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Climbing ladders
Reuters/Eloy Alonso
Climb the ladder at your own pace.
LATE BLOOMERS

A Stanford researcher says we shouldn’t start working full time until age 40

Corinne Purtill
Member exclusive by Corinne Purtill

For people smack in the mad mid-life rush of managing full-time careers, dependent children, and aging parents, nothing feels so short in supply as time.

But there is time to get it all done, says psychologist Laura Carstensen, the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. The only problem is that we’ve arranged life all wrong.

A woman who is 40 years old today can expect to live another 45 years, on average, while 5% will live to see their 100th birthday. The average 40-year-old man will live another 42. For many people, most of those years will be healthy enough to continue work that doesn’t involve intense physical labor. So why are we still packing all of our career and family obligations into a few frantic decades?

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