This article by Rick Kahler does a great job explaining how life typically get’s better as you get older. I personally have found this to be true.
How old is “old?” I don’t know exactly, but after my recent birthday I can say that it’s much older than 58. My 12-year-old son told me, “Dad, I’ve always thought of people who are over 60 as being really old. I don’t think of you as really old, so guess I will need to redefine what is old.
”Still, I am old enough to know from personal experience that the body begins to slow down and fall apart as we age. I also know from working with clients that aging can be expensive. One of the biggest threats to a retirement nest egg, besides the possibility of outliving it, is the high cost of medical care for increasing health needs.
All this leaves me wondering if there is anything good about getting older.
Well, yes, there is. A recent article in Consumer Reports on Health found there are some things that actually get better with age:
1. You get wiser. This one seems intuitively obvious to me, but as I once heard a researcher say, “If you can’t measure something, it doesn’t exist.” Research conducted by the Universities of Texas and Michigan found that significantly more older people ranked in the top 20% in wisdom performance and the group with an average age of 65 consistently outperformed younger participants. Maybe there’s some truth to the joke about parents seeming to get smarter as their kids get older.
2. You have fewer difficult emotions. A Gallup survey found that people in their 70’s and 80’s reported less stress, worry, and anger than younger respondents. I found it curious that stress peaks at age 25 and steadily declines, dropping rapidly from age 60 to 73. I guess that leaves me something to look forward to in a couple of years.