©AARP

I first stepped onto the stage at AARP’s Ideas@50+ national member event in San Diego in September 2014 to deliver a keynote address urging the 8,000 attendees to disrupt ageing. Since then, the response has been overwhelming. It turns out that this is a message that people aged 50 and over have been waiting to hear. People across the country, from all walks of life, have been sharing their experiences with me and telling me that although they don’t want to age the same way their parents did, they aren’t sure what to do about it. They are anxious to change the conversation in our society, and in some cases, to start having the conversation. They want more choices for how to live when they get older. They want new and better solutions to help them age with independence, dignity and purpose. They are ready to chart a new course. So am I.

I wrote this book to provide a pathway for those who are 50 and over and to create a new vision for all generations for living and ageing in America. I can no more identify with my parents’ experience of ageing than my own kids can identify with mine. It’s just different. Sometimes I play this little game when I hit certain milestones in my life–like birthdays, sending my kids off to college, attending their graduations, etc–I think back and try to remember my parents as they experienced those same milestones. What was my mom like when she was 57? What were my parents doing when I graduated from college? How did they view their lives at various milestones along the way? It can be a real eye opener and really makes me realise how much things have changed from their generation to mine.

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