According to my meticulous examination of multiple Wikipedia pages, there are four stages of life for those who choose to follow the Vedic way of Hinduism, namely: student, householder, retired/forest dweller and renunciation/ascetic. You get the general idea of what each stage entails from their names. If you graphed it, it would look like a single peaked mountain measuring earthly attachment over time.
We're born naked, the number of possessions starts at zero. Over time we build up social, occupational and material attachments, receiving aid and mentoring from the older generation. A drag on parents and society for a time but with promise of a brighter future. Eventually the child becomes a man, the student becomes the householder, the net negative becomes a net positive, producing food and wealth that sustains a family and people in other stages of life. All the while living graciously and virtuously.