60 is now classified as middle age 115



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Do remember when it was the norm to retire at 55 and then keel over at 65? Since the 70s and 80s, the definition of what an ‘elderly’ person is and looks like has changed dramatically. We’re stronger and fitter than ever, and living long lives. This means that 60 is merely middle age for us, according to scientists.

A new study has shown that we need to redefine what being “old” means, as it is no longer a fixed age such as 60. We all know we’re not old, but now we can prove it with science! Austrian scientists have suggested that we shouldn’t think of ourselves as old until we are within 10 to 15 years of our average life expectancy, which for Australian men and women combined is 82.10. That means, technically speaking, we’re not old until we’re 67-72 years of age. Does that sound right?

Researcher Dr Sergei Scherbov, from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, said: “Age can be measured as the time already lived or it can be adjusted taking into account the time left to live.

“What we think of as old has changed over time and it will need to continue changing in the future, as people live longer, healthier lives.

“Someone who is 60 years old today, I would argue is middle-aged.

“200 years ago, a 60-year-old would be a very old person”, reports The Daily Mail.

Dr Scherbov’s latest study calculated that if we fix old age at a certain point, the proportion of “old” people will increase with increasing life expectancy. But, when you move the threshold for being old to take longer lives into account, the proportion of old people actually falls over time.

So why are we living longer and staying young into our 60s? Modern medicine, for one is a big help, but also education and diet and lifestyle changes have increased our life expectancy.

“Health care costs depend on age but they are much higher in the last years of life. As life expectancy increases, those last years of life happen later and later. Ignoring this could produce distorted figures”, Dr Scherbov wrote in PLOS ONE journal.

So we want to know today, do you consider yourself to be middle-aged if you’re 60? Or “old” if you’re 72 and over? Is it something you worry about?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. The term middle aged, means middle of life. We would have very high expectations if we assumed we were going to live to be 120 years old because double 60 is 120 :). We age the same as we always have, we just live longer and older lol

  2. I can only compare myself to my son, he is in his 40’s, he works very hard, and in his spare time he coaches for the Indoor Cricket that represents Australia. He plays cricket himself and soccer, He has a very active life and no I could not do what he does..it tires me out watching him

  3. I’m 65 definitely not old so I’m the new middle age, I plan to be around for awhile yet. Lol

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    • It continually amazes me that a person can be described as “elderly” (in the news for instance), then I find out that he or she is only about my age…..Seventy! I AM NOT ELDERLY!!
      I still work in an office environment, do lots of hard Hakka on my sons property and in my own garden, wash my car and husbands plus daughters sometimes because I like doing it! I suppose I should be grateful that I CAN do these things. Have to cut down on the wine though….haha.

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  4. Well I am considered old even by this new reckoning. However, I don’t feel old and I don’t dress old. And if I keep away from the mirrors in the house, I feel 29. The secret is to keep active and supple and eat healthfully. Oh, and to keep a positive outlook. That is the most important part of staying younger.

  5. I am 67 and don’t consider myself old. I am very active in the community being involved with volunteering with three different local community agencies. I paint and organise an art show. I am actively involved with my grandchildren and my daughters’ lives. Fitting everything into my day sometimes is the problem. Life is fantastic. It is what you make of it. Live it and love it.

  6. Who decides these things and puts people into boxes. We can decide this for ourselves. If wer decide were young at 70 or old st 55 thats our choice.

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