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The Midlife Sage: The Proper Care & Coddling Of Curmudgeons

I see old people.

And there is one looking back at me in the mirror. Just yesterday I was cruising down the road in my 1972 Firebird swaying to some saucy songs from Carole King’s Tapestry album blaring on my 8-track stereo and now I’m driving a sturdy SUV to the drug store to buy Geritol and Metamucil.

Somehow the world did a fast-forward through several decades and I’m trying to remember where I put my bearings.

I vaguely remember tucking my sweet babies into bed and suddenly they appeared at my door with my grandkids. My neck resembles a dryer hose, I need to ratchet up my boobs off my belly, and I don’t dare laugh too loudly or I’ll wet my pants. Yes, getting older is really full of thrills.

According to the Census Bureau, 21 percent of Americans will be at least 65 years old by 2050. And the younger generation is having fewer children so there will be fewer workers (or jobs) to fund programs to take care of old people. But by then I’ll be 99 years old and I won’t care. Just prop me in the sunshine, put a straw in a jug of wine, leave a plate of soft cheese and bread, and play some jazz. If I get cranky, just kiss my aging attitude and leave me alone.

Business analysts predict that all of us old folks will generate profitable new markets for products and supplies.

Investors are eager to find opportunities connected to strategic demographic trends, and entrepreneurs are focusing on how to capitalize on the needs and demands of the older generation.

I can save them a lot of precious time by offering some good old common sense. And, it’s free. Here are the top investment strategies from my organization called OFF – Old Fogey Foundation:

1. Buy stock in drug stores. There’s always a line at the prescription counter at Walgreens, and they usually explain the drugs. “Yes, Ma’am, this could make you poop in your pants but your other ailments will disappear.”

2. Invest in makers of medical devices. We could have a one-stop boutique where we have our hair and nails done and go home with a new hip and pacemaker.

3. Honor the blue chip companies of your long-ago youth. Johnson & Johnson still makes Band-Aids, creams, and potions, and for now the world headquarters is in New Jersey. Buy now before some foreign conglomerate takes over and then you’ll need a translator to read the directions.

4. Own a single-story home and stay there as long as you can. There are many nice assisted living facilities, but most of them won’t allow you to have cocktails at 5:00 or fudge in the fridge. Stay independent until they haul you away clutching your box of 8-track tapes.

Our generation is full of dreamers, travelers, poets, and activists. We charted new paths and have the scars from battles won and lost. Now it’s our time to relax and enjoy the last third of life with quiet satisfaction. But first, get those darned kids off my lawn.

Read more posts by Elaine Ambrose, award-winning author. Elaine is a blogger for JenningsWire.