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.
- 71% of those 50 and up say they’d take a pill that would give them an extra 50 healthy years.
My question then is what are we calling "over the hill"? It used to be 30, then it moved to 35 when life expectancy hit 70. Currently it's about 80, but if you factor out people dying in their teens and 20's from drugs and car deaths, life expectancy is close to 90 now. Last year a study put the odds on people who are under 60 today living to be 100 or more at about 20 percent!