Third AgeWhat is the ThirdAge?

The ThirdAge is that time in our lives when our children no longer live in our homes and when we begin to plan for the next, and probably greatly modified, phase of our work life. It is another opportunity to decide what we want to be when we grow up! Many call this phase "retirement" although they will alter their lives as opposed to "retire." Now, many see this as an opportunity to plan for this next phase in our lives. For most, the First Age was growing up and going to school. This was our "youth" and the time in our lives where we committed to what we wanted to be when we "really" grew up. The Second Age involved parenting and working. It was during this phase in our lives when we actively raised our children and built our careers.

Why Is the ThirdAge Important?

Several factors make the ThirdAge very important. First of all, we are living longer and healthier than past generations. In prior generations, the end of our work years and a more limited life expectancy left a fewer number of years during which the individual could explore and develop new interests. Modern medical technology, greater emphasis on prevention, enhanced medical and lifestyle information, internet access and the ever-changing and expanding world of medication suggests that diseases and medical conditions that limited the lives of earlier generations will not be a concern of current and future generations. With this as a backdrop, many can begin to plan for a ThirdAge that will last in excess of thirty years. In essence, it is yet another opportunity to answer the questions, "what do you want to be when you grow up!"

What is the ThirdAge Portfolio?

The ThirdAge Portfolio suggests that, in much the same way you plan and execute a financial portfolio for the later adult years in your life, you are now able to plan a portfolio for non-financial, lifestyle/life choice elements of your life. In much the same way that a productive and effective financial portfolio is diversified, so too should the non-financial portfolio for your ThirdAge be diversified. The ThirdAge Portfolio is that balanced set of activities, relationships and life commitments that brings you a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, completion, new learning, joy, resolution, opportunity to make the world a better place, and, for many, a chance to live out what, in the past, were only dreams. It is a time to expand horizons. It is a time to confirm and deliver the legacy you have developed and that only you can leave to those you love. It is a time to seek new answers. For many, it is a time to ask new questions and try new directions.

What are the components of the ThirdAge Portfolio?

Perhaps like the blend of base colors from an artist's palette, the ThirdAge Portfolio draws experiences and opportunities from five critical areas. The blending of those five elements into a unified portfolio varies from person to person and allows for you to develop the portfolio that works best for you. Many adults find that the portfolio works best when there is a somewhat equitable balance of the five distinct portfolio areas. Each portfolio element needs planning and is worthy of serious thought and introspection.

The five major elements of the ThirdAge Portfolio are:

Wage/Fee Work: The amount of time and energy you will spend in the next phase of your life earning income of one kind or another.

Relationships - Family-Friends: The amount of time and energy you will spend in the next phase of your life developing, sustaining, re-defining and investing in relationships with family and friends.

Lifetime Learning: The amount of time and energy you will spend in the next phase of your life studying.

Civic/Community Engagement: The amount of time and energy you will spend in the next phase of your life giving back to your community through service.

Health/Wellness: The amount of time and energy you will spend in the next phase of your life actively working on staying healthy

What this ThirdAge Portfolio Questionnaire Tells You:

Your responses to the ThirdAge Portfolio Questionnaire will give you scores in each of the five critical portfolio areas. The scores will indicate which of the five elements are strong and provide an excellent base for your ThirdAge and which elements could use some development and additional consideration. Your scores will provide you with the opportunity to ask yourself an array of follow - up questions for which you may or may not have answers. Your scores are based upon how you answered the 100 questions in the questionnaire. They are your ThirdAge Portfolio. With it, you now have the basis for making any modifications to that profile that will best serve you. For some elements that might mean simply doing what you are currently doing. In other areas, the ThirdAge Portfolio might suggest that this is a good time to think about and test new involvements, new experiences, new relationships, new service projects and new learning. This is your portfolio and you can make those changes yourself.

What your responses to the ThirdAge Portfolio Questionnaire tell you.

Individuals taking the Questionnaire will receive a graphic depiction of their ThirdAge Portfolio. Accompanying their Portfolio will be, based upon their scores, an insert on those elements in which their portfolio could benefit from further exploration and thought. Each insert further details that specific Portfolio area as well as some steps that can be taken to increase the involvement in that area, thus enriching their overall portfolio.

Why the ThirdAge Portfolio can be an Important Program for Your Organization or Affinity Program:

Reaching a "younger" population of adults has been the goal for affinity organizations and affinity programs for the past ten years. In many cases, this cohort represents a better financial return for the hospital as many are too young for Medicare and, as a result, carry private insurance. Secondly, at this time, few if any other organizations have recognized the power of ThirdAge Portfolio Planning and, as a result, your organization has the potential to be seen as progressive. There is also a movement for hospitals to become involved with corporate fitness and "health coaching" programs. The ThirdAge Portfolio is an excellent tool for these programs. Lastly, one of the five elements of the ThirdAge Portfolio is "Health and Wellness." As a result, the hospital is positioned well to help people improve (or sustain) their scores in this section of the Profile.

How it Works

The host organization "pre-purchases" ThirdAge Portfolio Surveys and is provided with a series of unique "PIN" numbers to distribute to those who will be taking the survey. The individual can complete the survey at home or at the host organization if computers and printers are available. Upon entering the website, the participant identifies the "corporate sponsor" and enters the PIN number provided to them. After completing a section of brief demographic information and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the survey, they proceed to complete the 100 questions on line. This is a process that takes approximately 30 minutes. Once they have finished the survey, the site completes their personal ThirdAge Portfolio.

Their results are depicted graphically for each of the five elements, as well as for the "balance" of their Portfolio. They also receive a personalized write up for each of the five elements and their balance factor which contains next steps in terms of both strengthening "weak" portfolios and maintaining "strong" portfolios. Results can be viewed on line or can be printed out. Organizations can both "mark up" the price of the survey and opt to host a panel presentation for those who have completed the survey and who are looking for next steps. Such panels could include one "expert" in each of the five areas that could answer specific questions as well as underscore the desirability of a balanced portfolio.

The host organization has access to reports of the demographic information of individuals who have taken the survey under their auspices. Given the name of the respondent is eliminated from all reports, no violation of confidentiality occurs. It is also possible for the host organization to compare the demographics of their participants to the greater population of survey respondents.

Purchasing ThirdAge Portfolios

ThirdAge Portfolios may be purchases in lots of 50 from Catalyst Benefits, Inc., at the following prices:


Host organizations will be able to see on line the number of surveys remaining as "untaken" in addition to a list of those PINS that have been used to date.