People say you’re as old as you feel, so think young and you’ll stay young. Age does not have to be a barrier to a full and satisfying life, but if you need convincing, just look at all the people well into their 50s, 60s and beyond holding down top jobs and crucial roles. Here are some examples to get you inspired, with ages and records as at the time of writing.
Presidents and heads of state
Politicians seldom make their mark before middle age, and many have to wait decades for recognition. In the recent US elections, the final contest was between a 68-year-old (Hillary Clinton) and a 70-year-old (Donald Trump). In the UK, Queen Elizabeth continues to rule at 91, looking as relaxed as ever in her busy role. If you enjoy your line of work, why not carry on likewise?
According to recent figures, record numbers of retirees are starting work again with projects of their own. Age is said to be an asset for entrepreneurship, due to the experience it brings, so if you have an idea up your sleeve, now is the time to make it a reality. The late Sylvia Lieberman became a published author at 90 with an award-winning children’s book, which she then promoted herself, raising money for charity in the process.
If you’re already an entrepreneur, just carry on, whatever your age, like others do. Jerome Oxman, creator of the successful mail-order business, Oxman’s Surplus, was still working a year before he died at 97. You’ll find countless similar cases, once you stop to look. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was 85 at the time he was named acting chief executive officer of Fox News. Age is irrelevant to high flyers.
While some media stars fade with time, others stay in the limelight through their 80s and 90s, entertaining the public as they always had. Larry King is still hosting TV and radio shows at 83, and there are plenty more elderly presenters still able to captivate their audiences. Actors often work beyond retirement age too, such as 100-year-old Kirk Douglas, who worked into his 90s. Perhaps there’s an actor inside you, in which case, it’s time you found an audience for it.
If you think your body needs some rest, think again. A 73-year-old woman recently climbed to the top of Mount Everest, breaking the record for women climbers, while the record age for men to reach the summit is 80, so maybe you should get your boots on and test out your own stamina. Perhaps you prefer a different sport, like cycling or scuba diving; skydiver Verdun Hayes, took his latest dive at the age of 101.
There’s something else that you’re never too old for: being a grandparent, or an aunt or uncle. If you’ve acquired young relatives in your senior years, you may find yourself taking on new caring skills or recalling long-forgotten ones from your parenting days. Grandparents rise to all sorts of challenges for the sake of their growing families, irrespective of their age, and there can be no more responsible role than supporting a young child’s life.
Take heart from the most inspiring of your peers and elders. If they can pursue their dreams, so can you!