Is it self deception or the acknowledgement that times have change?  Old age--just what is it and when does it start?  Some say it’s not what you would expect.  It's not 50. It's not 60. It's 70. Or maybe even 80. That's the word from an AP-LifeGoesStrong.com poll of baby boomers, who are not only not particularly concerned about dying, but also insist they aren't even old. Yet.

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75% of baby boomers who are between the ages of 57 and 65 consider themselves to be middle-aged or younger! While young adults say 60 is the beginning of old age, baby boomers are pushing that number back. The median age they cite is 70, but 25% of boomers say old age doesn't start until 80 candles are on the birthday cake. This is what they think about growing old(er):

  • Overall, they are upbeat about the future.
  • They are more likely to be excited about the positive aspects of aging, such as retirement, rather than being worried about the negatives, such as declining health.
  • One-third of boomers say they feel confident about growing older, which is almost twice as many who say they find it frustrating or sad.
  • 16% are actually happy to age, which is about equal to the number who admit they are afraid to grow old.

Most baby boomers expect to live longer than their parents with a better quality of life in old age. When it comes to aging, what worries the boomers?

  • 45% are deeply worried about physical ailments that will take away their independence.
  • 44% are worried about losing their memory.
  • 43% worry about being unable to pay medical bills.
  • 41% are worried about losing financial self-sufficiency.
  • 18% worry about dying.