Despite the fact that America has an aging population, there is ample evidence of ageism happening around us. The way we perceive older adults can limit our roles in society as we age and a pervasive negative view of aging can have a psychological impact on us. Sometimes ageism can be seen in a seemingly benign birthday card depicting age as something to laugh at or feel bad about, but other times it takes the form of workplace discrimination. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of how you can avoid ageism in retirement – because it turns out that age does come before beauty.
Ageism in the Workplace
One area where ageism is apparent is in the workforce. According to the Department of Labor, older adults are less likely to be hired in an economic downturn. You may know of someone in their 50s or 60s who’s been passed over for a promotion, laid off, or has trouble finding a job despite having a wealth of experience. This discrimination can stem from the false idea that once someone hits a certain age, he or she is automatically in mental and physical decline. However, many know from experience that older workers have a lot to offer in the workplace in terms of experience and expertise.
Why Have A Positive Attitude?
Don’t hate your aging brain just because it takes it a bit longer to figure out a crossword or remember a name. According to a Harvard Medical School report, this slower thinking actually shows that the brain is working better! A Harvard professor explains that the brain uses more of itself as it ages. In one study, MRIs showed brain activity in a teenager, a middle-aged person, and an older person while they worked through a problem. For the teenager, the MRI showed activity on one side of the prefrontal cortex – the side of the brain used for conscious reasoning. For the middle-aged person, it showed an increase in activity on the other side of the brain as well. For the older person, it showed both sides of the brain working equally.1
An Aging Population
America’s population is aging, and we can’t afford to have a huge chunk of the population seeing themselves as inferior just because of their age. Older workers have a wealth of experience to share with younger workers, and older family members have memories to share with younger ones. And with so many things to love about retirement, why would you not look forward to aging?
When you think about it, there’s nothing stopping you from changing how you view aging, especially when research suggests that people become happier as they age. Developing a good attitude towards getting older is an important part of finding happiness in retirement. We care about retirees and want you to look forward to your golden years. We offer complimentary financial reviews so that we can meet you and help you prepare for the next phase of your life.