(a sequel to Post 1.3, Selling Us Daddy's Car)
The "New Old"
Our health tends to be better than our parents at the same point, perhaps because we were raised with better diets from an earlier age. We got an early wakeup call about things that can deter decline, such as diet, exercise, brain fitness, and Omega 3s. Meanwhile, new medical breakthroughs seem to keep happening weekly, from pharmaceuticals tailored to one's own genome to pivotal proteins in Alzheimer's plaques. And if that isn't enough, they keep coming up with new lotions, potions and lasers that let you prolong a youthful appearance if you wish to fool Mother Nature some more.
Overall, we tend to be much better informed about our options and much less shy than our parents were about asking questions and expecting value and evaluating results. We've held more jobs in one lifetime and often acquired sklls in more than one discipline. All of this tends to create a wider point of view that seeks a broader menu of options, including the option of not retiring.
To a big bunch of us, much of this seems a good thing, since between the housing slump, the credit crunch, the declining dollar, and our shrinking portfolios, not to mention our rising costs of health care, we may have no choice but to keep on being engaged for pay anyway, especially if we want to access those nifty treatments they say will let us do that long and lively thing.