Death as we know is inevitable.  For the elderly the reality of this knowledge and its timing becomes quite vivid.  A 75-year old is less likely to engage her or him self in a 25-year plan. 


At 40 and as a university planner and those of ua involved, we dared plan for a university fifty years ahead.  Yet, somw how, now after fifty years there are several of us around to observe the result of a 50-year plan. 


Today a 10-year plan seems to present more credibility as a plan than a 5-year one because the results called for in ten years remain more distant and nebulous.  The five-year plan has too much to be accomplished today and one might live to see and have responsibility for its completion.


The risk of death over a ten-year period is greater than over a five-year period.  So a five-year plan has more of a presence and today’s reality than a ten-year that may not be accomplished in the lifetime of an elderly person.  So a ten-year plan is a ten-year plan.  A five-year one is a short extension of the present and pretty much part of the present.


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