Best friends Kate Klimo and Buffy Shutt are prototypical baby boomer women--they've both gotten married, had kids, built their careers, and somehow managed to juggle it all. But as Kate and Buffy approached 50, they suddenly found themselves facing a whole new set of challenges for which they were surprisingly ill-prepared. Buffy suddenly lost her high-powered corporate job...and had to forge a new identity (and career) for herself. Kate's world was turned upside down when her ailing mother came to live with her family.
If 50 is the new 30, then retirement has become the term for new beginnings, according to the authors of these two different books. Corbett (founder, New Directions, Inc.) encourages people to consider what they want out of the time bonus available at midlife. He offers the paradigm of the "life portfolio," a collection of an individual's unique interests, values, passions, and experience that serves as a means of making the most of midlife and beyond. The integral components in optimizing one's portfolio include working in the form one wants, learning and developing oneself, making time for personal pursuits and recreation, enjoying family and friends, and giving back to society. Corbett uses research, case studies, and assessment tools to help readers consider new directions for their lives and plan accordingly. Best friends Klimo (Labor Pains) and Shutt come at the subject of midlife from another perspective. In a chatty, girlfriend-to-girlfriend style, they share their personal experiences and advise on staying healthy, exercising, and dealing with parents and siblings. They bemoan clingy kids and clueless husbands and suggest tactics for coping and thriving. While little of the information in this book is new, it's all consolidated here, with helpful sidebars suggesting pertinent books and web sites. The perky "girl talk" can get tiresome, however, and one imagines that the book's title could easily be Barbie and Midge Do Midlife. An optional purchase; Corbett's upbeat and thought-provoking book is recommended for most libraries. Stronger and more universal than either book is Ellen Freudenheim's Looking Forward: An Optimist's Guide to Retirement. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Grand Central Publishing
January 02, 2007
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