The Gift of Time / Case Study

Have you ever thought of making a mid-career change, taking a sabbatical or risking a nest egg to pursue a dream project? Allianz Life recently found that one third of Americans have regrets about not pursuing their dream career – but also that we now have more time than ever to re-chart our course.

Allianz approached Bolster back in the fall of 2015 with some fascinating data points and a unique perspective on longevity from Dr. Laura Carstensen, author of A Long Bright Future and director of the Stanford Center of Longevity. They were looking for a unique way to humanize the fact that we are all living 30 years longer than our ancestors and what that can mean for traditional life stages and how we plan for our future.

How will you spend your extra 30 years of life?

“After reading Dr. Carstensen’s book, it became clear to us that longevity isn’t just about planning for retirement – it’s also about the excitement of planning for a long life and exploring new possibilities of what that can mean. It’s one thing to share statistics about longevity and take an academic approach to communicating the impact of Americans living longer lives, but quite another to show examples of people who are already living their lives with longevity in mind.” said Jeff Faust, External Communications Senior Specialist at Allianz.


Through our collaborative sessions, we set about creating a documentary film that would highlight three pioneers who were challenging traditional life stage norms and were already demonstrating what a profound affect 30 extra years could have on how we make our biggest life decisions. Our research team cast a wide net for the pioneers, looking for stories in three key demographics to show how this new longevity shouldn’t merely be thought of as tacked on to the end of life in retirement but should inform how we live our entire lives. Our story discovery ultimately led us to 96 year-old jazz saxophonist Irv Williams, encore-career-alpaca-farmers Thomas & Connie Betts and Mark Christy and Nives Riddles who quit their jobs and hit the road to lifestyle blog from America’s most beautiful wild places.

Allianz Gift of Life

Through the film and with the study results, Allianz is encouraging us all to think deeply about our longer lives and more specifically, how we plan for them. They’re encouraging us to be strategic about this new longevity by planning and saving for those forks in the road where we have the opportunity to take the road less traveled.

Our team is thrilled with the result of the collaboration and has enjoyed sharing the film with colleagues, family and friends. Allianz has been a highly engaged creative partner and our team truly enjoyed every aspect of the process. We welcomed the Allianz team’s thoughts regarding the collaboration at the conclusion of the project:

“The production team members were true partners with our creative team through every step of the process. Just as important, they understood the essence of our project on a higher level – in other words, with the depth of meaning we wanted to convey along with a sense of wonder and promise. In addition, they were true professionals: from the initial research where we collaborated to evaluate the strength of the potential stories, to the pre-production where they worked out the logistics so we could get to 4 different locations on budget, to getting stories that were honest and heartfelt out of our principal characters in their own environments (and capturing the beauty of those environments), to creating magic in the finished video through their inspired editing and music selections. Perhaps what impressed us most was that the (production) team was as emotionally invested in the “Gift of Time” project as we were – and that made them the ultimate creative partners,” said Rick Gibson, Allianz Creative Director.

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