As the number of people living well into 100 years and beyond increases, it is no longer meaningful to classify the entire group aged 55 and above as “old”. With the longevity bonus that we have gained through advances in science and technology, most people that are in their 50s, 60s, or even 70s are still active, both mentally and physically, with plenty to give. They are culturally, socially, technologically, and economically connected, and are active contributors to the longevity economy.
Instead of treating aging as a silver tsunami and a decline, it would perhaps be helpful to reconsider our relationship with money, and how we define work and retirement. Rather than a liability, the older population is an asset to the society, and we must strive to understand how we could benefit from their presence, their wisdom, and their life experiences. By being more intentional in promoting this new normal, we can perhaps overcome our own biases. After all, as Greek historian Diodorus Siculus said: “Knowledge of history … endows the young with the wisdom of the aged.”
Respecting and caring for our seniors go beyond obligations and duties; to be able to give back to the society is an honor and privilege. All that we learn from caring for one another help us grow and become better versions of ourselves. In this era where we seek to digitize our lives in every way we can – we must not forget what makes us humans, and the value of families, traditions, and relationships.