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AARP CEO Challenges Society to Rethink Aging

In her book, "Disrupt Aging," AARP's Jo Ann Jenkins challenges people to rethink their perceptions on aging. (aarp.org)
In her book, "Disrupt Aging," AARP's Jo Ann Jenkins challenges people to rethink their perceptions on aging. (aarp.org)
October 19, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Life expectancy in the United States is 78.8 years, much higher than when the Social Security program began in 1935. At that time it was around 67, and people were expected to retire at 62.

That means we need to rethink our finances so they will stretch for several more years, said Jo Ann Jenkins, chief executive of AARP and author of "Disrupt Aging."

"Think about the financial needs that we're going to have to live in the future," she said. "If you're going to live to be 100, then we need to make sure we're saving earlier and longer regardless of how much that is, or how small is the amount is we're saving, because we certainly don't want to outlive our money."

Jenkins said people are skipping retirement and continuing to work because they're healthier than in decades past. Older employees shouldn't be judged their age, she said, but by what they bring to the table.

Jenkins also said living extra years gives people the opportunity to do the things they've always dreamed of.

"How do you use this extra 20 or 30 years of life that's been given to you to do something that you feel passionate around? And people who are passionate about what they're doing and helping others, we know, live longer, healthier lives," she said.

Jenkins spent last week talking to people in the Midwest and challenging them to rethink their perceptions on aging. She said her mission is to get people to plan ahead for retirement by thinking of "health, wealth and self."

More information is online at aarp.org.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - AR