The 100-Year Life (★★★★☆)

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Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott   *   Bloomsbury Information Ltd   *   June 2, 2016   *   280 Pages

Advanced Reader Copy provided through Amazon Vine.

The 100-Year Life is written by psychologist Lynda Gratton and economist Andrew Scott. Together, they argue that people are living longer and that this increased longevity will impact us, our companies, and our government in several specific ways: People will continue working into their 70s and 80s. They will transition between jobs many different times during their lives, which will mean that they will also need to educate themselves continuously. People will also stay “younger” longer (i.e., they will put off committing to any one thing), and this will end up changing how we define typical life stages (e.g., at age 18, you go to college; at 25, you get married). Increased longevity will inevitably mean changes in the workplace and in the government, but change will be slow. (No surprise there…)

I hate to say this, but I have to agree with another reviewer who said that you can almost get away with just reading the introduction of this book. It is so perfectly clear, well-organized, and informative that you get everything you need to know just from reading it. The rest of the book is still interesting, sure, but it only fleshes out and offers evidence to support the main points presented in the intro.

There are two things I really like about this book. First, I love how the authors emphasize the importance of knowing your self. When I began reading this book on “how to enjoy longer life,” I wasn’t expecting to hear advice like: “Reflect. Think. Don’t let your life just happen to you.” It’s a refreshing message.

Second, I so appreciate how the authors encourage people to think of longer life as a blessing, not a curse. So often we hear about people running out of money in retirement or battling horrific diseases like Alzheimer’s. And those issues are no joke, I get that. But I still love how Gratton and Scott offer more positive possibilities for the future. I finished the book and felt like I could look forward to aging.

The only other thing I’ll note about this book is that it is not easy reading, per se. It has an academic tone to it, so if you’re expecting light and casual self-help, you’re going to get annoyed. But if you know what you’re getting into and you’re willing to put in a little mind-muscle to learn some things, chances are that you will enjoy The 100-Year Life a whole lot.

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