Age-denial eventually ends for each of us

I was 58 or 59 before it dawned on me that I needed to worry about retirement. I’d had 401Ks in my youth and blithely emptied them when times got tough. I just assumed because I always had made money, I always would. As my 60th birthday approached, I reconsidered what life might be like if I had just social security. My response — I went back for my doctorate and got a job as a professor. At that time, universities still offered pensions — something currently being watered down on the way to perhaps disappearing.

Then I forgot about this age stuff. Until… As I turned 70, I got worried again. So I started researching the problems I might soon be facing. And researching people who were living fulfilling lives into their 70s and 80s and beyond. The result — this website and these blogs. I figured others might also want to be forewarned about problems — and given ideas for upsides.

Then I made my retirement decisions, got moving on new ventures I wanted to try, and started living my retirement — the way it made the most sense to me. So I mostly stopped researching and writing this blog. In the U.S. (I don’t know about other countries), we prefer to ignore that we will get old until it smacks us in the face. It was that way for me.

But… the funny thing is this blog has continued to get traffic. (See what posts are most popular!)

Over three years of maybe 2 posts total, the traffic has actually grown. I’ve learned that while age denial is huge in this country — those of us lucky enough to actually get old eventually lose the denial. Then we desperately need the information we previously ignored.

I’m very happy (and a little proud!) that this blog is there for people when they finally realize they need it.

You might like to see what articles are getting the most attention over the past 365 (often horrible!) days. The big winner — as always — is the nursing home story. I’ve had nursing home consultants tell me the story isn’t possible, but it happened to my father so I know damn well it’s true. The “Never retire” story is newly popular in these days of COVID job instability.

Most-read articles from this blog in the last year

NEVER go into a nursing home to recover. You may never escape.2,637
Your brain is shrinking: How to protect yourself!504
Never Retire! Jobs that won’t kick seniors to the curb 423
How seniors are forced into involuntary guardianships270
Your goal for 2019 — compete at the Senior Olympics!153
Start your own biz: Websites144
Are the men in white suits coming for you?90
Seniors drugged to death in nursing homes because they “ask for help”63
Should senior citizenss start dropping acid? Some new studies say “yes”57
Best looks for your older age48
Dance — like nobody’s watching42
Most popular SeniorDenfender posts — Use “search” to find them for yourself

PS: The same thing is happening with my book of these posts — Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Aging — But Were Afraid to Ask. It continues to sell, modestly, on the internet and even in some bookstores as new people suddenly come face-to-face with aging questions/problems for which they want answers. Now!

PPS: For the newly interested — as it was for me — it’s better late than never. But wouldn’t it be a great world if that denial never had to take place. So people didn’t suddenly need a crash course in what they’d been ignoring all their life? Think of all the idiots like me that raided their 401Ks in their youth instead of knowing they should be untouchable. I want to smack myself for how stupid I was!

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