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There Is Something Curious About Aging

Updated on June 22, 2012

Growing "50 and better" ain't for sissies.

I will bet you are curious about aging, too!
I will bet you are curious about aging, too! | Source

Every human being is growing old(er)....

The really curious thing about aging? It is that we are all curious about how we will do it.

Now the standing joke about "The Golden Years" is one definition which says that "'The Golden Years' are what every hospital and doctor have been waiting for...your gold saved over the years."

Wihout a doubt, the individual who ages with no creaks and pains, with no diseases, and having the boundless energy of a kindergartener, is how we would all like to be able to age, if wishing upon a star still worked.

Facts show that although we are living longer (in Japan average life expectancy is now 82) we are not living more of those years better. That is what is really curious.

I recall wondering many years ago (for I am old enough to say that) "What will happen, if we develop medical and biological skills to the extent that we could literaly live on forever, but only a very few people could afford those medical and biological skills for themselves?"

The three big killers that are mostly likely to knock us down are heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease (strokes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, etc.) But some others are trying their best, too, such that our average number of the healthy years has been diminishing since 1998. Bone fractures associated with osteoporosis post-menopause is knocking down a lot of seniors and we know that more prevalent than "falling and breaking a hip" is the scenario where the hip breaks and causes seniors to fall.

Moreover, the health concerns most likely to affect seniors take longer to recover from, simply because we recover more slowly the older we get!

We do a marvelous job of aging when you consider the fact that in most countries the number of older persons (65+) has increased by about 50% in just the past 10 years.

As that figure suggests, the health budgets of countries are straining because we live longer and when we need health care the needs are more serious and more prolonged. Couple that reality with the fact that we draw Social Security retirement funds for more years than our parents and grandparents did, and you see the financial problems which are magnifying.

Lots of seniors are hurting to try to provide themselves with oral health care. It too is increasingly expensive at the very time when personal funds are typically more limited, in part because other medical needs and prescriptions are already getting a larger percentage of their budget.

What is the answer to living well longer? The curious fact is that it will mean setting more aside when we are younger. If there is a lesson to be learned from today's seniors, it is this: If you plan to live longer, budget to save more sooner. Eventually interest rates on savings will increase, and it is important that interest working for you be greater than the interest you are paying out (for mortgage, car, other time payments,and credit cards) works against you.

The big banks make their money speculating (which we have learned can be bad for all of us) and from their fees and high credit card interest (which Congress has ignored as another very real drag on the economy.)

We know taxpayers face a horrendous National Debt as government continues to spend beyond its means (a debt of over $15.6 trillion dollars) but personal debt (what we owe on our own overspending) is even more.

The curious thing about aging? Perhaps it is why we all know the saying "too soon old, too late smart" but don't smarten up so we will have enough gold to be able to enjoy good health care in our Golden Years!


© 2012 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      catgypsy; Only those who have good families, or who have prepared properly ahead of time will be able to maintain good health and live as they would prefer as they advance further into their "50 and Better" years. And...we knew it all along.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      What a good point you've made. I hate to say this, but I hear more and more people saying, "I don't want to live to my nineties!" I think it's because, as y0u pointed out, we are liver older , but not better. Who can afford to live too long these days? Great hub.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Barbara Kay: The present interest rates are a two-edged sword. They are low, so borrowing and refinancing can hopefully be done at a low rate (if one's credit allows borrowing.) On the other hand, earning on savings, IRA, Keogh, 401K all tend to also be low. If the mortgage is paid off, the low mortgage rates don't necessarily help when you want to keep it paid off. Reverse mortgages were 5% and are now slightly higher and payout is slightly lower, plus you have to occupy the house at least six months a year, so renting it out and moving to "the cottage" doesn't seem to work. Nest eggs aren't hatching very well, and the wait for interest rates to turn around could be long. The right real estate buys could be a good hedge while the market is still depressed and some good buys still exist, but for most seniors "the wiggle room" has shrunk, and for many the bills are closing in. Capitalism has treated the older generation fairly well...until now, and now the prior planning has to work.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 5 years ago from USA

      This was well thought out and very true. Some of us are going to be in real trouble when retirement arrives. Things didn't work out well for many of the baby boomer generation. Interest rates were high when we purchased our homes and now that we are older interest rates are low on the money we saved. I hope you are right that the rates will go up eventually.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Mhatter99: None of us "age like others" only like ourselves, and that remains a mystery until we find out "the rest of the story." But we can "hope for the best and plan for the worst." Chances are our own curious aging will wind up somewhere in between. Wishing you good health and happiness to last a lifetime.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I should have known that I would not age like others

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I thought of mentioning that the pineal gland calcifies with age and is less able to produce the body's best antioxidant, Melatonin. Its lower levels as we age are a big reason why the older generation often has problems sleeping. It is available very reasonably in health stores and I recommend taking 1 to 2.5 mg in the timed release form, though larger doses are equally safe.

    • Bonitaanna profile image

      Bonitaanna 5 years ago from Oil City, PA

      Thanks for that very nice Hub. It is a concern for many now that we are living longer. Rest, exercise and eating so that you get your nutrients are very important for the golden years. Also since we loose 10 percent of the bodys ability to bounce back every 10 years. People need to pay attention to cleansing their tissue. A few days fast does wonders in a years time.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is great advice. I wish I knew when I was 20 what I know now about putting money away. Thanks for writing this. I'm sharing it. Maybe your tips will rub off on somebody and make a difference!