Donald Trump turns 60 next year. Boy, time flies when you’re having fun.
Also turning 60 in 2006 are Bill Clinton, George Bush, Judy Woodruff, Laura Bush, Candice Bergen, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, and Susan Sarandon.
They’re part of the leading-edge of the Baby Boomer Generation, which marks its milestone 60th birthday next month.
Boomers have left their indelible imprint on every stage of life they’ve passed through-- and now they’re poised to reinvent aging. Thanks to major advances in public health and medicine, the average 60-year-old today can expect to live to 83, and millions will continue well into their 90s. Indeed, without notice or fanfare, a new, “extra” stage of life has been invented, nestled between middle age and old age, spanning the years 60 – 80. It doesn’t have a name yet, and doesn’t have a clearly defined meaning and purpose.
What is crystal clear, however, is that Donald Trump and his generational siblings are far from ready for traditional labels such as “old”, “senior citizen”, “elderly”, or “retired.” The Boomers aren’t “old”--but our language certainly is, and it’s a reflection of outdated ideas about life after 60.
The Harvard School of Public Health is partnering with MetLife Foundation and PARADE magazine to invite the general public to help name the extra stage of life between 60 and 80, and to come up with alternatives to terms like “elderly” and "senior". We’ll use the best ideas in a national media campaign aimed at promoting healthy aging and changing our culture’s images and ideas about aging. The campaign will encourage Boomers to give-back by sharing their skills and experience to help strengthen local communities. What language would you propose, and why?