“I’m gonna make the rest of my life, the best of my life.” Eric Thomas
Everybody has a WHY?
I got to spend multiple hours of one-on-one time with my father this weekend. It doesn’t happen very often any more, for a number of reasons, and it’s time that I know I savor. I like to think he does to. Many of our hours were spent driving, and having that time to talk about anything and everything was relished. We laughed, teased and reminisced, and we also talked about hopes and dreams, our fears and regrets and what the future was going to look like for us and the generations to follow.
For those of you who have been reading along on our blog, you know that my father is one of the key inspirations for Grand to GREAT’s mission. He inspires me, his family, our friends and his many acquaintances with his vigor and passion for life at almost 90 years of age. (As a side note, the purpose of our weekend together was to attend the birthday party for another friend’s 90th birthday, and it was certainly a fantastic reminder of everything that makes the Grand to GREAT lifestyle)
In our conversations this weekend my Dad asked me many questions about my “new business” and what I was trying to do with it. He thought I was writing a book (I had started to) and wasn’t sure what I planned on doing now if I wasn’t writing the book (I’m not—well not now anyway). He knew I had talked about five basic ideas but he wanted me to remind him of them and he wanted to check them off, to make sure he agreed with everything I was saying.
Before we got to the “WHAT” of my business, I told him he probably needed to understand the “WHY” a little better. And I think that’s important for anyone who like me, is trying to share ideas and content with their audience. And so I shared with him the “WHY” of Grand to GREAT, and now I’m going to share it with you too.
Did you know On January 1, 2011, the oldest Baby Boomers turned 65? Every day since and for the next 19 years, about 10,000 more will cross that threshold DAILY.
By 2030, when all Baby Boomers will have turned 65, fully 18% of the nation’s population will be at least that age.
Never in the nation’s history has there been such rapid growth in both the“young old” and the “oldest old”.
As the US Bureau of the Census points out, “Since the oldest old often have severe chronic health problems which demand special attention, the rapid growth of this population group has many implications for individuals, families and governments.”
Life expectancies have continued to increase and are dramatically different from the generation ahead of the baby boomers. The average life expectancy for a 65-year-old American is 17.7 years for a male and 20.3 years for a female. That represents three to four more years of life expectancy compared to what the prior generation had at the same age. And if you are now 75, you can expect to live another 11 years if you're a man and another 13 years if you're a woman.¹
Healthy baby boomers are likely to live even longer. “They could live to be 95 easily,” says George Schofield, a developmental psychologist and author of “After 50 It's Up to Us.” While this longevity bonus will give boomers more time to pursue their passions and leave their mark on the world, it’s also additional years of retirement that need to be financed. “They are going to have to find a way to make their income last a lot longer than the earlier generations did,” Schofield says.²
The statistics are just that—statistical. It’s easy to ignore and put off the future. Many baby boomers are delaying retirement out of necessity and many of the highest educated boomers will continue working through their 60’s. Due to many economic and social reason, the baby boomers perched on the front stoop of old age, are more downbeat than other age groups about the trajectory of their own lives and about the direction of the nation as a whole.³
Grand to GREAT’s mission is to help people live their best lives from 55 to 105. We are here to help shift people’s mindsets and to inspire the growing population of ‘seniors’ to take daily action to live better lives. If you truly understand that you are in control of the quality of your life, and that your life will likely extend for 20, 30 or even 40 more years—don’t you want to make those years count?
And so I talked to my Dad about the five daily actions again. MOVE, LEARN, SHARE, GIVE and LET GO.
He ticked him off on his hand and said, yep—I do them all.
I said, “Yes, Dad”—I know.