Clichés like “old age is not for the faint of heart” are fading into the background as the offerings of continued education increase. Looking at the greeting card world we see that 50 as the “over the hill” mark is being left behind. Greeting cards celebrating 90 and 100 join the famed 16 and 21-year milestones
As I reflect on the originator of this column, Noreen Santaluce who went to the great beyond a year ago October 11, 1916 I am grateful that she saw the inspiration that stories of the 50 plus population bring to the table. Inheriting this column from Noreen has me looking at how things have been evolving for our population. It looks like many are enjoying continuing uphill and uplifting the rest of the world along the way.
I’ve found that there is an increasing entrepreneur spirit in the lives of seniors. Hobbies become businesses, a continuation of a satisfying careers evolve into consulting, coaching as well as creating classes, and the high-tech arena has provided voids to be filled by positive thinking elders sharing their wisdom.
At the 90’s Plus Club that Noreen Started five years ago, a popular conversation starter has been “What was My Line,” expanding the title of a popular television show in the 50’s. Members of the club are happy to share the memories but continue with “What is My Line.”
Doree Steinmann, a new member of the 90’s Club, will hold the podium at October’s meeting sharing the history of her broadcasting career. Her local TV show, Your Second Fifty Years, featured many like herself that led the way to adapt to fast paced media world where “Progress is our most important product” was a frequent jingle on the airwaves.
Along with the zest for life that inspires these actions by seniors, there is a financial reality motivating business minded seniors. It is a combination of the cost of living and the longevity possibilities. Retirement nest eggs for retiring at 65 that seemed generous when planning during the prime of our lives. When we thought and statistics agreed that 70 was what my Aunt Lillian called, “your mysterious expiration date,” the amount was pretty easy to calculate.
Funding our last years looks different when our life goes beyond 70 and includes good health. Income producing becomes a pleasant and creative possibility.
The greying of America is also seen in entry-level jobs which provide camaraderie with a population of young people who express pleasure in hanging out with older staff members.
One fast food restaurant manager said “the kids compete to get the “Grands” to be on their shift — they hold a standard and add value to the tasks” — solid recognition and reason to be like a giraffe and stick your neck out.
What’s Your Line?
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