The Dirty Dozen Myths of Active Aging

Hollywood helped whittle away at one myth in “The Intern,” which showed Robert DeNiro bringing plenty of value to Anne Hathaway’s workplace.


The Dirty Dozen Myths of Active Aging

Ever heard someone say something like this?  “Oh, he’s a very handsome man for his age.”

Or — “Old people are so sad all the time. Wouldn’t you be?”

What about: “I don’t like waiting on old people because they’re so tight with their money.”

These are all part of the persistent myths attached to older people. But like many myths, they’re wrong when it comes to the millions and millions of active agers who are fit and determined to enjoy life as long as possible.

Marketing guru Jeff Weiss of Age of Majority has been an FAI webinar guest and a Functional Aging Summit speaker, helping us learn more about our audience is so that we can better serve them.

Here are Jeff’s Dirty Dozen Myths of Active Aging. We can all benefit from this list if we want to improve our businesses and our relationships. Any of these will also make a great conversation starter with your staff, clients and prospects.

Myth 1

One foot in the grave: Getting older is really depressing, and you have nothing to live for.


Consumers are happiest between 65 and 79. Active agers have the time, money and desire to explore their sense of adventure.


Myth 2

What’s a Blue Tooth? Older people are technologically challenged and averse.


People over 50 are leading adopters and drivers of many tech devices and services.


Myth 3

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks: Active agers are stuck in their ways, don’t want to try new things and won’t switch brands.


Most welcome the chance to try new products, services and experiences and are willing to try different brands.


Myth 4

Don’t Forget My Senior Discount! Seniors don’t have money to spend.


Consumers over 55 control 70 percent of all wealth and account for 40 percent of consumer spending.


Myth 5

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! People are necessarily frail as they get older.


Mobility issues do not keep active agers from trying new things and moving.


Myth 6

You look great for your age: Everyone longs to look younger.


Active agers are more likely to feel good about their appearance than people 18 to 34.


Myth 7

Out to Pasture: Old people live in nursing homes.


More than 95 percent of consumers over 65 live independently.


Myth 8

When I Was Your Age: Older adults are disengaged from life and society.


Active Agers are embracing an exciting phase in their lives with time, money and drive to fulfill their desires.


Myth 9

Out of Sight: Targeting older consumers could alienate younger consumers.


Nonsense. Engage this lucrative market without worrying about alienating younger folks.


Myth 10

Past One’s Prime: Active Agers are no longer productive in the workplace.


There is virtually no relationship between age and performance.


Myth 11

Tried and True: Older consumers still rely heavily on traditional media when making purchasing decisions.


They use multiple digital and traditional channels on their “customer journeys.”


Myth 12

Oh, to Be Young Again…


Active agers embrace who they have become and are not longing to revisit their youth.


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