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What if we didn’t start working full time until age 40?




MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

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Education, career growth, raising kids – these are all pursuits that we attempt to crunch into a few frenzied decades before we retire at age 66 and then die.

Except...we don’t die. Lifespans continue to get longer and healthier, so why don’t we redistribute life’s obligations over a longer stretch of time? That’s the recommendation of Laura Carstensen, the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. Her work focuses on how people can live longer and better lives, and how institutions can accommodate a growing influx of older people. Carstensen proposes longer apprenticeships and part time work for people raising families. Then, longer careers that launch into full time work around age 40 with retirement at age 80.

How do you see this playing out practically? What societal changes would you like to see to accommodate longer lifespans and an aging population?

Guest:

Laura Carstensen, founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and professor of psychology and public policy at Stanford