Weekend Reading: Believing Myths About Aging Makes Growing Old Worse

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading myths about aging Weekend reading myths about aging
Weekend Reading

How do you view growing older? While many see it as a steady decline, research challenges this myth, showing that most skills are use-it-or-lose-it, and training can preserve or enhance them. Examples include VO2 Max (aerobic capacity), strength and cognitive control.


Further, three positive neurobiological changes develop in your brain during later years, including:

📌 Experience-activated genes: Your brain reshapes itself over time, adding depth and wisdom to your personality.

📌 Compensatory recruitment: Underutilized brain regions are engaged, offsetting age-related cognitive decline.

📌 Information processing peak: Between ages 60 and 80, your brain's processing capacity reaches its “zenith,” allowing enhanced cooperation between hemispheres.

These changes facilitate a renewed mindset, providing the ability to synthesize different viewpoints and recognize relative truths, consider opposing views without judgment and embrace big-picture perspectives and divergent thinking. Beyond this, the Ohio Longitudinal Study on Aging and Retirement found that a positive mindset toward aging correlates with an additional eight years of longevity, surpassing the effects of quitting smoking or losing weight.

Your intellectual strengths evolve as you age. Ensure you are maximizing these strengths to elevate meaning and purpose in your life.