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Age is Just a Number

It’s never been truer that you’re as old as you feel

➔ Among the most prominent changes in the 21st Century workforce is the age at which individuals are continuing to work. Long gone are the days when workers were put out to pasture at age 65. While there are many reasons for why people are continuing to work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 55 is the fastest growing demographic in today’s workforce.

No gold watch here

For a time it was fashionable to talk about how people and their ages – and the perceptions of those ages – have changed in recent years. Now they say that, when it comes to work, 60 is the new 50, and 70 is the new 60.

According to BLS, the average age of the American worker in 2001 was 39.6. By 2021, that had risen to 41.7 and, it’s expected to rise to 42.6 by 2031.

Examples abound

It was recently reported that Mad Magazine’s artist Al Jaffee died at 102. In and of itself, that’s noteworthy, but not unheard of. People become centenarians every day. What is exceptional in Mr. Jaffee’s case is that he retired only three years ago – at age 99! He worked at Mad Magazine for 65 years. That’s quite a stint.

There are other notables. Herb Alpert (of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass fame) continues to tour at age 88. Then there’s Britain’s Petula Clark (“Downtown”) who is still recording at age 90.

We personally know of a man who continues to work five days a week and walks four city blocks to and from lunch each day at age 96.

At age 80, Joe Biden is the oldest U.S. president in history and his chief competition for the job next year, Donald Trump, is 76. Another contender, Bernie Sanders, will be 82 in September.

The irrelevancy of age has never been more apparent today. And don’t let anyone tell you different.


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