3S Beyond 50

3SBlog - #S Beyond 50 - Its not about retirement

Success, Significance and Satisfaction Beyond 50

The 3S is an approach to a balanced life. To live a fulfilling life we need something more than the trappings of conventional success such as money, power and fame.

We need three things for a full life: Success, Significance and Satisfaction.

Why 3S BEYOND 50?

3S beyond 50 is important for a number of reasons. As a member of the Baby Boom Generation—the youngest members of which turned 50 in 2014—I can think of a long list why 3S BEYOND 50 is important:

We are missing something in our lives. All the money, success and fame in the world cannot make us fulfilled. But we are not happy or content. We are constantly seeking for something more… and often failing to find it.

3S BEYOND 50 offers a balanced approach to find out what we are missing. It ensures that we consider all key aspects, paying attention to work, family and meaning in seeking to add Success, Significance and Satisfaction to our lives.

We need to seek joy and satisfaction, no matter what the age. You cannot be fulfilled in life if you are dissatisfied, unhappy. You’ll find no joy in life this way either. Yet, many of us have given up on finding joy or satisfaction, both in and outside of work. Or we’ve traded it for some other gain, reconciled ourselves to a less than fulfilling existence.

As members of the ‘sandwich generation’, we are busy and overworked—earning our living, supporting others and caring for their needs—to think or do much about what brings us satisfaction. Some of us have given up on the hope of finding satisfaction altogether. But, we’ve not forgotten about the possibilities and so we feel hurt or empty; as if life’s not been fair to us.

This is not right. We all have one life to live. Everyone needs to feel satisfied at something in their lives. It gives us confidence and reinforces our self-worth. It adds to our happiness.

3S BEYOND 50 explores many paths to satisfaction and happiness that you can pursue. We should try to fulfill our true potential. That is the way to 3S.

Some of us need to find more fulfilling work.
We have, for one reason or another, failed to find our passion or calling. We are stuck in jobs and careers that gives us little joy or satisfaction. We’ve done that for our families or because we cannot muster up the courage to pursue our passions. Inertia and fear cripple us. We dare not take the risks that come with finding new work, starting a business or taking up a craft or vocation that fills our heart with joy.

But, if you don’t do it now, when are you going to do it? 3S BEYOND 50 shows you how to figure out what gives you joy and satisfaction and inspires you to pursue it.

We can find satisfaction in our current jobs—even if it seems impossible. Not everyone wants to abandon their jobs in pursuit of satisfaction or happier prospects. In fact, there are more of us in this group compared to those who wish to leave their jobs. There is good news for us too.

We can improve our happiness and satisfaction in our current jobs. Many of us do not even consider this possibility. There’s a lot of research that shows that, no matter how dismal your work situation is, there are ways to increase your level of satisfaction at work. We  can  find happiness at work. We can find satisfaction in what we do. We don’t necessarily need corporate policy changes or management changes to do it. The means are within our control. 3S BEYOND 50 tells you how it can be done.

Many of us have been too busy to think or plan for the future. To some of us, it appears to be such an uphill task. Statistics show that many Americans approaching retirement have given up thinking about the future, let alone planning for it. Very few have done anything beyond the most basic retirement planning by the time they reach 50.

This spells trouble; big trouble—not just to us, but to our children on whom we’d have to depend. And it’s a problem at the national level too.

3S BEYOND 50 does not teach you financial planning. But it introduces the basic concepts that you need to be familiar with before you begin financial planning. For those who need help to get their financial planning effort off ground, 3S BEYOND 50 provides the confidence to get the process going. It explains the basic information you need to begin a conversation with a financial or retirement planner. It also provides guidance on what questions to ask a financial planner and what considerations are important in choosing a financial planner.

There is more to retirement than a secure financial future. We are living longer. Those who are crossing the threshold of 50 today can expect to live at least another 30 years. Those who are 65 today may have a life expectancy exceeding 84. If you are 75 today, you can expect to celebrate your 87th birthday. Think of this as your second-lifetime.

What do you plan to do all those years when you are no longer working full time or raising kids? When you and your partner may not be as healthy or mobile as you are now? You cannot afford to wait till you get there to figure it out. Now is the time to do it, especially if you have crossed to the better side of 50!

3S BEYOND 50 helps you think about all the key aspects for this second lifetime you’ve been given.

We may need to find a second or even parallel career.
Baby Boomers can expect to live a good 30+ years beyond 50. What will we do in all that time we are blessed with?

If we plan to be active and working, we may need to search for second or parallel careers. What does a second career call for in those beyond 50? We may want to start that business we’ve been dreaming of for years. How do we muster up the courage as well as the resources to take the big step? What can we do today to prepare for the time when we leave the workforce and join the world of startups? How do we make the move in this new direction? We have to find out, before making the big move.

3S BEYOND 50 helps you decide what you may want to pursue and how to go about planning the transition.

Some of us feel the need to leave a legacy.
As we grow older, a lot of us begin thinking about what we plan to leave behind, not in terms of money, but in terms of service, lasting results or influence. Research shows a legacy is an essential component of lasting success.

A legacy is part of what gives us Significance. 3S BEYOND 50, in helping us seek Significance, will help us define the legacy we leave behind.

As we grow older, we need to learn to network better; to find new friends and contacts who we can relate to in a meaningful way. As we retire from work, our network of work friends will slowly disappear; move away; develop new interests; be too sick to socialize or even die. To stay healthy and connected we’d need to develop other networks, with like minded people. We’ll need to develop networking and social media skills.

3S BEYOND 50 will help you define a course of action that will help strengthen our network as part of the plan for finding Satisfaction beyond the point of retirement.

Its for everyone approaching or beyond 50

So whether you are a man or a woman, whether you are married or single, whether you are working full time, part time or unemployed, 3S BEYOND 50 will guide you as you try to navigate the unfamiliar territory of life beyond 50.


3S questions conventional definitions of success.
Money, fame, power and other trappings do not fulfill us. We need something more. 3S BEYOND 50 helps us discover what we are missing. It helps us reshape our lives so that we may find fulfillment even beyond 50. In fact it shows us it is never too late to change.

3S BEYOND 50 helps us achieve a fulfilling life.
It guides us and questions our assumptions so that in charting our futures we balance all the key aspects of our life.

Most of us would need to pay attention to our work life, family and relationships when seeking 3S. We must also address our personal aspirations, passions and define what brings us satisfaction and significance.

3S BEYOND 50 prompts us to think. It helps us balance our priorities and helps us chart a future to achieve sustainable and lasting success—that is Success bundled inextricably with what gives us Significance and Satisfaction. This is how 3S BEYOND 50 helps us find fulfillment.

3S BEYOND 50 inspires and motivates us.
We are busy. We are stressed. We are overworked. We feel empty. We feel something is missing in our lives. We need help and guidance. We need inspiration and motivation to change how things so that we can achieve Success, Significance and Satisfaction beyond 50.

3S BEYOND 50 offers guidance, inspiration and motivation for us to realize our true potential, even beyond retirement age. It motivates us to dream big and to take action to make our dreams come true.

3S BEYOND 50 strengthens us.
Many of those crossing 50 today belong to the sandwich generation. Whether 50 or 65, we need to stay strong both physically and emotionally. 3S BEYOND 50 inspires and motivates us to retain good health.

3S BEYOND 50 emphasizes the pursuit of good health.
Why? Because poor health gets in the way of a fulfilling life. Boomers are the first generation of Americans to find themselves in worse health than their parents. But we cannot afford to go on this way. Most of the chronic illnesses and health problems that plague us may be avoided, by taking better care of ourselves.

3S BEYOND 50 encourages good habits.
Good health, success, significance and satisfaction, can all be traced to cultivating good habits. That is as opposed to karma, destiny, luck, chance, genetics or whatever the reasons we tell ourselves to explain our poor health. Even genetics does not mean you HAVE to be a certain way. It expresses only a potential. To a very large degree we can avoid poor outcomes with good habits and care.

Good health comes from good habits in nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices. These are all up to us.

3S BEYOND 50 emphasizes emotional and mental health.
You cannot achieve 3S without a strong mind and emotional stability.
Good habits that help us control stress, anger and manage negative emotions make us mentally strong. But they also help keep our bodies healthy.

Brain health and good cognitive capabilities well into our 80s and 90 is not an impossibility. But you need to cultivate ways and means to keep your brain active and stimulated. 3S BEYOND 50 addresses this issue and discusses steps you can take to keep your brain healthy.
Even mental health issues can be kept under control if we cultivate routines and healthy lifestyle choices, in addition to taking the necessary treatments.

3S BEYOND 50 reminds us that we need others.
We cannot find Success, Satisfaction or Significance all on our own. Some of us may believe that we could, but that is mostly an illusion. There is so much evidence to the contrary.

Positive psychology shows us that other people are key in bringing meaning and fulfillment to our lives. Lasting success requires the support of and interactions of others. Good friends and great relationships help us live longer too. There is evidence that women live longer than men because older women are more likely to have wider network of support compared to older men of the same age.

Even in something as simple as spending money, we are likely to be happier in spending money on others as opposed to spending it on ourselves. We need others to find personal, professional and business success. Great relationships and a healthy support network helps us stay healthy and strong.

3S BEYOND 50 inspires us to explore, grow and flourish.
If we are to pursue 3S well into advanced old age, we need to find channels and outlets to keep us occupied, engaged, thinking and learning.

We need to explore and figure out what gives us satisfaction. Is it new hobbies, t raveling, a parallel career, or completing your bucket list? All of this calls for switching off the TV and doing something constructive. Your path to satisfaction may call for exploration of possibilities and learning new skills.

Finding paths to significance requires reaching out to others. Regardless of how we define significance, we need to plan, make decisions and take action. Whether you believe significance lies in teaching, mentoring, volunteering for a cause, working with a nonprofit or helping others in some other way, you will need to keep on learning new things and adapting to new circumstances to be good at your chosen work.

If we are to continue working without leaving the workforce when we turn 65, we’ll need to be willing to learn new things, unlearn old things and then keep going. For that matter, learning and adapting are prerequisites to 3S at any age. You are highly unlikely to find 3S if you are close minded and unwilling to learn and adapt. Learning to learn and keeping our minds open are essential to finding Success, Significance and Satisfaction in the 21st century.

3S BEYOND 50 renews our hopes and expectations.
When we were younger most of us looked on reaching 50 as a big milestone. I know I did. The big five-o it seemed to me all those years ago, to be the beginning of the decline—in enjoyment, productivity and cognitive capacities. In other words, it appeared to be the end of the fun years.

But I was wrong.

All of us who thought this way were wrong then. Our experiences bear witness to this. For most people, especially for those in professions and in business, 50 is considered prime time. More and more people are waking up to this fact. We all know many individuals—including ourselves and our spouses—who have much to contribute not just beyond 50 but also well beyond the traditional retirement age of 65.

Science and brain research shows that we can lead active and fulfilling lives well into advanced old age. Even with cognition, which we believe declines with old age, does not have to be that way. There are things we can do, and actions we can take to ensure we are fit both physically and mentally to seek 3S BEYOND 50.

70 is now the new 50.
I’d like to believe that. But if you are reaching 70, feel free to change the numbers as you see fit. Age is only a number if you remain young at heart, and living a fulfilling life. 3S BEYOND 50 guides your way.
3S BEYOND 50 gives us confidence that we can find 3S!

3S is all about being prepared, and being actively involved in the direction our life is taking. 3S BEYOND 50 helps us think through things. Knowing we have thought through and are prepared will make us more confident. This is true whether we are talking about retirement planning, the retirement itself, seeking a new career, learning a new skill or volunteering to work with a non profit.

As Napoleon Hill noted, ‘Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ In the same spirit, 3S BEYOND 50 will help us navigate life beyond 50, and work on finding Success, Significance and Satisfaction beyond 50.


I am still writing the book. Over half of it has been completed. But as with all books, I keep finding new things and news ways of saying things. You can imagine the challenges.


While I finish writing 3S BEYOND 50, I invite you to explore the content of my blog and engage in the discussion. An active audience is always a great inspiration to a writer.

I hope you find the content of the Robert Cullen 3S Blog useful, engaging and inspiring. And I look forward to your comments.

I wish you Success, Significance and Satisfaction!

Robert Cullen


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