The Remarriage Blueprint

How remarried couples and their families succeed or fail

The Bonus Years of Adult Life

Maggie Scarf is the author of September Songs.

Exploring this new stage of the life-cycle.

Something truly miraculous has happened in the course of the last century; which is that 25-30 years have been added to the life-span. If you’d been born in1900, your average life expectancy would have been fifty years of age. At the present time, average life expectancy hovers around eighty years, and that figure continues to rise. Just think of it!  A whole new phase has been added to the human life-cycle. A new period of adulthood that never even existed before is now with us!. And it’s unfamiliar in many ways, because most people (and therefore, most couples) simply didn’t live this long. In the twinkle of an evolutionary eye, more years have been added to the life span than were added in the past 5000 years of recorded history.
As a result, we now have more couples aged 65 and over who are living together than ever before. These are among the folks I studied - spouses in the 50 to 75 year old age-range - whom gerontologists call the “young old.”  This demographic includes the first wave of the baby boomers, who are now turning 62.  I found that while folks in this group often do have some health issues, they are generally in pretty good shape, vital, and engaged in the world around them. But astonishingly little research attention has been lavished upon them, despite the fact that we live in aging world.- one in which a boomer will be reaching age sixty every seven seconds for the next two decades. 
 

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Maggie Scarf is a fellow at the Fellow of Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University. Her latest book is The Remarriage Blueprint: How Remarried Couples And Their Families Succeed or Fail.

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