At the age of Jeff0, William Shatner became the oldest person on Wednesday when he boarded Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket. But “Star Trek” celebrity actors are in good company when it comes to non-geniuses who are rejecting expectations about the so-called “oldest”.
Take Jimmy Carter, who recently turned 97 and recently built a home for humanity a few years ago. Or Dick Van Dyke, a 5-year-old actor who just attended a fitness class.
The story certainly goes beyond the name Boldface.
Consider Palm Springs, Fla.
“When people find out how old I am, they are shocked,” Davidoff said.
Perhaps they should not be so surprised. The “oldest” is definitely a growing group: In a 2011 report, the U.S. Census Bureau said the population over the age of three has tripled in the past three decades and is expected to grow even more by 2050.
Most recently, the Bureau estimated that the 90-94 age population grew by about 24% from 2010 to 2020 to about 1.8 million people.
But it’s not just about numbers, aging experts say. The above examples prove how this group often stays so active.
Paul Irving, chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, said: “We are just beginning to acknowledge the potential and the possibilities that lie ahead in these extra years.”
In fact, recent news accounts of people aged 90 and over outside of Shutter have achieved a lot of impressive things. Consider the century-old Betty Reed Soskin, the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service. Or Hugh Brown, 99, who recently recorded a hole-in-one at an Australian golf course.
Not that there are no barriers to crossing, Irving and others say. Society still has many fixed ideas about the power of the senior population, arguing that “the oldest” can even take their place in the world by working, volunteering, socializing, taking classes, or yes, flying in space.
“One’s age should never be limited by age,” said Barbara Shipley, an executive at AARP, a leading advocacy group for seniors.
Challenges in old age
Which is to say that the “oldest old man” does not face physical, mental and other challenges. In a 2011 report, the Census Bureau noted that most people aged 90 or older reported being at least one with a disability and living alone or in a nursing home. The bureau also noted that their poverty rate is higher than that of the poor over the age of 0.
For this subsequent reason, many financial advisers have said they are reconsidering how they plan to distribute retirement. In earlier eras, they could assume that their clients would die before reaching the age of 90. Today, they are increasingly making 95 or more plans so that clients can’t save their money.
“You have to think differently about retirement,” said Brent Weiss, co-founder of Facet Wealth, a consulting firm.
Advisors also say they have noticed how many of their clients in their 90s and older are so active and involved with the world. “Some of these people behave like they are 60 years old. That’s great, ”said John Bergman, president of portfolio solutions at John Advisory Firm.
And many others are just normal, busy with daily life, such as age is just a number.
Milt Fisher, a 96-year-old resident of Somart, NY, is an example. A former art director in the field of advertising, Fisher is now engaged in painting, sculpture and photography, and he occasionally exhibits his work in exhibitions. He travels regularly to Mexico, visiting the art-friendly city of San Miguel de Allende.
As long as he’s healthy, Fisher says he wants to do “anything and everything” he can. “I’m taking advantage of my extra time,” he said.