How do changes in life expectancy and longevity affect life-span development? This paper argues that historical increases in life expectancy primarily have an impact on the later and less on the earlier parts of the life span. Increased life expectancy is both a challenge and an opportunity for positive development. A perspective is outlined according to which self-regulation is a key factor for successful aging. Assuming a compensatory relationship of social norms/expectations and self-regulation for developmental regulation, processes such as setting, pursuing, and disengaging from personal goals should be particularly important in old age, a life phase that is characterized by being less normatively structured than younger phases. This argument is elaborated in the domains of social relations, leisure, and work.