One of the stereotypes about aging is that people tend to get more conservative and unfriendly in their later years.

We’ve all seen movies where old people sit on their porches, complaining that “kids today just don’t get it.” Usually, these aren’t the kind of folks that you would like to invite over to your place for a beer.

Most of the baby boomers I know don’t fit this stereotype – at least, not yet. For the most part, our generation is redefining retirement, exploring our passions and trying to get the most from life.

At the same time, I have to admit that staying flexible, active and positive requires more conscious effort after 60. Maybe there is some truth to the idea that the older we get, the more we have to lose. Or perhaps people over 60 have just had more time to think about and form their opinions.

Whatever the reasons, getting the most from life after 60 requires us to stay open to new ideas and resist falling into predictable patterns.

The best thing that we can do to prevent ourselves from turning into mean old women in our 70s and 80s is to invest in ourselves today.

We can get fit now to limit our aches and pains in the future. We can commit ourselves to lifelong learning to avoid becoming close-minded. Most of all, we can stay engaged in the world by starting businesses, exploring our passions, volunteering and mentoring.

Do you agree that the stereotype that people get grumpier and more conservative as they age is overblown? What steps do you think people should take in their 60s to make sure that their later years are happy and healthy? Please join the discussion.

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