When the concept of retirement was first mainstreamed in America in the 1930s, it was largely viewed as having one foot already in the grave. For many baby boomers today, it might well mean the same thing.
In their seminal 1991 book Generations, A History of Americas Future, authors Neil Howe and William Strauss presented the idea that social generations are cyclical and that four archetype personality types define all generations. They suggest that each archetype typically lasts approximately 20 years, meaning that each archetype will repeat itself roughly every 80 years, or as they suggest, over the course of one average human lifespan.
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