It’s hard to amaze our AARP research team, which is one of America’s top repositories of knowledge related to aging. That is why we are so excited by the AARP–National Geographic “Second Half of Life Study.”
It is packed with insights that cut against much of the conventional wisdom about aging in America.
For the study, more than 2,500 Americans answered deep questions about their lives and hopes. Their answers reveal that many negative beliefs about aging are not only incorrect but also nearly opposite of the truth. “Most people are optimistic about aging and do not see it as a bad thing,” notes Debra Whitman, AARP’s chief public policy officer. “People in their 70s and 80s are uplifting examples of resilience because they become more realistic about the changes that happen and are more likely to be happy.”
But research is useful only if it leads to positive change. As CEO of AARP, I’ve been on a mission to disrupt aging — to challenge outdated stereotypes and attitudes and to find new solutions that help people live better as they age. Here are some of the changes we at AARP hope this report can help spark.