Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Happiness
poll

most popular
articles

Viewed

Commented

Turning 65, Then and Now

One thing is certain: It's a whole different world.

Then: A 1996 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found the percentage of retirees in 1996 that were very confident they would have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement stood at 30 percent.
Now
: The same survey taken in 2010 found only 16 percent believed they would be financially secure throughout their golden years.

Then: 2.9 million people had Alzheimer's disease.
Now: 5.3 million people suffer from this devastating illness as the population of older Americans swells.

Then: Sexual performance problems were rarely discussed in public, and there weren't many treatment options.
Now: Commercials for "ED" drugs flood the airwaves, and consumers are responding: Between 2006 and 2009 alone, Viagra sales in the U.S. grew 21 percent to $994 million.

Then: Your health plan didn't focus on preventive care, diet or quit-smoking programs.
Now:
Prevention is the name of the game for every health plan. Some plans even charge smokers more for premiums.

Then: If you had arthritis in your hip, you likely endured chronic discomfort. Now: You can opt to have your hip replaced with titanium parts.

Then: About 84 percent of Americans has a defined benefit pension in 1980.
Now: Only 33 percent had a pension in 2009.

Then: The Internet was largely unknown, and most people relied on the U.S. mail and a wall phone to communicate, and on radio, TV and newspapers for their information.
Now: 17.5 million people over 65 use the Internet and growing numbers get their news and information from websites, connect with one another on Facebook and talk to grandkids via Skype.

Then: In 1980, 17.2 percent over the age of 65 smoked.
Now: The figure is down to about 9 percent.

Then: The Sun Belt was the retirement dream: In 1980, 492,528 people migrated to Florida, while 195,707 left.
Now: In 2008, more people left the Sunshine State than moved there: 413,357 moved in, 438,085 left.

Then: Most people retired by age 65, and then pursued travel, relaxation and hobbies.
Now: In a recent AARP survey, 31 percent of people who were working said they had "retired" from a previous job. And 40 percent said they planned on working "till they dropped." Many boomers talk about "re-invention" as a top retirement priority.

Topic Alerts

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

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line offers 5% off on select cruises, plus other special offers.

Tanger Outlets

Members receive a free Tanger Coupon Book including up to 20% discount offers.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Members can convert their assets into guaranteed income for life with AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today

Featured
Groups

5 Weeks to a New Life

How do you resolve differences in a relationship — without fighting? Share your tips in our online community and be eligible to win prizes. Discuss

The Reinvention Group

The Reinvention Group

Ask questions, find support and share information about changing gears in your 50+ years. Discuss

coffeeshop

The Coffee Shop

Kick back and enjoy lighthearted conversation among Online Community locals. Discuss