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AARP CEO: Prioritize Health, Wealth, Self

AARP's Jo Ann Jenkins says her book is for anyone who wants to live a life of possibility, connection and growth. (AARP)
AARP's Jo Ann Jenkins says her book is for anyone who wants to live a life of possibility, connection and growth. (AARP)
October 20, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY – Life expectancy in the United States is now 78.8 years, much higher than when the Social Security program began in 1935.

At that time life expectancy was around 67 years old, and people were expected to retire at 62.

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins says that means Americans need to rethink their finances so their money will stretch for a few more years.

"To think about the financial needs we're going to have to live in the future,” she states. “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 is the author of the book "Disrupt Aging." She says many people are skipping retirement and continuing to work because they're healthier than in decades past.

She adds older employees shouldn't be judged by their age, but by the skills and experience they bring to the table.

Jenkins also points out that 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?” she says. “And people who are passionate about what they're doing and helping others, we know live longer healthier lives."

Jenkins has been on the road, talking to seniors, and challenging them to rethink their perceptions of aging.

She says her mission is to get people to plan ahead for retirement by thinking of health, wealth and self.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT