Axios Finish Line

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Welcome back! Smart Brevity™ count: 278 words ... 1½ mins.

1 big thing: Amazing 70s

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Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios

Americans are staying healthier longer than ever — and are transforming what older age looks like.

  • "We have essentially created a new stage of life," David Brooks writes in The Atlantic. "Americans retire, on average, by their early- to mid-60s, yet many now remain vibrant into their mid-80s."

Why it matters: The 70s — a largely overlooked decade of life — can be some of our best years, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.

🧮 By the numbers: A recent study from AARP and National Geographic found that happiness dwindles in middle age — but then spikes again in our 70s and 80s, as people find more free time and less stress.

  • 34% of adults in their 80s, and 27% of those in their 70s , say they're very happy — compared with 18% in their 50s.
  • 51% of adults in their 70s say they're optimistic about their futures, compared with 44% in their 60s.

🧠 Reality check: There are, of course, plenty of stresses from getting older. The study found that independence, brain health and the strength of relationships were older adults' top worries.

  • As we've reported, there's a growing wave of seniors who are aging alone — without any close family around.
  • This lack of kinship can contribute to deteriorating mental and physical health.

The bottom line: Many of us fear the prospect of aging. But this stage of life can be enjoyed — and celebrated.

👋 Your turn! Are you in your 70s or 80s? What do you love most about it? What have you learned?

  • Send your insights, your name, your age and your hometown to [email protected], and we'll pass on your wisdom.

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🎨 Your nature photos

Photo courtesy of Mark W.

Finish Line reader Mark W. shares this stunner of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge over the Hudson River in upstate New York.