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5 reasons 2013 was a good year to grow older

Here's a bonus reason: Getting older sure beats the alternative.

By Money Staff Dec 27, 2013 1:42PM

This post comes from Michael Hodin at partner site The Fiscal Times.

 

The Fiscal Times on MSN MoneyIt's a wonderful time of year –- unless you're a Washington Redskins fan, a Healthcare.gov advocate, or the press secretary at the NSA. As we look ahead to 2014, it's worth noting and celebrating that as we age, science and medicine and society itself are making life more livable, more exciting than ever before.

 

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones
© Dave J Hogan/Getty Images
You're in good company

Whether you live in L.A., Tokyo, Berlin, or Sao Paolo, you and those around you are part of one of the largest worldwide demographic groups.

 

Japan has an incredible 30 percent of its population over 60, a number that will climb to 40 percent in the next two decades. Europe is only inches behind, and the less-industrialized nations of the world are catching up quickly. Quite soon, what was once "old" will be middle-aged, with a slew of new possibilities and opportunities arising.

 

You're healthy

Thanks to better sanitation everywhere, as well as innovation in medicine, procedures, devices, and healthier diets and lifestyles, global life expectancy is shooting through the roof -- with more people enjoying good health well into their later years than ever before.

 

While poor health during the older years remains an obstacle to making population aging a driver of economic growth and prosperity, we’re certainly moving in the right direction. New breakthroughs in immunization, skin care, vision and more are rewriting the possibilities for aging populations and opening doors that have been closed to "seniors" for time immemorial.

 

You are on the global agenda

The G8 met this December in London to discuss how to spearhead a global initiative to beat Alzheimer's by 2025, the exploding health challenge of the 21st century because of its near-perfect correlation to aging. Today, one in three people is at risk of getting Alzheimer's or some other form of dementia.

 

The OECD has been working with Oxford University, and the WHO, the UN, APEC, the EU and other multi-national organizations are recognizing that national success is intimately interwoven with the success of aging populations. New initiatives, programs and agendas are being formed, and older people are at the center of it all.

 

You are sexy

From New York's catwalks to Hollywood's back lots, older adults are stealing the show.

 

Harper's Bazaar's legendary "Fabulous at Every Age" segment now features a page dedicated to women in their 60s and 70s, and more and more of Hollywood’s leading men technically qualify for Social Security. "Red 2" has a cast of role models, including Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, and Anthony Hopkins; Robert Redford has been nominated for a Golden Globe; Martin Scorcese has directed one of the big box office hits of the season, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; and Meryl Streep in "August: Osage County" proves once again what great acting is all about.

 

You're just getting started

As the Rolling Stones showed on their 50th anniversary tour, time is definitely on your side. And the G8's leadership reveals just how invested global authorities are in beating the problems of aging before they beat us. Companies of all industries are catching on, too, realizing that "age friendliness" isn’t just the right thing to do -- it's essential for business success in the coming years.

 

The progress we're making in capturing the opportunity of aging will create a better tomorrow for people of all ages. A healthier, more active and productive aging population will drive fiscal sustainability and economic growth for decades to come. A new model of aging may be the greatest gift we could give ourselves and our families as this year closes and a new one begins.

 

More from The Fiscal Times:

9Comments
Dec 27, 2013 5:19PM
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We are definitely growing older, my husband and me.   I'm in my 70's and he's in his 80's.   We very much appreciate our long and full lives but if 2013 was a good year to grow older it didn't feel very good.   Arthritis still hurts, no cure there.  Interest rates on our lifetime savings for our old age are a bad joke.   Oh, to be 30 again.!
Dec 27, 2013 2:10PM
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So getting old is recommended? Certainly a decision one may need to mull over... 
Dec 27, 2013 2:51PM
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Just one of many dumb articles from MSN...
Dec 27, 2013 2:26PM
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well let's see , how about we look at our options .... hmm I guess there aren't any , crap
Dec 28, 2013 3:54PM
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If the boomers all die off who could the GOP blame the US Budget financial problems on?  We paid dearly for Social Security and Medicare and then they have tried to make the younger generations hate us and think of us as free loaders.  The fatal flaw in their plan is our children and grandchildren love us and know we want to do right by them.
Dec 30, 2013 5:11AM
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Human history is Full of Peaks and Valleys. It's far too big of an assumption to believe the next generation moving forward will be living far better lives than the past. Every 50 year or so period will be markedly different than the next in the Modern Era. This Generation has now gone through 20 plus years of GMO crops plus the ongoing misuse of antibiotics in animals used for food stock. This will have a devastating effect on living longer moving forward.

Whether or not folks believe in Climate Change, most folks believe in Global Pollution as the World Population is taxing the limit our Resources. As China and Japan each have their separate pollution issues, both add to the Global problems. Our Oceans are having everything and anything Dumped into them while we over fish them. We are seeing massive Deforestation while many of our huge Deserts of Growing.

It also goes without saying that soon, the only ones that can afford the lifesaving innovations in medicine will only be the SuperRich. So that does not bode well for everyone else. There are already indications that lifespans have peaked. I suspect they will soon be in decline. The title should have been the End of a Great Cycle. Nothing lasts forever, soon this Generational Era will be just a distant memory. The last 50 years hardly promises you the next.
Dec 28, 2013 9:26PM
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Thanks for the feel good piece but at 63, even though I lost 55 lbs in the past year and am more active, I was slowed down by plantar fasciitis and as soon as I recovered from that I had a hip flexor strain.  Call it the new middle age as much as you want, it's still a b1tch growing older!

Dec 30, 2013 5:17AM
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We have let Greed trump commonsense and that will be our undoing.
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I'm sorry I missed that part about the people that got YOUNGER in 2013....

Mediocre article but it could have been much better with a more applicable title.

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