LIFESTYLE: Planning for the Third Phase of Life

The Third Phase of Life can begin as early as your 50s when you begin to think about life after active work. This stage of life is an opportunity to write your own script and create your future. You can enjoy more freedom, develop new interests, celebrate life, enjoy adventure and adapt to change.

Core Values

As you consider this stage of life, it is important to review your core values, your guiding principles which provide you with a sense of direction in your life. Your core values represent your highest priorities and guides for how you behave. These could include good health, spirituality, relationships, finances, learning, work and helping others and giving back:

  1. Good health -being able to function optimally physically, socially, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and occupationally.
  2. Spiritual development – cultivating your inner life.
  3. Relationships– connecting with, bonding, caring for, and sharing with your family and friends.
  4. Financial management – looking after your finances, your savings, spending habits and budgetary concerns.
  5. Learning– acquiring new knowledge, information and skills on an ongoing basis.
  6. Work– growing personally, earning income, socializing, and making a contribution to society.
  7. Helping others and giving back – giving of yourself, serving, helping, reforming, volunteering, building and leaving the world a better place.

Questions for the Reader:

  1. What is most important for you at your current stage of life? What are your core values? List three to five core values.
  2. What is your life purpose? What is your compelling reason for being alive?


Attitudes are responses to people and situations that you have learned based on your values.
In the Third Phase of Life, you could cultivate acceptance, appreciation, letting go, forgiving, living without regrets, flexibility and optimism:

  1. Acceptance – accepting your age and adapting to it.
  2. Appreciation/gratitude – enjoying each moment and each breath, being grateful for simple things: e.g., the air you breathe, a walk in nature, giving thanks for everything and counting your blessings.
  3. Detachment – letting go of what you used to be and embracing who you are now.
  4. Forgiveness – forgiving and wishing the best for other people.
  5. Flexibility – being flexible and able to deal well with challenges.
  6. Optimism – embracing creative, resilient perspectives on challenges you face, staying engaged in life and searching for solutions.


  1. What are your current attitudes in responding to people and situations? List three to five attitudes.
  2. What attitudes do you want to cultivate for the Third Phase of Life?List three to five attitudes.

Core values and attitudes are an important part of a life plan. Such a plan will address your preferred future, core values, attitudes, life purpose, roles and activities in life, managing decline, closing years, legacy, learning agenda and action plan.

Submitted and prepared by Wally Lazaruk.