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

The Gift of the Unpredictable

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Spring is supposed to be about rebirth and renewal yet to be honest, I'm not seeing it. In Vermont on the first day of spring we were digging out from 8 inches of fresh snow. Now I'm in New Jersey near April 1st and there's snow in the forecast here as well - a not so subtle reminder of the unpredictability of the season and of life.

Human nature in general yearns for predictability and control, but life has a way of reminding us over and over again that we're not in control. The more we are able to surrender to that lack of control and that unpredictability, the better prepared we will be, ultimately, to experience that renewal. Otherwise we find ourselves so busy seeking that control that we lose sight of the beauty in the unpredictable.

melitaanddadI have been given the gift of supporting my 94 year old father as he journeys through his 4th age towards the completion of his life. We've been very lucky that he has been physically and mentally sharp for most of those 94 years, but the past year has been rough as his decline has been more pronounced. I am no longer in control of much of anything as I strive and struggle to meet him where he's at, and I have to let go of any plans I may have in order to best respond to the circumstance of each day.

Yet within this struggle is a lesson I'm slowly but surely learning. On those days when I get hung up on what I want to control, plan and predict, I mostly get frustrated, anxious and in need of chocolate or a nice glass of wine. But on those days when I let go and meet my Dad, and my circumstances, where they are, I am able to discover the gifts of the moment - the love, the gratitude, the evolving memories, the connections - all things that would otherwise be missed. The lesson? Within unpredictability are some of the greatest gifts of all.

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Melita A. DeBellis

Melita A. DeBellis, JD, CPCC, is a life coach, entrepreneur and trainer based in beautiful Shelburne, Vermont. Her business is Midlife Unlimited. She is a former attorney and human resources executive who has made her own personal journey beyond the corporate world to a deeply satisfying vocation supporting individuals as they navigate their journey through their Third Age. She is a former board member of The Center for Third Age Leadership and the co-author/facilitator of its "Coaching for Third Age Fulfillment" program. She is also a trainer with Associates for Training and Development based in St. Albans, Vermont. Melita received her B.A. from The University of Vermont, her J.D. from The National Law Center, George Washington University, and has been trained and certified as a professional co-active coach by The Coaches Training Institute of San Rafael, California. Melita knows the fulfillment that comes from journeying through personal transformation and finding one’s passion. She finds that passion enjoying the natural world of Vermont with her husband Mike and their dog Chloe.


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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