David Brook’s article noting that people “May Live a Lot Longer” reminds us that longevity has increased substantially over the past century. But as Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”
Over the past century, life expectancy has almost doubled from mid-40s to around 80. Researchers expect that children born today may live past 100!
The real issue is how to enable people to lead fulfilling, elongated lives. With adulthood stretching from 20 -100+, each of us is responsible for maximizing our opportunities, by planning for our futures and pivoting in new directions. Life might include several careers, lots of relationships, life time learning and movement as we pursue our passions and purposes, while promoting and maintaining our health and financial freedoms.
Norms that narrow our options as we age, do us a disservice. Today most people don’t feel they are “seniors” when they hit 50; they don’t want to retire from a productive life at 65 for a few “golden years” because “retirement” was pegged at that age 90 years ago. Living longer doesn’t talk on more years post-retirement; it provides a whole new framework for leading a fulfilling life journey – enabling people like our President at 78, to take on more great challenges.
Stop “ageism”: it’s the only “ism” that impacts ourselves. Young adults may have greater physical prowess; but older adults have experience and expertise that they can share.
That’s why we started AgeBrilliantly.org: to encourage adults of all age to “take charge” and lead fulfilling lives for as many years as possible. Join the movement!