless or anxious about your future. With so much time ahead, you have an unprecedented opportunity. You’ve probably met the responsibilities of early adulthood: raising children...

About the Author

Abigail Trafford is a columnist and former health editor at The Washington Post. She hosts “Health Talk,” an online talk show. She is the author of the bestselling Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life (revised edition, 1992). She lives in Washington, D.C.

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