I’m Not Elderly; I’m an Elder in Training

Last month, I saw this headline on Bloomberg News: “America’s Elderly are Twice as Likely to Work Now Than in 1985.” The author of this article explained how people 65 and older are not retiring when they reach full retirement age. What? The author is referring to sixty-five-year-olds as elderly?  Wait, I’m over sixty-five (I’m 67), and I’m not elderly!  I’m an elder in training. Perceptions of 'Elderly' as Negative When ‘elderly’ is used to describe older people, the connotations are more often negative than not. Elderly is generally associated with individuals who are diminished or near the end of…

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Positive Aging Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

When I finally acknowledged to myself that I was entering a new period of my life—a period of elderhood—I started preparing myself for this important transition. I anticipated finally being free to be the person I really was—a person without the constraints of my former workplace identity. I was looking forward to aging positively. What I hadn’t realized was that positive aging doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I read I studied, I contemplated, and then I read some more. After a while, I realized that most of what other writers and thinkers shared about positive aging I had finally learned.…

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We’re a Diverse Group: Stereotyping Us is a Mistake

  In Oregon where I live, the fastest growing age group in the next ten years is projected to be people who are seventy or older.  Our nation and our globe are experiencing a dramatic demographic shift as our overall population is getting older. Yet, we're a diverse group, and stereotyping us is a mistake! We are More Than Our Age What amazes me is that there are still people who look at those over fifty and simply see a wave of grey. We’re so much more than our age. We’re a diverse population. It is true that as some…

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Many Employers Are Reinforcing Ageism by Ignoring It

  Ageism is part of our cultural fabric – it is deeply woven into our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Ageism refers to stereotyping and discriminating against people and groups based on age. Yet many employers are reinforcing ageism by ignoring it. Ageism is Prevalent in Most Workplaces  Research, according to The World Health Organization, “suggests that ageism may now be even more pervasive than sexism and racism.” If you’re a woman or person of color, that’s like double or triple jeopardy. Unfortunately, many workplaces are not addressing this serious problem. This is a risky practice.   According to an AARP…

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Becoming a Boomer-Entrepreneur is a Learning Experience

Following our theme this week, I’m writing about my experience of becoming a boomer-entrepreneur (or as some people call it, a boomerpreneur). According to an AARP report, three in ten entrepreneurs are at least 50 years old. The report went on to say that 78% of entrepreneurs 50 and older said that the main reason they’d suggest starting a business was the “satisfaction of working for themselves.” Finding Purpose through Entrepreneurship I’m one of those people who wanted to do something I thought would be satisfying and could eventually end up generating some supplemental income. Because I’m one of a…

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Here’s a Proven Strategy to Boost Visibility for Your Business or Cause

Would you believe that up to 45% of baby boomers think of themselves as entrepreneurial? What about you? Are you ready to split the scene and leave your employer in the dust? Are you ready to take charge of your own venture and have the thrill of owning your own business? Or, are you ready to start a nonprofit or advocate for one that matters to you? If so, you'll need a proven strategy to boost visibility for your business or cause. Here's the proven strategy: Your willingness and ability to give public presentations could significantly boost your marketing and…

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Boomer Renewal of the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Boomer renewal of the body, mind, and spirit: When I was in my early fifties, my health care provider told me that while I was relatively healthy, I didn’t have the same amount of wiggle room as I did when I was younger. In other words, I was mortal. I already knew that my body was already undergoing changes. At the same time, I had recently started a new career after years of working in positions that hadn’t felt like the best matches for me. And, like a lot of other adults who start grappling with their own mortality, I…

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Renewal, Rediscovery, or Reinvention? What Does Retirement Mean Today?

When people talk about ‘retirement,’ what do they really mean? I don’t have a good definition for my life after I officially applied for ‘retirement’ last year. To retire once meant that a person withdrew from work. In earlier times, a person who retired may have quietly lived out their remaining years and perhaps engaged in some leisure activities before expiring. When people ask me what kinds of leisure activities I’m now enjoying as a retiree, I have a difficult time knowing how to respond. My leisure activities aren’t much different now than when I was working. Yet I think…

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Businesses, Community Colleges, and Wineries: Set Out the Welcome Mat

Overall, thirty-five percent of the U.S. population is at least 50 years old. That same demographic group controls  70% of all disposable income. In other words, older adults are a very important demographic for a wide range of industries and services. Businesses and educational institutions need to set out the welcome mat by including images of older adults on their websites. Some industries appear to have made deliberate efforts to not only tell older adults they are valued but to show them they are valued through visual reinforcement. Though my approach was relatively informal, I looked at over 75 websites…

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Creative Abilities Could Increase with Age

We all have it--creativity, and those creative abilities could increase with age. Consider some of the ways you might express your creativity. For example, have you ever told stories to your grandchildren about your experiences growing up?  Have you looked at an empty space in your yard and envisioned a beautiful garden that you then planted?  Have you ever taken a recipe and modified it to make it your own?  Have you ever experimented with something or planned a lesson to teach? Are you good at brainstorming or seeing various points of view? Do you ever feel inspired to take…

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