Five Revelations From The New Age of Aging


We’re changing what it means to be older and changing the culture of aging for all-time. The New Age of Aging, a landmark study conducted by Age Wave, a think tank and research firm focused on population aging, reveals “the beginning of a complete paradigm shift as today’s modern elders dismantle the long-held cultural beliefs and social norms about how older women and men should think, feel, and act.”   

The national study surveyed the opinions U.S. adults ages 18+ and underscores the lessons that Growing Bolder learns every day as we tell the stories of ordinary people living extraordinary lives.  

The Top Five Revelations from the New Age of Aging 

1: “OLD” ISN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE. The definition of old has been pushed back by 20 years. 60 was considered “old” by our grandparents.  Today, 80 is the median age considered “old.” 

2: A NEW “WHAT’S NEXT” LIFESTAGE: 66% of respondents called retirement “a new chapter in life” and 6% view it as a time to wind down. 

3: HAPPIER THAN EVER: Seventy-one percent of adults 65+ say that the best time of their life is right now or in front of them.  

4: THE “FOUNTAIN OF YOUTHFULLNESS”: The power of purpose. 83% of adults 65+ say it’s more important to feel useful than youthful in retirement.  

5: VALUES OVER DOLLARS: Move Forward. Give back. $80 trillion will be passed down from older generations to their heirs in the next two decades but 65% of respondents said that the most important thing to pass down are values and life lessons. Only 22% said financial assets were most important. 

We are indeed Growing Bolder as a culture and Ken Dychtwald, PhD, founder and CEO of Age Wave, puts it all in perspective. “Aging has finally come of age. Understanding our evolving perceptions of aging is more urgent than ever, as people over 65 make up an increasingly large portion of the US population each year, with a projected 53% growth by the year 2050, according to the most recent census projections.” 

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