By Ernie J. Zelinski
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  Age and Aging Image

What People Fear Most about Aging and Old Age

Few people know how to be old.
— La Rochefoucauld

Just as important as the right retirement  age and fears about retirement including not being able to attain one's right retirement number, the fear of aging is on many people's minds constantly.

For those seniors fearing old age, recent scientific research indicates that many problems that most individuals associate with old age can be avoided with proper retirement activities, healthcare, exercise, and diet.

Nonetheless, this hasn't stopped many residents in most countries from worrying about problems of aging and old age.

Forget how old you are — this get's more important the older you get!
— from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

For example, 41 percent of the residents of Belgium are concerned about incontinence, the highest level of concern in any surveyed nation about that problem. Citizens in Brazil are most concerned about losing sexual drive and losing teeth.

These findings were revealed in a  recent international survey, conducted by GfK Roper Consulting, that looked at the cultural differences in views of aging and the fears of old age.

Faced with the prospect of getting older, the residents of the Netherlands worry about gaining weight and people in Thailand fear the loss of their eyesight.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
— Author Unknown

The biggest fear about losing hair or having it go gray was reported by the residents of India.

Interestingly, Germans worry most about losing their memory or their mental alertness.

Not to be outdone by anyone, Americans don't have only one major worry. Residents of the U.S. are concerned about losing their memory, gaining too much weight, losing energy, and having trouble caring for themselves.

I don't plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet.
— Rita Rudner 

On the other hand, Egyptians face aging and old age positively, reporting relatively few concerns.

Forget How Old You Are — This Becomes More

Important the Older You Get!

NOTE: This article is excerpted from The World's Best Retirement Book by Ernie Zelinski, which will prove to be an invaluable resource for you regardless of what retirment age you choose for yourself:

Age, you will be happy to hear, is not all it’s made out to be. It’s how you look at it that counts most. “He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age,” the Greek philosopher Plato told us, “but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”

After all these years, experts are still proving that Plato was right. In a recent study reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers claim that elderly people can actually think themselves into the grave a lot faster than they would prefer. Indeed, people with negative views about aging shorten their lives by 7.6 years as compared to their counterparts who have a more positive view of life.

Surprisingly, a positive view about aging can have a greater effect than good physical health. The researchers, led by psychologist Becca Levy of Yale University, reported, “The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less.”

“Our study carries two messages,” concluded the researchers. “The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy. The encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.” The lesson here is that you shouldn't waste too much time and energy worrying about getting older. “Never think oldish thoughts,” advised James A. Farley. “It’s oldish thoughts that make a person old.”

Talk to active elderly people with a joie de vivre and you will learn that they are young at heart and don’t perceive themselves as old. Sure, they realize that they are physically limited to some degree, but psychologically they don’t see age as a hindrance. This applies whether they are in their sixties or nineties. As a matter of course many upbeat retirees usually feel extremely uncomfortable when in the presence of people their own age, primarily because the majority of people their age think and act old.

Simply put, active and happy elderly people don’t want to waste their retirement years listening to people their own age complain about the problems of being old. “There is a fountain of youth,” declared Sophia Loren. “It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life, and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age.”

By virtue of their positive thinking, many happy and active seniors have expanded the concept of middle age into the seventh decade. According to a 2002 study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA), in this day and age one-third of Americans in their seventies consider themselves middle-aged. Among respondents age sixty-five to sixty-nine, nearly half (45 percent) said they considered themselves middle-aged.

Pablo Picasso said, “Age only matters when one is aging. Now that I have arrived at a great age, I might just as well be twenty.” Thinking young can help you to stay busily and happily involved in your later years. Somerset Maugham wrote his last book at eighty-four. Giuseppe Verdi was still composing operas in his eighties. Leopold Stokowski founded the American Symphony Orchestra at eighty and recorded twenty albums in his nineties. At ninety-six, Stokowski — an eternal optimist no doubt — signed a six-year recording contract.

These people appear to be somewhat remarkable,and in a way they are. They are not unusual, however. Hundreds of thousands of people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties have an incredible zest for life and show great vigor, enthusiasm, and physical ability for living. Like these active and happy individuals, you shouldn't let how old you are dictate when you enter old age. Indeed, one of the secrets to happiness is to forget how old you are — this becomes more important the older you get.

COPYRIGHT © 2020 by Ernie J. Zelinski
All Rights Reserved

Sayings and Quotes about

Age, Aging, and Old Age

The Older I Get the Better I Was!
— Retirement Saying

A light heart lives long.
— William Shakespeare

When I was young, the Dead Sea was still alive.
— George Burns

Early to bed and early to rise makes a person dull, boring, and despised.
 from the book
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

 Retirement Cafe Book

I refuse to admit that I'm more than fifty-two even if that does make my sons illegitimate.
— Lady Astor

I'm Not Old, I'm CLASSIC
— Retirement Saying

Growing old is compulsory. Retirement from work is discretionary.
— Unknown wise person

Fear not death; for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal.
— Ben Franklin

Youth suffers from inexperience while old age suffers from youth's action.
— Jon Hanson

Age appears to be best in four things — old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
— Francis Bacon

And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
— Abraham Lincoln

A half-hour walk is the most beneficial thing you can do for your ailments.
— from The Joy of Not Working

Age and Aging Book Cover #2

Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.
— Ben Franklin

Why do people write books that say it's better to be older than to be younger? It's not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you're constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yersterday . . . . If you work, you're surrounded by young people who are plugged into the marketplace, the demographic, the zeitgeist; they want your job and someday they're going to get it.
— Nora Ephron

My health is good; it's my age that's bad.
— Roy Acuff (at 83)

Retirement: Statutory senility.
— Emmett O'Donnell

To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.
— Ben Franklin

I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table.
— Rodney Dangerfield

Whatever the challenge of a new age, in the end what really counts is not the years in our lives but the life in our years. It is not about longevity, but the depth of life. Long ago I learned that age does not wither the mind if people remain positive. No one is too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. It is a mind game. As Churchill suggested, "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
 Jennie Chau, a retiree in Singapore

Age-based retirement arbitrarily severs productive persons from their livelihood, squanders their talents, scars their health, strains an already overburdened Social Security system, and drives many elderly people into poverty and despair. Ageism is as odious as racism and sexism.
— Norman Vincent Peale

Retirement age is a number invented by governments to get you to retire when you don't want to.
— Dave Erhard

You want to go easy on the suicide stuff — first thing you know, you'll ruin your health.
— Robert Benchley

Stay busy [when you retire]. If you are going to sit on the couch and watch TV, you are going to die.
— Bill Chavanne

I don't think about my age. It's only a number.
— James Biggs

Now that I'm over sixty, I'm veering toward respectability.
— Shelley Winters

It is not how old you are, but how you are old.
— Marie Dressler

Never ask old people how they are if you have anything to do that day.
— Joe Restivo

The trick is growing up without growing old.
— Casey Stengel

Retired: Too Old to Work — Too Young to Die.
— Retirement Saying

An old man in love is like a flower in winter.
— Portuguese proverb

The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened.
— Mark Twain

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of it.
— Retirement Saying

Also see age quotes at Sensational Quotes for Smart People.  



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