Ah, the possibilities.
Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.—Robert Browning
I’ve written on this theme many times, but I’ll repeat myself: There’s never a better time for living than now.
You might ask why? What’s so great about getting older?
Well, we have a choice: See our third portion of life as a privilege or view the road as abysmal.
Now, I’m not minimizing the risks of age-related illnesses, but things have improved exponentially. Only a few decades ago, older adults endured more suffering than our generation. Minor issues may have been severe at one time, but the blessings of 21st century innovations have changed that.
Technological advancements and healthy living have led to longer life spans for Baby Boomers, and future generations should see even more.
Two phenomena have become more common for us older adults, and one has recently emerged, almost unheard a few decades ago.
70? 80? 90? Nothing out of the ordinary here.
Buzz Aldrin took the plunge, as did Robert Kraft. Do you recognize the names? Let’s start with Mr. Aldrin.
Buzz rocketed into space several decades ago, and recently, he became Rocket Man again when he married a fourth time on his 93rd birthday.
Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner, lost his wife, Myra, to ovarian cancer in 2011. In 2023, he tackled marriage a second time at age 81.
Famous people aren’t the only ones choosing marriage at a later life stage.
I’m acquainted with people – and you probably are too – who are looking for golden-years’ love and marriage. Many dating sites now attract this population, and as someone dealing with human behavior, I believe this trend will continue to increase.
I’ve written about this many times, and now it’s being highlighted in several publications. On April 6th, The Wall Street Journal published an article about the increasing demand of older workers.
The reason? Their employers prefer older people’s work ethic over the younger generation. The WSJ states:
“People fifty-five and older are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce, according to federal data.”
The article discusses many variables, but the older adult’s desire for stability is viewed as an asset. The WSJ acknowledges that ageism remains for certain sectors of the graying population. However, between 2011 and 2021, discrimination complaints to the Equal Opportunity Commission decreased by 45 percent.
My mother, ahead of her time, loved working, and stayed employed until age 81. She kept her house, drove, and although not wealthy, she remained independent. When a couple of people questioned her desire to work in her older years, she informed them she used Betty White as her role model.
More people are taking a page from my mother and other inspiring women.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Isabella Rossellini became one of the highest paid models as the face of Lancôme until age 40. At that time, Lancôme ended their contract with Ms. Rossellini, deeming her “too old.” But because views about age and beauty have been changing in recent years, Ms. Rossellini had been invited back to Lancôme.
In January, The Wall Street Journal highlighted the rise in beauty ads with greying adults. Grey Model Agency in London began in 2015 because of the demand for older models. One of their models, Frances Dunscombe, became employed by the agency at age 82. They continue to find jobs for her at age 90.
Martha Stewart broke a record for Sports Illustrated’s oldest model. Maye Musk, age 74, graced their cover in 2022, and, at age 81, Ms. Stewart will do so in 2023. And her reason?
On May 15th, Yahoo! Life reported:
“‘Usually, I’m motivated by pay. But this time I was motivated by showing people that a woman my age could still look good, feel good, be good,’” Stewart said in conversation with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.”
Ms. Stewart sums it up for all of us whether you choose marriage at a later stage, work, or something once deemed for the nubile generation.
Guarantees never exist, but opportunities abound more than any other time in history.
Ah, the possibilities, indeed.
What are your thoughts about marriage after 60? What about the work environment for older adults – is it more open to us than ever? Have you always wanted to be a model? Why not try it now? The opportunities are endless!