We’re all getting older, but the way we think about aging is changing, according to new research. When we see Bruce Springsteen selling out concerts at age 73 and Martha Stewart on the cover of “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit Issue at 81, we realize old age isn’t what it used to be. A new Harris Poll confirms Americans’ ideas of what “old” is are changing.
The survey of 2-thousand U.S. adults, including 900 who are 50 and older, shows the shift in how Americans define old age and longevity.
- The research reveals that age 60 was considered “old” in respondents’ grandparents’ era, but now it’s pushed back by 20 years and 80 is considered “old.”
- When talking about getting older, 69% of those age 50 and up prefer the term “longevity” to “aging.”
- Respondents say the biggest differences between people over 60 today compared to a generation ago are that they're more active (79%) and more open-minded and curious (58%).
- Most older people have a positive outlook, as 71% of those 65+ say the best time of their lives is right now or in the future.
- Many of them want to feel needed, as 83% of those 65 and up say it’s more important for them to feel “useful” than “youthful.”
- A third (66%) of Americans 50 and older see retirement as a new chapter in life, while 16% see it as a time for rest and relaxation.
- Nearly a quarter (71%) of those 50 and up say they’d take a pill that would give them an extra 50 healthy years.