The Changing Face of Retirement

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Is the retirement age going up? The traditional idea of retirement may be a thing of the past.

These days, more and more older adults are foregoing retirement, or at least putting it off and treating it differently. And they’re in good company, according to Forbes.

At 96, actress Betty White doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Paul McCartney recently released a new album at the age of 76. And 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hopes to work at least 5 more years.

These celebrities are a representation of the changing face of retirement. And they’re challenging the way we view and approach life after 70.

As more people live well into their 80s and 90s, the concept that work and life passions simply end after age 65 no longer applies.

“Mindset impacts health tremendously as you age,” said Los Angeles physician Jorge E. Rodriguez, also known as “Dr. Jorge” from The Doctors. “Many life choices we make as we age, we can choose acceptance or despair. The people who choose acceptance are the healthiest and happiest.”

In addition to mentality, physical fitness is important, too. More often than not, those who choose not to retire are very proactive about staying fit.

“It’s almost as if you stop and fall into the inertia of life, and your body interprets that you are fasting or dying,” Dr. Jorge said. “Movement creates essential endorphins and hormones needed to stay alive.”

Justice Ginsburg sees her workouts as a way to keep herself young and able to continue to serve on the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, at 75, Mick Jagger exercises six days a week so that he can keep performing with the Rolling Stones.

So is the retirement age going up?

Retirement decisions are unique to each person. Some simply aren’t in a financial situation to retire. Others are firmly set on early retirement.

But moving forward, older adults will view retirement differently and likely continue in their careers or launch new pursuits regardless of age or finances. And ideally, the decision would involve staying passionate about life and working to remain healthy longer.