Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate



Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Scorpio - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between Nov. 23 & Dec. 22.

2015 LIFE@50+ MIAMI

Miami skyline viewed through palm trees.

Enjoy fun in the sun during Life@50+, May 14-16, 2015

Most Popular


Never Too Late

Roy Rowan extols his whirlwind ride through life—and urges others to climb aboard

Rowan himself isn’t exactly typical: He has been blessed with unusual fortitude, a strong constitution and an enviable run of good luck. He came of age at a time when jobs (remember those?) were relatively plentiful, and when educated middle-class wives sublimated their own ambitions to advance their husbands’ careers. (At one point, after she had prepared a home-cooked dinner for Rowan and his colleagues—Luce among them—“Helen opted to serve and not sit,” he tells us, in a phrase that seems all too metaphorical.)

Rowan retired from Time Inc. in 1985 at the age of 65, then made an apparently seamless transition from full-time employment to an independent writing career. His post-retirement writing projects have combined sheer enjoyment (indulging his love of baseball by following the careers of two minor-league pitchers) with useful risk (living as a homeless man to write about homelessness). “I have long been intrigued with what gives some individuals the strength and persistence to overcome devastating experiences,” he writes, “while others are totally unable to cope.”

To Roy Rowan’s manifold attributes, add outlier: Not everyone will be in a position, physically or financially, to follow his advice — or his example (he bought a new car at 90). But as my late mother, likewise ferociously optimistic to the end, would have said: “May he drive it in good health.”

Julia M. Klein is a cultural reporter and critic in Philadelphia and a contributing editor at Columbia Journalism Review.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

AARP Bookstore

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save up to 20% on live Cirque du Soleil shows with their AARP membership card.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Movies Unlimited

Members save 10% on purchases of DVDs & Blu-ray discs from Movies Unlimited.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.