The Third Third of Life: Preparing for Your Future, By Walter C. Wright, Jr.

The Third Third of Life

Preparing for Your Future

by Walter C. Wright, Jr.
Foreword by Max De Pree

The Third Third of Life
  • Length: 143 pages
  • Published: March 27, 2012
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3796
  • ISBN: 9780830837960

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Considering retirement can be daunting. How do you know how to best plan for the future? Now there's a helpful guidebook to lead you thoughtfully into the third third of life.

In this brief workbook Walter C. Wright provides eight sessions to help those moving toward retirement plan out their next steps. Developed and field-tested at the Max De Pree Center for Leadership, this guide includes material for individuals and groups that will enable 50-somethings (and up) to prepare for the next chapter of life with confidence.

"Walt Wright has provided a pathway--a pathway with inestimable upsides. As I read, images danced in my heart of conversations prompted by his provocative questions and carefully crafted exercises that will empower thoughtful readers to identify midcourse corrections that will allow them to make the most of their third third. Read it reflectively. Discuss it in community. And be ready to move into the best chapter of your life!"

Chuck Olson, executive pastor, Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, California

"As thousands of boomers are reaching the third phase of life each year, this book is timely. The Third Third of Life is a guide to living life to its fullest. It helps individuals and small groups question and examine what has been learned and experienced in the first phases of life. Those insights can then be intentionally applied to the third phase of life. This can be the time of greatest influence, investment in the lives of others, creativity, learning and enjoyment. This book will encourage and inspire the reader to truly engage the third phase of life."

Mary Andringa, president and CEO, Vermeer Corporation

"As a third-thirder who is having the time of his life, I rejoice in the publication of Walter Wright's latest book, not only because his personal mentoring has had a transformative influence in my life but because The Third Third of Life addresses a critical issue in the twenty-first century. Is there life after work? Should we work until we die? Or play until we die? Or both? Wright offers more than helpful advice or a quick-fix formula. Based on research, personal interviews and his own spiritual journey, he has crafted a holistic and comprehensive guide for people facing future retirement, or retirement from retirement. This book is too good to miss!"

R. Paul Stevens, professor emeritus, Regent College, Vancouver, BC, and author of Doing God's Business and Work Matters

"A few years ago Walter Wright visited me with a question: "How should I think about leadership transition, retirement and the third third of life?" . . . . With this guide, Walt invites you to enter our conversation, to check out your own experience, to design a third third that releases your potential, continues your opportunity to learn, to grow and contribute to the health of the world. I hope you find the questions provocative and the group process rewarding."

From the foreword by Max O. De Pree

"It's exciting to witness the youthful approach these seniors take transitioning beyond the traditional 9-5 workday world. Wright did an excellent job compiling writers who are energetic, vibrant and hopeful."

Miriam Leslie, Living Light News, July/August 2012


Foreword by Max O. De Pree
Introduction: A Conversation with Max De Pree about Life after 60

Session I: Mining the Journey
Reading: The Journey of a Lifetime

Session II: Transitioning out of a Midlife Career
Reading: Retiring to Work?

Session III: Facing Fears--Embracing Hope
Reading: Not What We Expect

Session IV: Hopes and Dreams
Reflection: Opportunity Calls by Peter Thorington
Reading: Retirement 3.0

Session V: Renewed Calling
Reflection: My Future in Ancient Mesopotamia by John Purvis
Reading: Encore!

Session VI: Family and Roots
Reading: Relationships are Key

Session VII: Generativity
Reading: An Interview with a Mentor

Session VIII: Spirituality
Reading: Moses was a Mountain Climber

So what now?
Reading: Three Thirds of a Life
Facilitator's Notes


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Walter C. Wright

Walter C. Wright is the executive director of the Max De Pree Center for Leadership in Pasadena, California. Wright holds a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary and was formerly president of Regent College, Vancouver. He is the author of Relational Leadership: A Biblical Model for Leadership Service.

Learn more about the Max De Pree Center for Leadership.