Marketing surveys and application forms often have check boxes for age, bracketed by decade, with the oldest bracket being 55+ or 65+ as the oldest. Age 65 and 105 are all in the same age category. I assume the surveys are being created by twenty-somethings and they think anyone over 50 is old.
I remember managing a large group of computer programmer analysts who were mostly in their 20’s and 30’s. Their 30th birthday was celebrated with black balloons and cards containing condolences. I was in my early 40’s at the time and found it humorous. Yet 65 did seem old to me at that time. Looking back from age 65, the 40’s seemed young.
We just celebrated the 100th birthday of our friend, Marjorie Johnson, who is still a popular television and radio guest. She wrote her book “Blue Ribbon Baking” based on winning thousands of Blue Ribbons for her baking. She was a delightful guest on Jay Leno’s show as well as many others. She continues to entertain with her energy, wisdom, and humor.
She exercises 30 minutes every day and has a goal of reaching over age 115 to get into the record books. She started entering baking contests in her 50’s and still won an amazing number of ribbons … and continues to win ribbons at age 100.
Fastest Rate of Growth is Over 75 Years
When you know someone like Marjorie Johnson it helps explain why the over-65 and over-75 age categories are the fastest growing segments of the workplace. There are many reasons, but the numbers are clear. These are people who are on the payroll working for a company.
The growth by those who are self-employed is even larger. Many people are driven by wanting to do meaningful work. Others can’t afford to retire at the income level they desire. Many of our clients, who were senior leaders in large companies, looked forward to retirement. After 6 to 18 months they “fail retirement” and want to go back to making a contribution.
Meaningful Work and Flexibility
Turns out that it is not just Millennials who want meaningful work and flexibility. Those are also driving forces for those over the typical retirement age who continue to work. I personally get great personal reward by being able to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. It keeps me engaged.
I admit that when the survey age categories end at 55+ my view is that the companies are not in touch with reality … it is their choice. I hope a few seniors will go to work for a marketing company and expand the age categories for those surveys. Marjorie Johnson would like one age category for age 110+.