HR writer Sarah McAdams reviews the book The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life by Lee Eisenberg.
A few years ago, when Lee Eisenberg’s bestseller first came out, American workers had different priorities than they do today. “For tens of millions of middle-aged travelers, this is an odd moment, riddled with paradoxes. We are at once old and young, parents and kids, generally prosperous yet uneasy,” he writes in The Number. “For me, this moment evokes a memory â€” late afternoon, back when I watched the Phillies play in the final years of decrepit Connie Mack Stadium. I remember how the shadows sliced across the diamond, moving closer and closer to home plate until half the field was in bright sunlight, the other in gathering darkness. It was a really weird time of day.”
Well, it’s become weirder. And the label of “generally prosperous” rarer.
In 2006, many workers viewed their “number” â€” how much money one needs to feel secure forever after retirement â€” as the realization of their daydreams (traveling the world, spending days on the golf course, volunteering for a nonprofit, writing a novel, opening an inn).