You’re only as old as you feel!
And most Baby Boomers don’t feel all that old, which may be a good thing.
We’ve been talking about Baby Boomers this week, as the oldest of them began turning 65 at the beginning of the year. Millions more will follow: 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every single day for the next 20 years.
“By force of numbers alone, they almost certainly will redefine old age in America, just as they’ve made their mark on teen culture, young adult life and middle age,” according to a report from the Pew Research Center.
Changing the Definition of Old Age?
One way Boomers might redefine aging is by kicking the can down the road a little, by changing the definition of when old age begins.
Don’t tell Boomers that old age starts at age 65. The typical Boomer believes that old age doesn’t begin until age 72, according to a 2009 Pew Research survey. “About half of all American adults say they feel younger than their actual age, but fully 61 percent of Boomers say this,” the Pew report said. “In fact, the typical Boomer feels nine years younger than his or her chronological age.”
Are these Boomers deceiving themselves? Or, should our conceptions about aging change?
Let’s reverse the usual question that goes: How old are you?
Tell me, instead: How are you old?
Please, “Comment” below.
(Dr. Baker is away and has invited writer Terry Gallagher to carry us through the year-end holidays.)