I turn 50 this year. I guess that means I’m due for a midlife crisis, right? If that’s the case, then I like the math that Cynt Marshall, the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, shared at a recent View From The Top. After talking about being diagnosed with colon cancer when she was 51, Marshall (now 63) quipped, “That was my midlife crisis. So I plan on being here until 102.”
As more people live longer, healthier lives, many deeply held beliefs about age and aging have fallen out of sync with the reality of getting older. No matter how old you are, you’ve undoubtedly run up against these discouraging and self-defeating assumptions. Who says a 25-year- old can’t launch a new career, found a company, or take time off to care for family? What about a 45-year-old? A 65-year-old? What if, instead of worrying about what we should be doing at a certain age, we focused on what we could be doing?
That question animates this issue’s look at how we might reimagine our personal and professional paths as we enjoy longer lives. “How could we use those years to improve quality of life at all ages?” asks Laura Carstensen, who co-teaches Longevity: Business Implications and Opportunities at the GSB (and who inspired this headline). Plenty more life lessons dot the issue, including prenuptial tips, a survey of generational attitudes toward ESG investing, and discoveries absorbed from the diaper market.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March was another reminder that life moves pretty fast, particularly in the world of finance. At the GSB, we’re lucky to be surrounded by experts who can help make sense of these events. For our cover story on page 32, we spoke with several finance professors about developments in their areas of study that they’re keeping an eye on. We didn’t ask them for big predictions; as Professor Matteo Maggiori told me, even the pros tend not to see crises coming. Yet with enough information and preparation, we can do our best to keep our options open in the years ahead.
— Dave Gilson