GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 10

the future of aging
Creating a new story for our times, for our future, is a powerful act. On its own, it's not enough. We have to question the
old story, as well, the past story and the present story that was
shaped by that past. This process isn't linear. We don't do one and
then the other. We need to examine all of our stories and begin
creating a future story, and then go back to see how that future
story impacts the old story (does it make it
self-destruct?), and then adjust our future
story again. Ultimately, and perhaps most
importantly, we have to share our future
stories with each other, leaving our comfort
zone, multiple generations coming face-toface in the real world we share. Together,
we can move forward, creating a new story
based on our shared values, including
our shared concern for the Earth and one
another.
But is this how our story will unfold?

Tipping point

The future of the world economy rests in
the hands of our aging population. Our
country is behind much of the world in
recognizing this. World leaders from Japan
to Mexico are actively looking into the key
role in economic growth that is and will be
played by people over 60, who will soon
number two billion. Europe even made
2012 the Year of Active Aging. In the United
States, more and more voices are joining the chorus (from Jane

"

"No matter what age you are while
reading this, the issue affects you, and
not just because our national (and
world) economy affects everyone."

10 GRAND

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2019

Fonda to Pfizer), but most of our leaders have yet to pick up the
refrain.
Yet without our leaders taking active, visible, vocal steps toward
policies that take advantage of an active, productive, powerful
element of society-our 40, 50, 60, 70, and our Elder population-
the story of our planet Earth will not have a happy ending.

affects everyone. It affects us all because as long as we live, we all
age. People are living longer and healthier. We have the unprecedented opportunity to reinvent our own futures in ways that make
midlife through elderhood just another transition into new or
reimagined ways of doing and being, rather than a time of retiring...and waiting to pass on.

"

"

"At what age are we truly
over the hill?"

There are parallels to the women's movement and the
economic growth we experienced through practices that
enfranchised women. We can experience the same growth
by essentially empowering (or re-empowering) this huge
chunk of our population that, in the past, we as a society
dismissed as useless or even as burdens. Not only do we
need to recognize that the post-40 and post-50 generations
are the near and mid-term future, and that Millennials are
the future leaders, we also need to recognize that women
are still in the process of changing our economy. Post-50
women are especially poised to do nothing short of saving
the world.
What do we do next? Today, I want to ask every one of
you, women and men, at every age and stage, to reach out
to the leaders of our nation, our companies and nonprofits,
academia, our communities-and ultimately transform the
conversation about aging. Ask them what they are doing to
take advantage of what we have to offer in our fifties, sixties,
seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond. Don't forget to ask
Elizabeth Isele, an indomitable voice for senior entrepreneurif the pre-Great Recession demarcation of "over the hill at forty" is
ship, has been preaching about this for years. Isele's tireless work
still operative, or if the newer "fifty is the age of the tipping point,
is finally getting more traction after she testified at a 2014 Senate with age sixty the end point!" espoused by today's HR executives
hearing on this very topic and implored our government to be
is the new game rule. It's apparent that our aging Boomer leadermore age and senior-friendly.
ship is forcing a shift in the over-the-hill mind-set of current leadNo matter what age you are while reading this, the issue affects ers, employers, and even our electorate. But where does it stop?
you, and not just because our national (and world) economy
At what age are we truly over the hill?
Continued on next page


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GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019

Contents
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 1
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 2
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 3
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 5
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GRAND Magazine - January/February 2019 - 7
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