One in 30 baby boomers has hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a serious blood-borne disease that people live with for years or even decades with no symptoms while the disease slowly damages their liver. One in thirty baby boomers, those born from 1945 to 1965, has hepatitis C and most don’t even know it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C.

Dr. Laura Kornegay, Health Director for the Central Shenandoah Health District, discusses the disease.

Boomers looking to retire closer to home in active communities – The Denver Post

After living in Prince George’s County, Maryland for 36 years, John and Theresa Leeke sold their five-bedroom house and moved in 2016 to a three-bedroom home, part of an age-restricted community for people 55 and older in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

“We had been looking for several years for a one-level home. We wanted to downsize but not go very far,” says John Leeke, 78, a retired management and human resources consultant.

The Leekes found their single-floor dwelling in Two Rivers, a community in Odenton, Maryland, where about 830 of the 2,090 houses being constructed are designated for residents age 55 and older. John Leeke says living there offers numerous advantages. “I no longer have to cut the grass and shovel snow. There is a wonderful clubhouse for fitness and social activities.”

Five days a week, Leeke works out in the community exercise room and swims laps in the indoor pool, just a short walk from his home. “I’m in pretty decent shape,” he says.

The demand for such amenities and programs promoting physical, mental and social health is on the rise in age-restricted communities like Two Rivers, where the Leekes and their neighbors live independently.

Housing expert Gregg Logan of the real estate firm RCLCO in Orlando, says the emphasis on healthy living is part of a change in these communities in response to the boomer retirement wave.

The trend in 55-plus communities, Logan and others say, is away from the golf courses, formal clubhouses and cookie-cutter homes.

Now seniors are being accommodated with fitness facilities, walking trails and casual spaces for gatherings, dining and classes, plus a variety of housing – attached villas, condominiums and single-family models.

These new homes typically offer open floor plans, gourmet kitchens, ground-floor master suites and smaller secondary bedrooms “big enough for visiting kids but not so big,” Logan says. Buyers of these dwellings, he notes, are spending on average about the same amount or 20 percent less than the value of their former homes.

Five days a week, Leeke works out in the community exercise room and swims laps in the indoor pool, just a short walk from his home.

Photo by Justin T. Gellerson, The Washington Post

Five days a week, Leeke works out in the community exercise room and swims laps in the indoor pool, just a short walk from his home.

About 80 percent of boomers are retiring where they currently live to be near children and grandchildren, Logan says, rather than moving to the Sun Belt. The small percentage who opt to move to local retirement communities are seeking opportunities to exercise, learn and socialize.

“People buy community first,” Logan says. “They want access to amenities and educational programs, and to pursue activities they’ve always wanted to try, like photography, gardening or cooking.”

Essential to senior-centered developments are “clubhouses with exercise and socializing components, walking trails and agricultural amenities that promote health and wellness opportunities,” says William Gerald, vice president of acquisition and development for the Bethesda, Maryland-based Classic Group, the developer of Two Rivers.

“Over the past 10 years, food and cooking has become a much greater social component of retirement communities,” Gerald says. The 15,000-square-foot clubhouse for seniors at Two Rivers accommodates that need with a culinary center incorporating a demonstration kitchen.

Two Rivers is named for its location between the Patuxent and Little Patuxent rivers. Now being planned for the community is an agricultural park situated within a 100-acre parcel. The Classic Group is working with the University of Maryland to develop garden plots for the residents, greenhouses and a community farm operation.

How baby boomers, GenX can adapt to millennial co-workers

MANILA – Filipino companies need to discard stereotypes and adapt instead to the millennial workforce, to ensure productivity and succession in leadership, a management consultant said Monday.

Local firms can learn from multinational and business process outsourcing companies that allow millennials flexible work schedules and even the option to work from home, said Boris Joaquin, president of Breakthrough Leadership Management Consultancy.

“We need to get a good understanding of where millennials are coming from,” Joaquin told ANC’s Market Edge with Cathy Yang.

“Millennials need to feel that they belong, and when they do, loyalty follows,” he said, adding millennials were on track to comprise 70 percent of the local workforce.

Millennials are “more purposeful” compared to baby boomers and Generation X, who are “more compliant,” Joaquin said.

“There’s a lot of myths going around like millennials are entitled, millennials are impatient… But I think, the truth behind that is millennials to begin with are purpose-driven individuals,” he said.

Baby Boomers, Don’t Make These Huge Job Search Mistakes

Retirement is on the horizon, but many baby boomers are reluctant to stop working. Twenty-seven percent of boomers don’t expect to hang up their hat until they’re 70 or older, a 2017 Insured Retirement Institute survey found. Half of boomers polled said their fallback plan if savings ran short in retirement was to go back to work.

Sticking with a job or going back to work sounds like a good strategy, especially for the many retirees and near-retirees who are facing a savings shortfall. (More than half of boomers and seniors have less the $50,000 set aside for retirement, according to GoBankingRates.) Yet finding a new job once you’ve hit the mid-century mark can be tough.

Baby boomers aging the nation, and the region – News – News Chief

Sarasota-Manatee’s median age keeps marching upward

The population of Sarasota and Manatee counties does not rank among the oldest in the United States but, like two-thirds of the nation’s counties, its median age keeps edging upward.

According to updated data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2016, the median age reached 55.6 in Sarasota County and 47.8 in Manatee.

By comparison, the nation’s median age reached 37.9 — up from 35.3 since 2000.

“Our country’s demographic profile is aging and looks a lot different than it did two decades ago,” bureau demographer Lauren Medina said in an announcement.

“The baby-boom generation is largely responsible for this trend,” Peter Borsella, a bureau demographer, added. “Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Residents age 65 and older now account for 15.2 percent of the nation’s population, up from 12.4 percent in 2000.

As of 2016, Maine continued to have the highest median age (44.6) — followed by New Hampshire (43), Vermont (42.7) and West Virginia (42.2). Although better known than those states as a retirement mecca, Florida ranked fifth with a median age of 42.1.

The youngest states or jurisdictions include North Dakota (34.8), Texas (34.5), Alaska (33.9), the District of Columbia (33.9) and Utah (30.8).

The acceleration of the age boom in Florida has compelled more communities here to join the Age-Friendly movement, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and AARP to help populations prepare for the effects of this demographic shift. Kathy Black, a professor at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee who is instrumental in the Age-Friendly Sarasota effort, said recently that it’s important for people to question their own assumptions about others based on age.

“The world is dealing with ageism, and it plays out in interactions with people; there’s a lot of social capital that’s languishing in our communities,” she said. “The county and government are one aspect of an age-friendly, but people power is a lot more important. Transportation and housing are the biggest issues.”

Florida’s Sumter County, home to a large portion of of the sprawling 55-and-older community The Villages, topped the list of counties in having the highest median age at 67.1 — having increased from 49.2 since 2000. With a median age of 58.8 (up from 54.3 in 2000), Charlotte County followed Catron County, New Mexico, (60.5) to rank as the county with the third oldest population in the country.

If you want to live in the community with the youngest overall population in the nation, you will have to move to Chattahoochee County, Georgia. Do not expect to find a partying college town, though. Its youthful demographic can be attributed to the fact that the Fort Benning military base covers nearly three-fourths of the county. Yet even Chattahoochee’s median age of 24.4 is getting older, up from 23.2 in 2000.

Sarasota: 1 in 3 are seniors

As expected, Florida, which continues to attract about 1,000 new residents daily, is getting grayer. From 2010 to 2016, the Sunshine State’s median age steadily rose from 40.8 to 42.1.

In Sarasota County, the median age is up from 52.6 in 2000 to 55.6 as of last summer.

Of the county’s overall population of 412,569, females continued to outnumber males, 215,622 to 196,947. They also tended to be older, 57 compared to 54.1 for the men.

Of the population younger than 18, however, Sarasota County’s males slightly outnumbered females — 30,867 to 29,065. That age group is expanding at a slower rate than others, at 59,932 compared with 59,642 seven years ago.

The 18-to-64 age bracket has grown since 2000 in Sarasota County but not as much as the senior population. Census takers counted 206,718 (99,280 men and 107,438 women) as of last July compared with 201,602 six years earlier.

Compare that with the growth in the 65-and-older category, which accounts for slightly more than a third of the county’s total population. The 2016 census shows 145,919 Sarasota residents in that group (66,800 men outnumbered by 79,119 women) compared with 118,796 in 2000.

Of those 145,919 seniors, 22,900 (9,411 men and 13,489 women) were age 85 or older — up from 18,229 in 2000.

Manatee: Counting more kids

Manatee’s population of 375,888 is considerably younger than its neighboring county. Yet it, too, is seeing its median age on the rise — at 47.8 compared with 45.8 in 2000.

Manatee’s female residents also tend to be older than the males, with a median age of 49.2 compared with 46.2 for the guys.

The younger than 18 crowd in Manatee is growing faster than the same age group in Sarasota County, with 71,416 compared with 66,147 seven years ago. That boost can be at least partially attributed to families with children moving into Manatee’s booming suburbs, which are experiencing a demand for more schools.

As they do in Sarasota County, however, infants, children and teens comprise the only age bracket in which males outnumber females — 36,326 compared with 35,091.

The 18-to-64 group in Manatee increased from 181,716 in 2000 to 205,996 by last summer. Women in that category outnumbered the men, 106,355 to 99,641.

Yet compare that 13.3 percent jump in young and middle-aged adults with the 30 percent increase Manatee experienced in the 65-and-older category.

Census takers counted 98,476 seniors in Manatee (26 percent of the total population) compared with 75,583 six years earlier (when that segment comprised 23 percent of the total). Older women outnumbered men in their age group 52,855 to 45,631.

Of that elder population, 13,396 (5,600 men and 7,796 women) were age 85 or older — compared with 10,040 in 2000.

 

Herald-Tribune Staff Writer Barbara Peters Smith contributed to this report.

 

 

Don’t leave baby boomers behind when designing wearable technology

Wearable devices have been heralded as one of the next great technological frontiers. They can provide all users, including older ones, with constantly updated medical information by tracking cardiac health, identifying potential illnesses, and serving as emergency alert systems, among other benefits. That is, if you can get older users to adopt wearable technology. In their article in the July 2017 issue of Ergonomics in Design, “Designing Wearable Technology for an Aging Population,” human factors/ergonomics researchers lay out a framework for improving the usability of wearable technology for older adults.

According to Joanna Lewis, a doctoral student of applied experimental and human factors psychology at the University of Central Florida, “The proportion of the population over the age of 65 is growing and will continue to do so. Technological developments are exponentially growing and inundating our lives, and we don’t want a demographic that is scaling up in size not to have access to devices that are becoming prolific in everyday society.”

Although wearable devices can serve as important tools for older adults, Lewis and coauthor Mark Neider found that poor design decisions that fail to address the aging population’s needs can undermine the technology’s value. Older adults also tend to experience feelings of mistrust and frustration when using new devices, with the result that they often abandon otherwise worthwhile technology.

Taking into account the role of age-linked declines in cognitive, physical, and sensory abilities, the authors identified several critical areas for improvement. These include reducing the steps required for users to complete a given action, minimizing the need for multitasking, eliminating time constraints for completing a task, and increasing the size of buttons, icons, and text. Lewis and Neider also caution designers to avoid clunky or outdated exteriors that may result in age-related stereotypes or cause users to feel stigmatized by their peers.

“A device’s usability should consider all ages,” Lewis adds. “Potential issues with wearable devices for older adults can be avoided by acknowledging limitations, and development teams can create effective and safe platforms that appeal to a variety of end users.”

###

To receive a copy of “Designing Wearable Technology for an Aging Population” for media-reporting purposes, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (310/394-1811, [email protected]).

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors/ergonomics professionals, with more than 4,500 members globally. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom have a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. “Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering.”

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Baby boomers aging the nation, and the region – News – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

The population of Sarasota and Manatee counties does not rank among the oldest in the United States but, like two-thirds of the nation’s counties, its median age keeps edging upward.

According to updated data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2016, the median age reached 55.6 in Sarasota County and 47.8 in Manatee.

By comparison, the nation’s median age reached 37.9 — up from 35.3 since 2000.

“Our country’s demographic profile is aging and looks a lot different than it did two decades ago,” bureau demographer Lauren Medina said in an announcement.

“The baby-boom generation is largely responsible for this trend,” Peter Borsella, a bureau demographer, added. “Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Residents age 65 and older now account for 15.2 percent of the nation’s population, up from 12.4 percent in 2000.

As of 2016, Maine continued to have the highest median age (44.6) — followed by New Hampshire (43), Vermont (42.7) and West Virginia (42.2). Although better known than those states as a retirement mecca, Florida ranked fifth with a median age of 42.1.

The youngest states or jurisdictions include North Dakota (34.8), Texas (34.5), Alaska (33.9), the District of Columbia (33.9) and Utah (30.8).

The acceleration of the age boom in Florida has compelled more communities here to join the Age-Friendly movement, an initiative sponsored by the World Health Organization and AARP to help populations prepare for the effects of this demographic shift. Kathy Black, a professor at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee who is instrumental in the Age-Friendly Sarasota effort, said recently that it’s important for people to question their own assumptions about others based on age.

“The world is dealing with ageism, and it plays out in interactions with people; there’s a lot of social capital that’s languishing in our communities,” she said. “The county and government are one aspect of an age-friendly, but people power is a lot more important. Transportation and housing are the biggest issues.”

Florida’s Sumter County, home to a large portion of of the sprawling 55-and-older community The Villages, topped the list of counties in having the highest median age at 67.1 — having increased from 49.2 since 2000. With a median age of 58.8 (up from 54.3 in 2000), Charlotte County followed Catron County, New Mexico, (60.5) to rank as the county with the third oldest population in the country.

If you want to live in the community with the youngest overall population in the nation, you will have to move to Chattahoochee County, Georgia. Do not expect to find a partying college town, though. Its youthful demographic can be attributed to the fact that the Fort Benning military base covers nearly three-fourths of the county. Yet even Chattahoochee’s median age of 24.4 is getting older, up from 23.2 in 2000.

Sarasota: 1 in 3 are seniors

As expected, Florida, which continues to attract about 1,000 new residents daily, is getting grayer. From 2010 to 2016, the Sunshine State’s median age steadily rose from 40.8 to 42.1.

In Sarasota County, the median age is up from 52.6 in 2000 to 55.6 as of last summer.

Of the county’s overall population of 412,569, females continued to outnumber males, 215,622 to 196,947. They also tended to be older, 57 compared to 54.1 for the men.

Of the population younger than 18, however, Sarasota County’s males slightly outnumbered females — 30,867 to 29,065. That age group is expanding at a slower rate than others, at 59,932 compared with 59,642 seven years ago.

The 18-to-64 age bracket has grown since 2000 in Sarasota County but not as much as the senior population. Census takers counted 206,718 (99,280 men and 107,438 women) as of last July compared with 201,602 six years earlier.

Compare that with the growth in the 65-and-older category, which accounts for slightly more than a third of the county’s total population. The 2016 census shows 145,919 Sarasota residents in that group (66,800 men outnumbered by 79,119 women) compared with 118,796 in 2000.

Of those 145,919 seniors, 22,900 (9,411 men and 13,489 women) were age 85 or older — up from 18,229 in 2000.

Manatee: Counting more kids

Manatee’s population of 375,888 is considerably younger than its neighboring county. Yet it, too, is seeing its median age on the rise — at 47.8 compared with 45.8 in 2000.

Manatee’s female residents also tend to be older than the males, with a median age of 49.2 compared with 46.2 for the guys.

The younger than 18 crowd in Manatee is growing faster than the same age group in Sarasota County, with 71,416 compared with 66,147 seven years ago. That boost can be at least partially attributed to families with children moving into Manatee’s booming suburbs, which are experiencing a demand for more schools.

As they do in Sarasota County, however, infants, children and teens comprise the only age bracket in which males outnumber females — 36,326 compared with 35,091.

The 18-to-64 group in Manatee increased from 181,716 in 2000 to 205,996 by last summer. Women in that category outnumbered the men, 106,355 to 99,641.

Yet compare that 13.3 percent jump in young and middle-aged adults with the 30 percent increase Manatee experienced in the 65-and-older category.

Census takers counted 98,476 seniors in Manatee (26 percent of the total population) compared with 75,583 six years earlier (when that segment comprised 23 percent of the total). Older women outnumbered men in their age group 52,855 to 45,631.

Of that elder population, 13,396 (5,600 men and 7,796 women) were age 85 or older — compared with 10,040 in 2000.

 

Herald-Tribune Staff Writer Barbara Peters Smith contributed to this report.

 

 

Why Baby Boomers are right about the Aussie property dream

More than half of Millennials and Gen Z-ers are pessimistic about their ability to own a property, even if they give up their smashed avo breakfasts. But Baby Boomers are still big believers in the great Aussie dream of the family ‘castle’, and experience eventually proves them right.

Those are the findings from more than a million survey responses collected by CommBank and published as the CommBank Connected Future Report.

The Builders (born pre-1945) and Baby Boomers generations were the most optimistic about the viability of the Australian property dream, with up to 58 per cent still believing it’s achievable.

“The Baby Boomers placed a high degree of importance on home ownership,” the report reads. “It was seen as an expression of success and security.”  

Are the older generations right to keep the Australian property dream alive? Or are they completely misguided about their children and grandchildren’s futures?

Claire Madden, a social media researcher who compiled the CommBank report, believes the Baby Boomers are right to be optimistic, based on their own experiences.

“They have responded to extraordinary change throughout their careers and lifetimes,” she says. “They’ve found a way to continue to achieve their dreams.”

The Australian property dream has certainly changed over time. Where many used to dream of a three-bedroom home with a nice backyard on a quarter-acre block, there’s now more emphasis on an architecturally-designed home.

This new dream may be one of the reasons the younger generations are less optimistic. A beautiful turn-key home will inevitably cost more upfront than a fixer-upper, and compromising on dreams is not an attractive prospect.

But despite the pessimism of younger generations, the age of the average first-home buyer has remained at 32 for about 20 years.

Gen Y (also referred to as Millennials) are people born between 1980 and 1994, while Gen Z-ers are born between 1995 to 2009. This means some of Gen Y and all of Gen Z have not yet reached the average age of first-home ownership.

“The lowest optimism is amongst the 25- to 29-year-olds,” Madden reveals. “In those early 30s – from 30 to 34 – there’s a significant jump up.”

It seems this difference comes from those that are entering the property market right on cue.

This optimism tends to increase with age, the survey discovered – possibly a nod to the fact that people are able to manage and even pay off their debt, as most Baby Boomers have found.

“There’s an incredible determination across the generations to see the property dream come to pass, even though there’s obstacles and new realities,” Madden says. “The average age shows there’s still hope.”

What do you think of this report? Did you ever feel like you wouldn’t be able to own a home?      


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Saving Habits: Baby Boomers Least Likely to Have Emergency Fund

As the economy turns around, Americans are saving more than they have in the last 7 years. Still, nearly a quarter of the population has no emergency savings, according to a Bankrate.com survey.

To be in a financially empowered, financial planners recommend people save 6 months worth of expenses in case of an emergency.

“Having emergency savings also allows you to take advantages of opportunities,” said Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride. Savings help one take advantage of new job opportunities, celebratory events such as weddings, or personal investments. At the very least, having a 6 month safety net may bring peace of mind since 65% of Americans reported losing sleep over financial stress according to CreditCards.com.

Changing Attitudes

“Ever since the recession, consumer attitudes have changed towards saving,” McBride said. Thirty-one percent of Americans now have enough in savings to cover 6 months’ expenses or more reported Bankrate.com. That’s a 9% increase from 2015.

But just because the recession resulted in Americans being more conscious about their financial situation and more risk averse doesn’t mean they were able to start saving right away. It took a while for people to get back on their feet.

“Now that we are seeing more broad based growth in household income, we are seeing the needle move,” McBride said.

Americans feel more job security and reported higher net worth than a month ago according to Bankrate.com. Women reported the highest feelings of financial security in two years. McBride attributes this to an increased comfort with debt, meaning these women may have paid down debt, refinanced debt, or recently received a promotion.

So what’s the best way to start saving?

“Saving is all about habit,” McBride said. “Automate it. Prioritize it. You have to establish the habit.” Saving habits are best created while one is young, and McBride recommends people start saving from the moment they get their first paycheck. This might mean most of us are behind, but McBride said technology can help even those without years of saving experience get on the right track.

These days one can set up systems to automatically deposit a portion of the paycheck straight into a savings account. Certain apps round expenses to the nearest dollar, emptying out the extra change into the savings account.

“You need to make a conscious decision to save today,” McBride said. “There’s not a magic pill that can do that for you.”

The Break Down

Though they are approaching retirement, 32% of those aged 53 to 62 have no emergency savings, the highest among the different age groups. McBride said many of these baby boomers may have lost their savings in the economic downturn or faced long term unemployment. Those older than age 63 reported the lowest likelihood of empty savings and 44% of them have enough savings to cover at least 6 months worth of expenses according to Bankrate.com.

Contrary to popular belief, the youngest millennials aged 18 to 26 exhibited strong saving habits. Though many carry student loan debts, they are much less likely to rack up credit card debt or auto loans. They buy less things and this might be because they saw their parents and older siblings experience the recession, McBride said.

Those in the Midwest are most likely to be saving enough to cover 6 months’ living while those in the South are least likely, according to Bankrate.com. McBride said the Midwest held the advantage of lower unemployment compared to the South and lower costs of living in comparison to residents of the West Coast and Northeast.

Six baby boomers prove how you can explode myth of ageing

This is a year of big birthdays, for, believe it or not, 2017 is when the baby boomer turns 70.

Ever-youthful Joanna Lumley, Bill Clinton and Cher are 70 already and are now joined by a million new septuagenarians this year — more than ever before. To mark this, Channel 4 has a new four-part TV series called The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old. Its aim? To show just how young 70 really is.

The baby boomers have always been rule breakers. Born in peacetime, with the freedom to enjoy the Sixties’ summer of love, they’re now completely redefining ‘old age’. They may be doting grandparents, but they’re also going to music festivals, travelling the globe, wearing skinny jeans, remodelling their houses and feeling fitter and healthier than they’ve ever been.

Angela Neustatter, 73, is a writer and author of 13 books including The Year I Turn . . . A Quirky A-Z Of Ageing. She lives in London with Olly, her husband of 43 years, with whom she has two grown-up sons and two grandchildren

Angela Neustatter, 73, is a writer and author of 13 books including The Year I Turn . . . A Quirky A-Z Of Ageing. She lives in London with Olly, her husband of 43 years, with whom she has two grown-up sons and two grandchildren

Angela Neustatter, 73, is a writer and author of 13 books including The Year I Turn . . . A Quirky A-Z Of Ageing. She lives in London with Olly, her husband of 43 years, with whom she has two grown-up sons and two grandchildren

Statistics suggest life expectancy is rising by two-and-a-half years per decade — predictions are that, by the end of the 21st century, there will be 1.5 million centenarians in the UK. Which is why the Oxford Institute Of Population Ageing is insisting we change the language surrounding age. Forget ‘old’, those of us in our 70s and 80s should now be called ‘active adults’ instead.

Here six (very active) top writers reveal how they’re ripping up the rulebook . . .

I’M FITTER NOW THAN I WAS 20 YEARS AGO

Angela Neustatter, 73, is a writer and author of 13 books including The Year I Turn . . . A Quirky A-Z Of Ageing. She lives in London with Olly, her husband of 43 years, with whom she has two grown-up sons and two grandchildren.

In my youth I assumed my 70s would be a time of diminishing returns, yet so far — I am approaching 74 — I have found it a strikingly cheering time. I seem to belong to the group where ‘a growing happiness’ in elders has been charted by economists.

In my youth I assumed my 70s would be a time of diminishing returns, yet so far ¿ I am approaching 74 ¿ I have found it a strikingly cheering time. I seem to belong to the group where ¿a growing happiness¿ in elders has been charted by economists

In my youth I assumed my 70s would be a time of diminishing returns, yet so far ¿ I am approaching 74 ¿ I have found it a strikingly cheering time. I seem to belong to the group where ¿a growing happiness¿ in elders has been charted by economists

In my youth I assumed my 70s would be a time of diminishing returns, yet so far — I am approaching 74 — I have found it a strikingly cheering time. I seem to belong to the group where ‘a growing happiness’ in elders has been charted by economists

In my 50s there were so many ‘is this it?’ questions, and ‘can I still wear this?’ worries.

These days I wear what I like — black leather, a mini with a big sweater, leggings and T-shirts, clingy dresses. If anyone thinks I appear inappropriate, they can look the other way.

We baby boomers coincided with the invention of the teenager. We learned the fun of wearing kooky clothes, whereas my mother’s most rebellious garment was a yellow Horrocks frock with little black spots. Usually she wore sensible tweed skirts and cardies.

The Sixties Women’s Movement showed those of us who tuned into feminism that we had every right to assert ourselves. But these days we’re also grown-up enough to step back from conflict and emotional chaos when it comes our way.

I’ll say, ‘Sorry, I’m not playing’ if a partner or friend is determinedly argumentative. Much more peaceful.

Actress Jane Fonda at 43

Actress Jane Fonda at 43

Actress Jane Fonda at 43

My mother died of cancer when I was 25 and she was 50. I spent my midlife years imagining I would get a tumour at the age she died. When it didn’t happen I felt free to anticipate older age with equanimity and was able to put her memory to rest.

I pinch a good deal more than an inch around my midriff and dismiss it, tant pis; looking back on too many years of bingeing, starving, yearning, in pursuit of the Twiggy look.

Now I am happy to have good health — although there is pesky sciatica — and a body that, if anything, is more supple than 20 years back (yes, that is me doing the Jane Fonda pose) thanks to a decade of Pilates, yoga and a home with stairs.

Then there’s sex. Increasingly my generation has been given permission, with each new decade, to believe it can still have an erotic life.

So if the idea appeals — the challenge is to find times after an afteroon siesta perhaps or a morning lie-in — other than the night when I am about as erotic as a fried egg.

As much as anything, I celebrate my 70s for being a time when my ego is no longer on high alert, in case others are doing better at a career, being lovelier, funnier, cleverer than I am.

This is such a relief having lived much of my life with the fear of rejection and failure. I used to think 40 was the age when you signed off from a life of fun and frolics. But it’s not true — which seems a remarkable gift.

Author Lesley Pearse, 72, is single. She lives in Torquay and has three daughters and four grandchildren

Author Lesley Pearse, 72, is single. She lives in Torquay and has three daughters and four grandchildren

Author Lesley Pearse, 72, is single. She lives in Torquay and has three daughters and four grandchildren

TAKE THE PLUNGE WITH SCUBA DIVING

Author Lesley Pearse, 72, is single. She lives in Torquay and has three daughters and four grandchildren.

I did approach my 70th birthday with trepidation but, two years on, I found it means nothing if you have a young outlook and laugh a lot. Laughing is far sexier than crying.

I keep fit by scrambling up my Devonshire cliff-top garden to weed and plant. I have to come down on my bottom, but it’s safer that way. I go to Pilates to keep bendy, and I swim and walk the dog.

I will not buy ‘old lady’ clothes or shoes — they’re a dead giveaway. So maybe I can’t wear 4in stilettos any longer, but I will never be seen in trainers. Wellies yes, but always in a bright colour, recently orange to match my raincoat.

I’m thinking of doing a scuba diving course. I’ve always wanted to do it and I’m close enough to the sea to pour myself into a wet suit in the privacy of my home.

At heart I’m still the hippy chick I was back in 1968. I love parties, I throw a big one every year, always with live music. You don’t have to take up bungee jumping or white-water rafting to prove you’re still young at heart.

Dance with a big smile on your face, talk to strangers on a dog walk, drink younger people under the table but remember to hang up your clothes and take your make-up off before bed. I’m always the first one up the next morning. Anyone for a bacon sarnie and a dip in the sea?

The Woman In The Wood by Lesley Pearse (Michael Joseph, £18.99) is out June 29.

Journalist and broadcaster Esther Rantzen, 76, presented That¿s Life! for 21 years. She was made a Dame in 2015. Husband Desmond Wilcox died in 2000. She has three grown-up children

Journalist and broadcaster Esther Rantzen, 76, presented That¿s Life! for 21 years. She was made a Dame in 2015. Husband Desmond Wilcox died in 2000. She has three grown-up children

Journalist and broadcaster Esther Rantzen, 76, presented That’s Life! for 21 years. She was made a Dame in 2015. Husband Desmond Wilcox died in 2000. She has three grown-up children

BRAVING A SPEED-DATING DANCE CLASS

Journalist and broadcaster Esther Rantzen, 76, presented That’s Life! for 21 years. She was made a Dame in 2015 for services to children and older people through the helplines ChildLine and The Silver Line. Husband Desmond Wilcox died in 2000. She has three grown-up children and one grandson.

Some people have always grown old disgracefully, thank goodness. Think Mae West, flaunting false eyelashes and toy boys. I remember seeing Marlene Dietrich on stage well into her 70s, still in her famous ‘nude dress’ and strategically placed sequins.

Of course, showbusiness has always encouraged rebels. The difference today is that normal people with ordinary lives follow their example.

Look at the internet dating sites — they’re filled with suggestions for baby boomers who are seeking romance. Clearly, plenty of wrinklies are happy to plunge into new relationships at an age when previous generations would have found it unthinkable.

I marvel at their courage. Personally, I have been too scared of rejection to go down that path. When I did recently venture onto Channel Four’s Celebrity First Date, my date, a lawyer called John, damned me with faint praise. ‘For a lady of your advancing years, Esther,’ he told me, ‘you were splendid company.’ Thanks, John.

But that’s fine, because there are wonderful new ways of finding company these days for the over-70s.

Recently, in spite of my total lack of dance talent and muscle memory, I spent an evening in a church hall learning the French jive, Ceroc. Admittedly I needed frequent breathers to stay abreast of fellow baby boomers.

It’s arranged like the dance version of speed dating, changing partners every five minutes so you’re never caught in the sticky embrace of an over-amorous fellow dancer. It’s not just the vigorous exercise, but the jeggings my mum would never have contemplated. When I was younger, I did try to wear what was considered respectable but now, who cares?

At my age — 76 — my grandmother wore satin bloomers elasticated around the knee, handy for keeping a hanky to wipe her nose. Here am I happy in T-shirt and leggings.

Stanley Johnson, 76, writer, author and conservationist, lives in London and Somerset. He has four children by his first marriage to painter Charlotte Johnson-Wahl  and two by his second marriage to Jennifer Kidd

Stanley Johnson, 76, writer, author and conservationist, lives in London and Somerset. He has four children by his first marriage to painter Charlotte Johnson-Wahl  and two by his second marriage to Jennifer Kidd

Stanley Johnson, 76, writer, author and conservationist, lives in London and Somerset. He has four children by his first marriage to painter Charlotte Johnson-Wahl and two by his second marriage to Jennifer Kidd

CLIMBING KILIMANJAR0 WAS A PERSONAL HIGH

Stanley Johnson, 76, writer, author and conservationist, lives in London and Somerset. He has four children by his first marriage to painter Charlotte Johnson-Wahl (Boris, Rachel, Leo and Jo) and two, Julia and Max, by his second marriage to Jennifer Kidd.

I am now over halfway through my eighth decade and I can honestly say that, on present form and touching wood etc, it looks like knocking all previous decades into a cocked hat.

I began my 70s by scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at more than 19,500ft. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to climb through the night, guided by the light of a head-torch, till dawn breaks and you find yourself looking down at the clouds beneath you.

There’s still a long way to the summit, but when you get there, the feeling is indescribable. Actually, I’ve climbed Kilimanjaro twice in the past five years, and I don’t rule out doing it again.

I am sure I will look back on my 70s as a golden decade in so many ways. There have been setbacks, of course. The high point of my political career was back in 1979 when I was elected as an MEP with a 95,000 majority! But I failed to be elected as an MP in Devon in 2005.

But life takes some surprising turns. I have been writing novels since the Sixties, and up till now not one has hit the bestseller list. But this week I heard that Channel 4 is making a six-part TV series based on my new thriller. I’m going to screen-test for a part. A new career beckons, which should see me out. As Clint Eastwood might say: ‘Make my decade!’

Kompromat by Stanley Johnson (Oneworld Publications, £14.99, July 13).

Author and actress Jan Leeming, 75, is best known as a BBC newsreader. In 2006 she took part in I¿m A Celebrity. She lives in Kent and has a son, Jonathan

Author and actress Jan Leeming, 75, is best known as a BBC newsreader. In 2006 she took part in I¿m A Celebrity. She lives in Kent and has a son, Jonathan

Author and actress Jan Leeming, 75, is best known as a BBC newsreader. In 2006 she took part in I’m A Celebrity. She lives in Kent and has a son, Jonathan

RETIREMENT? I’M FAR TOO BUSY FOR THAT

Author and actress Jan Leeming, 75, is best known as a BBC newsreader. In 2006 she took part in I’m A Celebrity. She lives in Kent and has a son, Jonathan.

I’ve never had any time to feel morbid about hitting 70. I was among the first tranche of women with full careers, and retirement is just not something I can imagine after such a busy life. I still want to make a contribution. And more practically I still need to earn money — no security and no pension!

I’ve trained as an assistant for Canterbury Cathedral — I do a two-hour duty on Sundays. People often comment on how like Jan Leeming I look! For a time, I thought that regular TV work had passed me by, but in 2015 came an invitation to join the cast of the BBC series The Real Marigold Hotel, exploring retirement in India.

After I mentioned that, being single, I never went on organised holidays, a holiday company invited me to become their ambassador. Thanks to them, I’ve visited Tuscany, Burma and Croatia, with Peru and Canada coming up soon.

The world has changed exponentially in the past 50 years because of travel, the internet, more wealth and health — the idea of going to a gym is anathema to me, but I walk my dog, watch what I eat and weigh myself every day (it’s so much harder to keep the weight off when you’re older).

Jan says: 'I¿ve never had any time to feel morbid about hitting 70. I was among the first tranche of women with full careers, and retirement is just not something I can imagine after such a busy life'

Jan says: 'I¿ve never had any time to feel morbid about hitting 70. I was among the first tranche of women with full careers, and retirement is just not something I can imagine after such a busy life'

She continues: 'I still want to make a contribution. And more practically I still need to earn money ¿ no security and no pension!'

She continues: 'I still want to make a contribution. And more practically I still need to earn money ¿ no security and no pension!'

Jan says: ‘I’ve never had any time to feel morbid about hitting 70. I was among the first tranche of women with full careers, and retirement is just not something I can imagine after such a busy life’

We are better educated and have higher expectations than our mothers. Most of my generation have held down jobs as well as having families and though we may love and respect our men, they do not rule our lives.

If I’d been born a generation later, I wouldn’t have married five times. I’d simply have had relationships.

I didn’t burn my bra and am not a feminist, though I believe in women’s rights. Perhaps being the first woman newsreader in Australia in the Sixties was the key to my realisation that the only restrictions are those you impose on yourself.

janleeming.com

Former editor Jo Foley, 71, is a specialist travel and wellness writer. Divorced, she lives in London with her cat, Maud

Former editor Jo Foley, 71, is a specialist travel and wellness writer. Divorced, she lives in London with her cat, Maud

Former editor Jo Foley, 71, is a specialist travel and wellness writer. Divorced, she lives in London with her cat, Maud

I’M GRATEFUL FOR 50 YEARS OF FREEDOM

Former editor Jo Foley, 71, is a specialist travel and wellness writer. Divorced, she lives in London with her cat, Maud.

How did I get here from there? To the life I live now — alone but not lonely, childless but surrounded by friends, some a third of my age — 71 on the outside, much less on the inside.

I’m still working and travelling and shouting at people in the street who annoy me. How did it happen that in one generation my life should be so different from that of my forebears? It happened because of choice.

Choice on what to do, where to go, how to live, who to see and most important, the confidence to take a chance and see what freeing ourselves from society’s restrictions does for us.

In the world in which my mother grew up, life was predictable and hidebound — such women lived at home with their families until marriage, after which they mostly remained in the same place, the same town, village or neighbourhood. It never occurred to them that they could be responsible for their own life.

But how our baby boomer generation made up for it! Sure it was scary and we did stupid things, but we mostly survived unscathed. We learned how to live in strange towns and cities at college or university.

At night we plotted escape routes to the sun, where we could find badly-paid jobs in beach bars or child-minding for careless couples with predatory dads, but we learned how to get from A to B. We still carried fear with us, but when the chips were down, and boy were they sometimes down, we scraped out of it.

Looking back from half a century later we realise it prepared us for the lives we live now. We learned self-sufficiency, resourcefulness, confidence and a dollop of selfishness — our own homes, our own friends and plans.

In our 70s we shop at Zara, drink pisco sours, take slow boats along the Mekong and talk to ourselves without contradiction. Did we ever think to thank our parents?

The Baby Boomers’ Guide To Growing Old, More 4 tomorrow