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Women of a Certain Age: Power That Elevates & Heals


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Power that elevates and heals

If 60 is the new 40, is 90 the new Fountain of Youth? Aside from 95-year-old Betty White, who may be bionic, a number of nonagenarian women exemplify the spirit of how to live — at every age. In fact, 90 may soon be the average female life expectancy in some nations, according to new research. To interest a vintage woman in a reverse mortgage, read on for a deeper understanding of how to approach her: 

Joan Kennedy is an accomplished speaker, author and mentor who embodies Helen Keller’s dictum, “Life is either a grand adventure, or nothing.” She recently published Women of a Certain Age Answer 7 Questions About Life, Love and Loss. While the title may be slightly misleading — the ages of contributing authors span eight decades — what’s perhaps most significant about this book is Kennedy’s age: 94. She markets herself as “the oldest motivational speaker in the US.” In describing her enduring success, Kennedy quotes Grandma Moses, who was asked why she began painting so late in life. The legendary artist replied, “At 79, I was too old to work in the fields…but I was too young to sit on the porch!”

Yet Kennedy is by no means unique in these times of extraordinary health and longevity.

Dancing Down the Decadesreverse mortgage news

Täo Porchon-Lynch drives a smart car, is a competitive ballroom dancer, and teaches yoga. She’s one of the more qualified yoga teachers alive, having been a practitioner since 1926. Porchon-Lynch is 98.

She’s led an extraordinary life: becoming a well-known Parisian model, friends with Marilyn Monroe, marching with Gandhi, meeting the Dalai Lama, publishing her autobiography, and stopping the clock on America’s Got Talent (watch this inspiring video!), despite having had three hip replacements. It’s intriguing that her first name means, “the absolute principle underlying the universe.” Her mantra is: “There’s so much to do, and so little time to do it!” Clearly, Täo Porchon-Lynch has not only done it all, she continues to do so, with joie de vivre.

Do these nonagenarians have a telomere-lengthening secret? Yes, though it’s less biological than psychological. While elders such as Betty White, Joan Kennedy, and Täo Porchon-Lynch obviously have excellent genes, their sunny outlook and can-do attitude are the true age-defying attributes. And while scientists aver that aging is reversible with epigenetic reprogramming, turning back the hands of time only makes sense if someone wants more of the life they’ve lived. This is why psychological fitness is as important as physical health.

reverse mortgage newsHelping Others is a Natural Fountain of Youth

Someone like Christie Brinkley, now gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated at 63 with daughters Alexa, 31, and Sailor, 18, may be a candidate to become a nifty nonagenarian, thanks to her lifelong positive perspective.

Then there’s the 92-year-old who recently served as bridesmaid for her granddaughter, who wrote, “At 92 years young, my granny was the most beautiful bridesmaid! I am so fortunate!” The bridesmaid swims one mile a week, line dances, and still owns and maintains her own home, added the bride. (The article didn’t mention whether she has a reverse mortgage. Perhaps she feels she’s still too young to apply.)

Finally, these nonagenarian women honor the Golden Rule. 97-year-old Evelyn lives in a retirement community that discontinued its twice-weekly bus service. Her friend Joyce was despondent, thinking she’d have to move now that she had no way to get to the grocery store. Evelyn promised she’d take Joyce food shopping — even though her driver’s license had been revoked because someone decided she was “too old to drive.”

Evelyn got feisty. She said, “I made a promise,” so she went to sit the driving test and get her license back. She passed, her license was reissued, and she and Joyce now drive to the grocery store together every week.


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  1. Love these stories…all inspiring! I interviewed Joan Kennedy, on my “Savvy Senior Sources…Talking With Experts show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qgsdpip0Oy4,

    One of my favorite stories of hers is when she went to the doctors in her 80’s and said her toe was hurting. The doctor responded that what did she expect for her age. Now she’s in her 90’s and her toe doesn’t hurt.

    Age is only a number…

    Thanks for sharing the inspiring stories.

    • Hi Beth,

      How amazing that you interviewed Joan for your show! Thanks for the link.

      And I adore the story about the doctor. It’s wisdom we can all take to heart: if something is bothering you, keep on keepin’ on…this too shall pass 🙂

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