The Write Side of 59


In 1953, when I was born, my life expectancy was 66. That’s why, back in the 1950s, when my grandfathers quit working, most people were retired by age 65. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) admitted members at age 50. Today, my life expectancy is 83. Those 17 extra years are literally life-changing, and quite significant for retirement planning. This year I will turn 60. And rather than consider retirement as my grandfathers did at this age, I am looking forward to at least another decade of work. I can’t imagine retiring in my 60s. That’s the difference the extra 17 years of life expectancy have made.

Yet the world has not adapted to the longer life expectancies.The AARP still admits members at age 50. Senior citizen housing is available at age 55. Most senior citizen discounts still kick in between 60 and 65…

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