Retiring Retirement Myths: Part 1 - Skip to content

Retiring Retirement Myths: Part 1


40 Ways to Turn 80

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)

Aging isn’t what it used to be — if indeed it ever was. While reverse mortgage professionals are on the “front lines” of the quantum shift in the way people we call “seniors” perceive themselves in the third millennium, it’s especially exciting to hear from elders themselves on what later life stages can look like.

One resilient octogenarian, who started a women’s networking group almost twenty years ago, proposes 40 Ways to Turn 80, some of which are quite compelling; others are highly humorous:

1. Do something on your bucket list in the next 24 hours
2. Go dancing
3. Begin a novel
4. Volunteer at the thrift shop
5. Lie about your age at the thrift shop
6. Do something you’ve never done for your body
7. Count your blessings every day
8. Take a trip to a new place
9. Re-read love letters
10. Get someone to scan your old photos for you
11. Do something fun with a dear friend
12. Speak aloud to your ancestors and descendants
13. Record a video autobiography and post it on YouTube
14. Make a CD of your favorite songs
15. Tell someone you love them every day
16. Go outside and scream
17. Write your memoirs
18. Give up tact
19. Live out loud
20. Eat chocolate cake for breakfast
21. Eat chocolate cake for lunch
22. Eat dessert first
23. Cultivate younger friends
24. Find younger doctors
25. Get a massage
26. Get a foot massage
27. Try a different kind of massage such as Breema or hot stone
28. Take a Pilates class
29. Go to a hot springs and talk to strangers in your birthday suit
30. Go on safari
31. Feed the wild turkeys just once
32. Go hang-gliding
33. Howl at the moon
34. Hold a baby
35. Read something with no redeeming social value
36. Play a prank on Halloween
37. Play a prank on Christmas Day
38. Talk back to your inner critic
39. Go to Nordstrom and have a personal shopper give you a makeover — but don’t buy anything
40. Buy something completely frivolous and wear it proudly!



Leave a Comment


  1. Great list! I think it is extremely important to stay active and you see that with this list. Not only the physical body but the mind and spirit as well. Thanks for the list.

  2. I loved it,however,if i went to Nordstroms and did what she did,they would call me a cross dresser.

  3. This is not exactly the third millennium but we are certainly in the third millennium since the resurrection of Jesus. History is full of old people who have done their best to break the mold but most end up exactly the same way looking foolish and ending up, well, dead.

    Perhaps breaking the mold is living life to its fullest not living to its lowest level. Some of the listed items should be done and in many cases much earlier. Why wait to 80!! As for me, some should not be done at all.

    But life should be rich, full, and meaningful, no matter what the age or the circumstance.

  4. Hi Pamela, Ed and The_Cynic,

    Thanks for your comments! Pamela, you make a vital point about the importance of the whole person: embracing body/mind/spirit is what keeps us young, at any age.

    Ed, I love your sense of humor ~ I’m sure the Nordstrom team could create a makeover for men!

    The_Cynic, it’s the 3rd Millennium according to most calendars 🙂 And yes, breaking the mold is exactly what so many of today’s elders are up to, and what we might encourage. There is certainly no need to wait until one is old to live fully, but/and, if you’ve left a lot undone until then, it’s certainly not too late, either!

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