This age range includes four age cohorts (Yes, that’s what they’re called.), defined by the US Census Bureau. These four cohorts include most of the Baby Boomer generation. This age range spans the audience for Elders At Work.
At the low end of the range, you’re starting to seriously think about the next stages in your active, working life… or perhaps (semi-)retirement. At the higher end of the range, fewer people work, either as part-timers or as volunteers. For example, my mother finally quit her part-time job in a hospital pharmacy at the age of 74.
Social Security’s Age Milestones
In the United States the laws and regulations around Social Security help define “retirement age” for many people.
62: The age at which someone can begin collecting ‘retirement’ Social Security. However, your payments will be reduced by $1 for every $2 earned at work above an annual limit ($15,720 in 2016).
65: The age used in legislation such as the Older Americans Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-63).
66: “Full Retirement Age” for Social Security.The age after which there is no “earning reduction” due to earned income.
70: Beyond this age individuals can no longer increase the amount of their future Social Security payments.
I accept the label “elder,” but reject the modifier “elderly.” I suspect many of us do. Here’s part of a definition that addresses the problem with the difference between elder and elderly:
“…(elderly) can imply frailty or diminished capacity, in which case it may sound condescending: was stuck in traffic behind an elderly driver.”
Elder suggests to me a person past middle age, who shares knowledge gained through experience and encourages or guides younger people.
Elderly suggest to me a person of a similar chronological age, whose physical and mental health has substantially deteriorated.
Are you an Elder or Elderly?
At the risk of putting a pop psych spin to it, do you feel that you are an elder or do you feel elderly? If you feel elderly, what might you do to address your frailty or “diminished capacity?“ I ride my bicycle and keep working.
What do you do to reduce the effects of being elderly?