A few months ago, we asked our listeners over 60 to tell us about their experiences of getting older, especially during the past year. And it turns out, you had a lot to say about it.
The United States is a country that’s rapidly aging. According to Census Bureau estimates, the number of people over 65 in the U.S. will nearly double over the next 40 years. Americans are also working later, living alone more frequently, and facing greater financial hardship. And of course, there’s the pandemic. 80% of COVID-related deaths in the United States have been among people over 65.
But despite all of these commonly-cited statistics, we don't hear much about what it's actually like to be over 60. We don't talk enough about getting older in our society, and when we do, we don’t often do it well.
So in this episode, we hope to break down some of that silence around aging. We hear from listeners about unexpected health challenges and financial instability; feelings of isolation, invisibility and freedom; the responsibilities that come with being caregivers to parents, children and grandchildren; and shifting relationships with friends and loved ones.
Hear Your Stories About Life After 60:
We're having these conversations with the help of veteran public radio broadcaster Jo Ann Allen—who also hosts her own podcast, Been There Done That, all about the Baby Boom generation. As Jo Ann told us when we had her on Death, Sex & Money back in the fall, even as she's navigated uncertainty about financial stability and her fears of COVID-19, she wouldn't trade this period of life for anything. "I am 67 years old, and I am really into older people!" she says. "I love, without a doubt, up and down, over and under, in and out, being an older person and getting older."
To read a transcript of this episode, click here.
If you're not yet 60, but know someone who is and might not know about our show, please forward it on to them! Click the link below to send them a special email with a link to this episode.
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Did you know only 22% of people over 55 listen to podcasts regularly? Let's change that!
We've rounded up some of our favorite recent reading and listening about people over 60 here, including reflections on living through the pandemic, a handy guide on how to care for older people in your life right now, and a deep dive on ageism.
All month long, we've also been featuring conversations with guests over 60. Listen to actor and activist Marlo Thomas reflecting on her 40-year marriage, musician Beverly Glenn-Copeland talking about the realities of touring and making a living from his music in his 70s, and 74-year-old writer Norma Elia Cantú on growing up in Laredo, Texas, and the three family deaths that changed her.
We wrapped up this series about life after 60 with a live national radio call-in hosted by Jo Ann and Anna on February 3. Listen to highlights of that show here.
And if you still want to hear more, here are a few of our favorite episodes with guests over 60 from the Death, Sex & Money archives: