Home » Blog Posts

How Old is Old?

Written By: Jim Long on April 26, 2012 No Comment

Have you given any thought to what old means lately? It can be a hard thing to get your mind around. There are lots of folks with lots of ideas on the subject. But you can’t go anywhere and get “the” answer.

There is a suit in my closet that I have worn for many years. I think it’s old. My wife has an outfit in her closet that is not this season’s. She thinks that’s old.

As a kid on the safety patrol – do they do that anymore? – I heard an even younger kid explaining that by the time you are 21- that’s really old. No great support for that theory, is there?

Some baby boomers are not yet 50. So that’s not a good place to look. What about senior discounts? If you get one are you old? They can be had as early as 50 and even as late as 65. I guess that is not a good indicator of “old”.

At age 60 some folks feel old but others are barely middle aged. Early retirement can begin at 62, according to the Social Security Administration. A sign post possibly but not a clear indicator of old age.

Then we get to 65. That’s a big number. But wait. Now you need to be about 66 or so to have a full retirement benefit from Social Security. Maybe, that is not the answer. Recently, I did see a newspaper reporter mention “elderly people.” And then he noted gratuituously- those people over 65.

But why age 65? In the Great Depression era, retirement plans were on the minds of many people. Some states had plans with age 70. Some other countries used age 60 or 65. The compromise by Congress was age 65 with the advent of Social Security. No research. No scientific investigation. And this at a time when life expectancy was 58 years for men and 62 for women. Currently life expectancy is a little over 78 years.

Some folks prefer to talk about ages where you are most likely to have reduced functions in some of your senses. Studies show that hearing impairment may begin in your 40’s. Vision, touch and taste may be more affected in your mid 50’s. Usually, smell is not affected until our mid70’s. But these are not good indicators of age for the general population.

We have all heard about 40 being the new 30. Some professionals would now like to use age groups. From age 55 to 74 is called “young old.” Age 75 plus is referred to as “old old.” Still others want to add in a group called “middle old.” Another thought is to talk in terms of “functional age” versus “chronological age.” Do we really believe any of these methods are going to catch on outside the academic world?

Possibly we just need to think more like Satchel Paige, the ageless major league pitcher . “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind. It doesn’t matter.” Remember he was “ageless” because he had no birth certificate.

My personal view is that old has to be at least a year older than me. Hopefully, that target keeps moving.

But how do you really judge age? Maybe what we need is a system that uses more than age alone. Perhaps you have the answer. So, how old is old? Nobody seems to really know. Do people even care? The real question is: How old do you -yes you – feel?

Tags: , , ,

Digg this!Add to del.icio.us!Stumble this!Add to Techorati!Share on Facebook!Seed Newsvine!Reddit!

Leave a Reply:

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  Copyright ©2009 YourHealthyOptions.com, All rights reserved.| Powered by WordPress | Privacy Policy | Contact Us