At 6:46 p.m. on February 7, I texted my son and daughter, “Tony Bennett is here!” To which my son, Nick, texted back, “Haha that’s really cool.” And it really was!
Keiro Senior HealthCare President and CEO Shawn Miyake, his wife Marijane, my husband Joe, and I were invited to AARP The Magazine’s 10th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards Dinner by Nancy Perry Graham, vice president and editor of AARP The Magazine, and keynote speaker for The Institute for Healthy Aging’s first Women’s Wellness Conference. According to Nancy, a good friend of Keiro’s, “This is huge. I think this is the biggest event we’ve ever had and it’s gratifying, because we started out… I called it before the “little engine that could” of awards events and now I’m saying it’s become unstoppable.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Robert Redford, who turns 75 this year. Introduced by Sally Field, Charles Robert Redford, Jr., is an award-winning actor, director and producer of nearly 100 films. He won the Oscar for his directorial debut, Ordinary People, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 2002. As the creator of the Sundance Institute and Festival, he has been an inspiration to independent filmmakers worldwide. He is an environmental activist and involved citizen, a father of three, and a grandfather of seven. Upon accepting his award, Redford said, “I’m not retiring. I may drop, but I’m not going to retire. There’s just too much to do, too much work to do.”
What struck me about the evening – besides rubbing elbows with people like Hal Holbrook, Carl Reiner, Colin Firth, and Cheryl Ladd – was how proud people were to be 50+. Notwithstanding that this was an AARP event, I felt that people were genuinely “shouting out” that “I am 50+ and proud of it!” A January 2011 AARP survey of perceptions of boomers revealed that every age cohort (18-45, 46-53, 54-64, and 65+) strongly agreed that boomers are very self-reliant, strongly spirited and driven. In addition, boomers are perceived to be passionate about personal causes they endorse and will continue to work in retirement.
According to David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, “Boomers came of age when Kennedy famously asked what they could do for their country, and that sense of idealism remains in place today.” According to Eisner, “Our research shows many boomers are motivated to make a meaningful difference. We can’t afford to lose the ingenuity and the creativity and the skills of this generation.”
The first boomers turned 65 on January 1, 2011. When the last boomer will turns 65 on December 31, 2029, the size of the 65+ population will be nearly double what it is today. Boomers are generally optimistic about their future and see their best years ahead of them. Given that a person turning 65 today can expect to live another 18 to 20 years, there is a lot of active and engaged living in their futures.
So here is a “shout out” to all the Genki Women out there! There is a lot for us to do in the future… of course, it would be nice to do some of that with Robert Redford!
For a complete list of winners for the AARP The Magazine’s 10th Annual Movies for Grownups Awards, see the AARP website.