The countdown has officially begun and the clock is ticking. That’s right, and I know it is hard to believe, but in just 17 days, I am turning 60. But unlike most of my 59 year-old counterparts, I am not dreading it. In fact, I am actually looking forward to it.

Because I spend a lot of my working hours trying to understand why most companies either ignore adults like me or they market to them in stereotypical ways, I have come to realize that our society has a love affair with the youth. That combined with our general fear of getting older, which I call FOGO, it is not surprising that most people do not look forward to the aging process.

However, our work and proprietary research combined with data from other studies tells me that perhaps we have it all wrong about getting older. Perhaps getting older isn’t that bad and in fact, can be the best part of your life. 

The reality is that aging today is not what it was like for your grandparents and likely even your parents. The “old” way of aging resulted in many of the myths and stereotypes associated with getting older, most of which we include in our Dirty Dozen Myths of Aging. So it is not surprising that we are constantly told by the media that aging is a bad thing for society that will lead to increased dependency, higher medical costs and decreased productivity. Basically we are told that getting older is not good for our society or for us as individuals.

As a population we are getting older and there is no stopping it. Today there are over 110 million adults in Canada and the US aged 55 and over who represent 30% of the population. By 2050, older adults will represent 36% of the population and by the year 2100, a staggering 42% of the population will be 55 and older. And, with aging changing quickly, it would pay us all big dividends to recognize this new reality.

There are many great things associated with getting older. If you can get over our FOGO and act on the right things, there is a much greater chance that you can live a longer, healthier and happier life. Now is the time to stop battling aging and embrace it. We need to take action now so that living longer doesn’t become a time when you are living a less healthy and lower quality of life for a longer period of time. Our goal should be to lengthen our lifespan and flatten the morbidity curve – that means not having a slow decline in health over time to one where you live a longer and healthier life followed by a quick drop-off and death. That’s the way I want to go!

As I am about to turn 60, I have made a conscious decision to start making the changes in my life so that getting older becomes the best part of my life. If you want to understand and reach people like me, I can be contacted at jeff@ageofmajority.com.