EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT AGING…BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK!



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Jensen opens her delightfully optimistic book, ironically enough, on a gloomy note: Many elements of 21st-century society genuinely seem geared to taking advantage of older people, even preying on them. These include judges, doctors, attorneys, pharmaceutical companies, and of course nursing homes, which “can imprison us against our will and drug us when we object.” But the author assures her readers that these factors need not be the only aspects of the admittedly daunting prospect of growing older. It’s possible, she maintains, for older people to reinvent themselves in their later years. In the course of her book, she examines many features of aging, from retirement and employment opportunities (including starting a business) to physical training and finding late-in-life romance. Jensen proposes dozens of alternatives for her readers about things to do with their time, often working in notes of personal humor that run throughout the book. “Volunteer work, chats with friends, book reading are all good for afternoons,” she writes. “Nights in the summer are for Mets games—I actually got tears in my eyes when MLB started its precarious short 2020 season.” She straightforwardly addresses practical matters like money (noting that more people are afraid of running out of funds than they are of actually dying), dispensing practical advice about maintaining a budget in retirement and supplementing social safety net payments with personal savings. The tone the author uses is a perfectly chosen combination of tough empiricism (there are no cuddly euphemisms here) and uplifting enthusiasm that allows her to warn against things like Social Security thieves and provide upbeat tips on such activities as volunteering and adopting an aging dog. Older readers worried about some facets of the stage of life they’re entering will find Jensen’s manual consistently helpful and invigorating.



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