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30 Lessons for Living

7 Questions We Need To Ask Every Older Person

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

I'm proposing a new holiday. Or rather, a new use for an old holiday. I believe that we should make Thanksgiving the day when we celebrate elder wisdom by asking older people to tell us their advice for living. Here's why.

The Piece Of Marriage Advice That's Not A Cliche

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 10.19.2013 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

When is a piece of advice about marriage an empty cliché, and when is it profound -- and practical -- wisdom? In interviews with hundreds of long-married older people, one prescription for a happy marriage was offered by almost everyone.

Before 'I Do,' Ask This Question

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 04.02.2013 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

In our interviews with hundreds of long-married couples about what works and what doesn't for a long and satisfying relationship... it turns out that our elders believe there's something close to a 'magic bullet' when it comes to deciding in a relationship: 'Should I stay or should I go?'

The Four-Letter Word For Older Voters

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 12.01.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

I'd like to shed light on what concerns older Americans in this election cycle, but I solemnly swear that I will not mention polling numbers. Instead, my analysis is based on surveys we have conducted with over 1,200 older people on their core beliefs and values.

Elders Reveal The One "Magic Bullet" To Successful Parenting

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 08.16.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

In our interviews with over 1,200 of the oldest Americans in the Legacy Project, we asked them in detail for their advice about parenting. In our hectic and driven society, parents look endlessly for programs, gimmicks and therapies to improve their relationships with children. But what do the elders say?

Secrets To A Happy Marriage (From the Real Experts)

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 08.11.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

In our surveys of the life wisdom of the oldest Americans, I was particularly interested in their advice about finding a life partner and staying married. Many of the elders we talked with in the Legacy Project had been married for 30, 40, 50 or more years. Here are their three top lessons.

The End of the Greatest Generation: Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 07.02.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

I recently had a stunning realization: We're about to lose one of the most precious resources in America. I'm not talking about oil, gas or rare metals. What we're about to lose Is the living presence of the elders who make up the Greatest Generation.

Words Of Wisdom That Changed My Life

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 05.24.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

What happens when you receive life-changing advice? Do you take it all in at once? Or does one particular sentence or even phrase stay with you, becoming a part of the way you look at an issue or challenge?

Your Child, The Stranger

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 04.12.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

The destruction of the parent-child bond was a persistent source of melancholy, a feeling of incompleteness that weighed down the soul.

Why Should We Listen to Old People? A Very Good Question

Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D. | Posted 03.17.2012 | Fifty
Karl A. Pillemer, Ph.D.

Younger people are right to ask: Why should I spend time listening to old people's advice about how to live my life?