Chapter 3

A Tour of the New Normal

Given the increasing pace of change, it’s more important than ever to create the right mix of planning and action. And it’s trickier than it has been for earlier generations. It has been kind and generous of others—parents, friends, people we observe or hear about but don’t know, the media—however deliberately or inadvertently—to do some developmental pioneering for us. We’ve learned by observing how they raised their children, did their work and got promoted (or didn’t), treated their friends, planned (or didn’t) in collaboration with their spouses, made (and didn’t) their financial and social decisions, and how they regarded their own aging after age 50. Sometimes we have paid close attention. Other times ...

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