“Challenging age stereotypes: Dive into the vibrant world of the ‘Young-Olds’, those aged between 60-75 who are reshaping how we think about aging. Rejecting traditional labels, the young-olds are embracing an active, purposeful, and impactful phase of life, setting the stage for future generations.

Let’s move beyond terms like ‘elderly’ and ‘boomer’ and celebrate the revolutionary approach to aging in the 21st century. #RedefiningAging #YoungOldsRevolution 🌟 Read the full article below!”

Just today I’ve had messages on Facebook that I could go for a senior citizen Tuesday special (2 courses for £5.50) at a nearby pub. At another pub I could take advantage of the over 65s special.

The government website invites over 60s to apply for a bus pass (In England it is 66 outside of London but you can get one at 60 if you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – which doesn’t seem fair). The link takes you through to – https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-elderly-person-bus-pass which refers to us as elderly.

Elderly – FFS!!!!

In my doctoral research I talk about older people as

  • The young-olds (60-75)
  • Old – (75-90)
  • Old-olds (90+)

Elderly, if used should refer to the over 90s. I don’t like the term seniors. Whilst at school the seniors were the cool kids. Senior citizens are the old people who are past their prime.

I definitely don’t like boomer, especially when used with OK in front as a put down.

People are trying out different terms like perennials (sounds like something from the garden centre). Vintage sounds like a specific type of shop selling clothes from the 40s-70s.

Sage and wise elder – well, some may be, but it’s more than a label, you don’t age into elderhood. (I’ll write separately on this)

This time let me expand on the young-olds (y-olds). Can you relate to this?

The y-olds are in the 60-75 age range, active, mainly in good health, and enjoying life. I see the y-olds as taking a, revolutionary way of perceiving and experiencing ageing in the 21st century.

I’m writing in general terms, and not all may be relevant to you, just like we can’t think of all teenagers, millennials etc. as the same. My aim is to create a typical description. I’d be very interested in your views; how well can you relate to this? How can I enhance this? Have I missed anything? Does anything make you wince – thank you.

I’ve written this to be aspirational, but based on reality. I can personally relate to this, aged 65 (3 weeks today I’ll be 66), but appreciate that you may still be focused on working until at least when you get your state pension.

Firstly, the term young-olds signifies a paradigm shift in how we perceive ageing. We are now beginning to understand that the years between 60 and 75 can be as vibrant, purposeful, and impactful as any other phase of life.

>> This is due to us living longer than a couple of generations ago and the extra years being added here, not at the end,

The young-olds are youthful in spirit, even as they wear the badge of their chronological age proudly. They own their age. They are the adventurers, the learners, the mentors, and the innovators among the senior demographic, embodying youthful enthusiasm and vigour while boasting a rich tapestry of wisdom gained over decades of life experience.

>> I love the campaign -#Ilookmyage – because we all look our age! Also, as we move into the old category, we will be challenging that too!

Unlike traditional retirees, the young-olds don’t see retirement as an end but as a beginning of a new, exciting phase. This is a period of freedom and opportunity – a time to explore new passions, travel, start businesses, acquire new skills, and even change careers. With their children grown and professional obligations lessening, they have the liberty to focus more on personal growth, fulfilment, and enjoyment.

>> It can be doing more, equally it can be doing less and opting for a simpler life. It’s being authentic and living life how you want it to be, recognising this is it, and life is too short.

Physical fitness and health are top priorities for the young-olds. They understand the importance of staying active for both physical and mental health. You’ll find them engaged in various activities like yoga, cycling, swimming, hiking, or regular gym workouts including strength training. They are a testament to the fact that age does not have to equate with a decline in physical activity and health.

>> some may always have been active; others get a health scare as a wake-up call. It’s now time to prioritise what we eat, drink and levels of activity.

Not only are the young-olds staying physically active, but they are also mentally agile. They may embrace lifelong learning, often taking courses, learning new technologies, or immersing themselves in new hobbies. This cognitive engagement helps them stay sharp and connected with the world, reinforcing the belief that learning does not have an expiration date.

>> in the USA there are an increasing number of universities running courses for this age group where they can take traditional classes alongside working on projects such as the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute.

Socially, the young-olds are deeply interconnected with their communities. They contribute by volunteering, mentoring, or participating in civic activities. Their rich life experiences provide them with a unique perspective which they readily share, offering insights and guidance to younger generations.

>> I’ve included this as something for some to consider as when younger we can be fully focused on work and family. . Sharing our wisdom and supporting a younger generation allows us to focus on generativity and giving back to society.

Financial independence plays a crucial role in the life of many of the young-olds. Thanks to their prior planning and savings, and defined benefits pensions, many are less likely to be burdened by financial stress. They have the resources to support their active lifestyles, afford good health care, and explore their passions.

>> I recognise that many do not have a large pension pot or index linked pension but if you have had a traditional career this is likely to be true to you. Clearly if you have limited savings and still pay rent it will be much harder. Whilst we have access to  the NHS,  many, I speak to have paid privately for dental implants, knee replacements etc. sometimes taking out loans or draw down from their pension pot to afford this.

The young-olds are also trailblazers when it comes to adopting technology. Contrary to stereotypes, many are as comfortable with smartphones, tablets, and social media as their younger counterparts. They use these tools to stay connected, informed, and engaged with the world, challenging the myth that older adults can’t keep pace with technological advancement. Some are creating apps, many managing their own website and online store.

>> the stereotypes are mainly for old-old people but when they lump all over 60 together there are bound to be generalisations.

The young-olds are acutely aware that they are pioneers on the frontier of a new societal and demographic landscape. They must advocate for themselves, confronting ageism and other societal prejudices.

>> it is important to call out ageism in all areas of society, there is far too much unwanted discrimination.

The rise of the young-olds has significant implications for society at large. Their approach to ageing prompts us to reconsider our preconceptions about what it means to grow old. They are redefining societal norms, proving that age is not a barrier to active living but an enabler of continued growth, exploration, and vitality.

>> everyone will age, and I write in my book how we are reinventing retirement and giving younger members of society a glimpse of their future, We are showing that we will still participate in active sports, go to music festivals, write a book, return to academic study, We could also dig deep into learning about e.g., rewilding or science or French literature with the time to do this that we didn’t have when younger.

But we also need to remember that some people are not as lucky, they had a challenging younger life, with health difficulties, and perhaps poor investments mean they now struggle with money. They don’t need the Government to tell them to go and work for Deliveroo, they need support to retrain into a job that is suitable to their stage of life – flexible, not overly physically demanding etc.

If you didn’t see it I was discussing this on Talk TV last Thursday

In conclusion, the young-olds are not just surviving; they are thriving, vividly illustrating that being older can indeed be the best years. Their lifestyles and attitudes provide valuable lessons in embracing ageing as a journey of continued discovery and enjoyment, not a journey towards decline.

The term young-olds is more than a name; it is an inspiration, a beacon of possibility for all of us as we age. It is a testament that age is, indeed, just a number, and life can be fulfilling and adventurous at any stage.

>> I wanted to end on a high point, I personally am living a great life. I still have life challenges but now with more wisdom to accept what I cannot change and to look for alternatives where I can.

Writing the book – Rethinking Retirement was my way of sharing my academic research widely and I want to inspire people of my generation to get the most out of this stage of life, recognising that it may change as we get to 75 and beyond.