What is Third Age?

Third Age is an emerging life stage running roughly from ages 50 to 75 and made possible by longer life expectancy. Rich in possibilities and potential, it involves the questioning of one's old identity, a search for new or greater meaning and purpose in work and life and profound change. It is a time of renewal if we address both its challenge and opportunity.

What's Third Age?
What's Third Age?

Third Age can be a time of renewal and transformation if we regard it as an opportunity as well as a challenge.

  • Its opportunity lies in seeing our life as full of possibility, as a process of continual and surprising unfolding, and in knowing that we can make decisions geared to regeneration and fulfillment. 
  • Its challenge lies in our "response-ability" to give back, to find the best way for us to contribute our gifts, talents, experience and wisdom to address the needs of our communities and our world. 

Third Age requires us to make those daily choices which help us to co-create, along with the people and circumstances of our life situation, the kind of living we want to claim for ourselves in the second half of life.

First of all, it’s important to get a brief rundown on what we mean by the Four Ages of Life.  Each of these "ages" is roughly about 20-25 years in a given life span and has the particular focus outlined here.  For those with less longevity the Ages may be greatly compressed but usually each stage is included in some fashion.

Programs and Products
Programs and Products
Products we offer at Third Age Partners
Some additional reading.
Coaches & Professionals
Coaches & Professionals

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha, Ha! The Laugh's on Me!

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Tis the season of gift giving and receiving, though I'll admit I finder it easier to give than receive. Perhaps that is the boondoggle of care-taking women, especially, at this yuletide season-to busy ourselves with finding just the right gifts and preparing just the right holiday meals and celebrations! This, of course, takes enormous energy, time and creative effort - all of which can both energize and take a toll on the mind and body all at once. How then, in the midst of all of these expectations, can we satisfy our desire to create lovely times and memories for others AND not fall apart doing it? How can we both have our Christmas cake and eat it too?


The answer, my friends, is blowing in the words "self-care!" In the midst of all of our holiday preparations, do we value ourselves enough to pay attention to what we need and want? Do we care enough about our bodies and our emotional well-being that we can stop periodically, check-in with body and soul to listen to what it's asking of us at that moment?

cardinalThis ability to STOP AND LISTEN is a deeply rooted form of self-care and goes beyond - though certainly includes - tuning in to what is enough sleep, a healthy diet and exercise for each of us. It may mean saying "no" to yet another holiday party, realizing that buying one more gift for each child/grandchild is really not needed, taking a few deep breaths and minutes for sitting still or simply laughing with ourselves when we realize we're overdone on our self-imposed expectations. Extending kindness, compassion and forgiveness to ourselves when we do mess up is probably the greatest sign of caring for ourselves and nurturing of our well-being.

Long ago a wise teacher told me, "You cannot give what you do not have." So how can I care for others without putting my own care first? Developing self -awareness and self-caring paradoxically leads to caring for BOTH ourselves AND for other people, creatures, and, yes, even the planet as a whole. It enhances our ability to respond with a warm heart to our own needs and desires as well as to all the rest in our orbit.

Perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others in this season is to do less and enjoy more! Perhaps receiving attention from ourselves to ourselves - and allowing others to do for us too - is the best gift of all! So wrap that one up with a big red ribbon and give a hearty "ho, ho, ho!"

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Nancy Cosgriff

Nancy C. Cosgriff, MA, DMin, has a varied background and Third Age work "portfolio" that encompasses several of her interests. She is an associate of The Center for Third Age Leadership, the co-author/facilitator of its "Coaching for Third Age Fulfillment" program and facilitator of its client workshops. She is also a faculty member of the Center for Spiritual Guidance and Leadership and facilitates personal/spiritual development workshops for "women of a certain age" through her business, Spiral Explorations. Nancy has over 25 years experience in executive and life/work coaching, has participated in the New Ventures coaching program, in EDGES, a learning community for coaches, and is a member of the MN Coaches Association and MN Organization Development Network. She continues to serve organizational leaders and teams through her work in leadership and organization development consulting, design and group facilitation. Nancy is based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and lives in Marine on St. Croix, MN, on the bluffs of the St. Croix River Valley where she continues to be renewed and inspired.


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Are You Ready?

If you want to assess your readiness for renewal in Third Age take a few minutes to complete The Third Age Quotient

Message from Richard Leider

The desire to grow is nothing less than the love of existence--a purpose for being here and a deep desire to fully explore life. Growth is at the root of everything that makes us feel vital. Yet, sometimes we do stop growing. Few coaches are as clear and profound in their guidance as Nancy and Melita. They are master gardeners of the growth soil. If you want to feel vital in your third age, study.... It is a must read for anyone who is willing to ask the question, 'Where do I grow from here?"

- Richard Leider - Best selling author of "The Power of Purpose" & "Repacking Your Bags" and founder of The Inventure Group