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You Know You Are Getting Old When…: Aging Facts and Jokes

Inspirational essays and articles, with a touch of humor, are favorite topics for Ms. Giordano, a writer and public speaker.

We know when an ancient redwood is old because we can count the rings.

We know when an ancient redwood is old because we can count the rings.

What Are the Statistics About the World’s Aging Population?

Statistics show us that the world’s population is aging. Getting old is not so bad considering the alternative, so let's take a humorous look at aging. But first a few statistics about aging.

The population of almost every country in the world is aging. The aging of the population is occurring due to increases in longevity and declining birth rates.

The country with the highest proportion of older per people (aged 65+) is Japan. The country with the lowest elderly population is United Arab Emirates.

Population 65+ in Various Countries (2016)

Source: The World Bank (Population Aged 65 and Above by Country

Country% of population 65+

Japan

27

United Kingdom

18

Canada

17

United States

15

Australia

15

China

10

India

6

United Arab Emirates

1

Population 65+ in the United States (By Date)

Source. U. S. Census (65+ in the United States , Table 2.1)

DateNumber of People Age 65+Percent of People Age 65+

1950

12 million

8.1

2000

35 million

12.8

2010

40 million

13.3

2020

53 million

16.4

2050

80 million

20.4

How Old Are the Baby Boomers?

In the United States, we have a group known as the baby boomers, people born in the years immediately after World War II from 1946 to 1964. This group accounts for a little more than a third (35%) of the U.S. population. The oldest of the baby-boomers turned 65 in 2011.

What Is the Definition of “Old”?

You have probably heard the expression "You are only as old as you feel." Regardless, in the United States, 65 is the unofficial age of “old” since it is the age when people traditionally retire. (Since the age of receiving Social Security has gone up to 67, perhaps that will be the new official age of old.)

Demographers often divide the older population into three stages.

  • The “young old” are aged 65 to 74. This group is nicknamed the “go-go years.” People in this group tend to be active and often do a lot of traveling.
  • The “middle old” is aged 75 to 84. This group is sometimes called the “slow-go years.” People in this group have become less active.
  • The “old-old” group is aged 85 and older. This group is referred to as the "no-go years” because people in this age group are the least likely to be active. There are currently six million people in this age group and is the fastest growing age group.

In the developed world, people who are age 65 can expect to live on average for 18 more years. That’s a lot of years of being old.

Of course, age is just a number. Some people are physically and/or mentally younger than their years and some are older. So how can you tell when you are getting old? Allow me to help with the following lists of signs of old age.

You Might Be Old If You Remember ...

  • Penny candy
  • Candy cigarettes
  • Soda machines that dispensed glass bottles
  • Diners with tableside juke boxes
  • Metal ice cube trays with levers
  • Party line telephones
  • Telephone numbers with a word prefix (Butterfield 8)
  • Newsreels before the movie
  • 33 RPM records
  • Reel-to-reel tape recorders
  • Green stamps
  • Roller skate keys
  • Hula hoops
  • Washtub wringers
  • The Fuller Brush man
  • 35-cent a gallon gasoline
  • 15-cent McDonald hamburgers with 10-cent fries
  • 5-cent packs of baseball cards with that slab of pink bubblegum

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice These Physical Changes.

Aging is accompanied by a lot of physical changes. It’s not fair.You finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.

You know you are getting old if …

  • It takes two tries to get up from the couch.
  • It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.
  • It takes twice as long to look half as good.
  • Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work.
  • You give up all your bad habits and still don't feel good.
  • You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.
  • Rocking in a rocking chair feels like a roller coaster ride.
  • Your knees buckle, and your belt won't.
  • You have that “morning after” feeling when you wake up, but you didn’t party the night before.
Your rocking chair feels like a roller coaster.

Your rocking chair feels like a roller coaster.

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice These Changes in Your Attitudes and Behaviors.

You might be getting old if you are now the age you used to think was old, but now it doesn’t seem so old anymore. People over 50 always think that old age is ten years older than they are now. There are some other attitude changes as well.

You know you are getting old if …

  • You have more patience, but actually it's just that you don't care anymore.
  • You confuse having a clear conscience with a bad memory.
  • You sing along with the elevator music.
  • You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
  • Work is a lot of fun, and fun is a lot of work.
  • You stop searching for the meaning of life to focus on searching for your car keys.
  • You speed on the highway so you can reach your destination before you forget where you’re going.

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice These Changes in Other People.

Have you had this feeling when you look at the people you have known for a long time and you notice that they are looking old—how did they get older when I haven’t gotten any older?

You know you are getting old if …

  • People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"
  • Your children begin to look middle aged.
  • Your friends marry and divorce instead of “make-out” and “break up.”
  • Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
  • The pharmacist has become your new best friend.
  • The president is younger than you. So are your doctors.
  • You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice These Changes in Your Social Llife.

You know you are getting old if you look back on the times you partied all night and still got up and went to work the next morning and you wonder how you ever did it. Old age brings a lot of changes to your social life.

You know you are getting old if …

  • Your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.
  • When you go out your energy runs out before your money does.
  • You look forward to a dull evening.
  • You get two invitations to go out on the same night, and you pick the one that gets you home the earliest.
  • Happy hour is a nap.
  • You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
  • You’re the one calling the police because those kids next door are having a loud party.

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice These Changes in Your Sex Life.

Of course, geriatric sex is nothing like the sex of your youth. But it can still be great sex. (Check out this award-winning book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex if you don't believe it.) Don't let these stupid jokes make you feel otherwise.

You know you are getting old if …

  • You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.
  • You turn out the lights for economic, rather than romantic, reasons.
  • Getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot.
  • The twinkle in your eye is only a reflection from the sun on your bifocals.
  • Your wild oats have turned into bran flakes.

You Know You Are Getting Old When… You Notice You Don’t Understand What Your Grandkids Are Talking About.

You might be getting old if it seems like your grand kids are talking a foreign language and words don’t mean what they used to mean anymore.

You know you are getting old if …

  • You think a "vine" is something that grows in the garden.
  • You think “hooking up” is a knitting technique.
  • You think being "gay" means being happy.

And Finally, You Know You Are Getting Old When ...

... the candles on your birthday cake cost more than the cake.

The birthday cake has a lot of candles, even when each candle represents a decade. instead of a year.

The birthday cake has a lot of candles, even when each candle represents a decade. instead of a year.

© 2015 Catherine Giordano

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