What’s in a Name? Everything!

What, exactly, is Third Chapter Living? What’s behind it? Why is it the name of this blog?

Simply put, Third Chapter Living is rooted in the idea that we are continuous learners; that there is no specific time of life that is best for learning; and that what we learn as we enter our “Third Chapter” — the 25 years after age 50 — can be more complex but ultimately more exciting and inspiring than anything else we’ve experienced to that point.

The idea of the Third Chapter was inspired by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book, The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. At ThirdChapterLiving.org, I want to understand and share information about how to make this phase of life as full and robust as possible.

This time of life is particularly challenging for the Baby Boomer Generation. We are folks who grew up thinking that we could make a difference in the world and, indeed, have been busy changing the world — along with growing families and working hard. Unfortunately, at the same time, we all too often have not been thinking about what happens when gravity and the aging process start taking hold of our bodies and minds. In our Third Chapters, we find new problems and awarenesses roll our way daily, but we are short on tools to manage them. Third Chapter Living can help fill that gap.

Most importantly, Third Chapter Living is about attitude. From that place of Yes We Can!, I hope you will join me in finding best-in-class solutions for challenges baby boomers face as we struggle with the issues of aging-in-place. This blog is dedicated to choices about Living that the Baby Boomer Generation has today, as well as about advocating for the housing and living arrangements that work best for us. I encourage readers to keep open minds when exploring new living arrangements — whether through house sharing, aging at home, backyard tiny houses, continuing care communities, local affordable housing, or other alternatives.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a clarion call to live life fully because the future is not known or promised. For so many of us that has meant a pivot to totally new endeavors, to creative reinventions of who we were. As Lawrence-Lightfoot says, “Learning something new in the Third Chapter is full of interesting, poignant paradoxes: experiences of loss and liberation, patience and urgency, excitement and terror, the hardest work and the most exuberant play, childlike and very mature. … We want to become wise, not smart.”

This Third Chapter must be about Living, securing the supports — financial, physical and social — each person needs to enjoy a comfortable home.

“We must develop a compelling vision of later life, one that does not assume the trajectory of decline after 50,” Lawrence-Lightfoot adds, “but recognizes this is a time of potential change, growth, and new learning — a time when our courage gives us hope.”

Third Chapter Living will celebrate, challenge, inform and promote conversations about housing issues affecting the Baby Boomer Generation. There is living to be done, and by sharing knowledge about techniques and tools, we improve the chances for the quality of life to be its fullest and most rewarding.


  1. Gale Fulton Ross on May 10, 2022 at 9:54 am

    Excellent! At 75 I’m completely overwhelmed with concern about my finances and housing as I move forward. I’ll look forward to Third Chapter Living Blogs.

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