Kelly Ferrin is a gerontologist and longevity expert who is committed to educating the public about healthy aging. She was one of the first to receive a degree in the field from the esteemed University of Southern California’s Andrus Gerontology Center and has spent her career of over 30 years studying retirement issues and sharing a new image of aging.
Ferrin’s extensive work in the financial industry has led her to develop an expertise regarding longevity’s effect on retirement planning. She is a certified AARP retirement specialist, consultant, author, newspaper columnist and motivational speaker serving the senior market. She has been featured on radio and TV talk shows nationwide, including Oprah, Good Morning America and the Today Show. Ferrin seeks to motivate audiences with her unique perspective on how living long and living well is changing how we age and retire in America.
On this episode of the podcast, Ferrin explores how we can change our mindset toward retirement and shares stories of what she calls super seniors who are “blowing the doors off the image of aging.”
Key Interview Takeaways
Mindset matters. Because all the studies on aging in our country (up until the last 25 years) have taken place in nursing homes, we tend to assign “retirement” a negative connotation. Ferrin contends that we must change our perspective and begin to associate aging with terms like healthy, active, working, traveling and volunteering. A Yale study found that people with a positive perspective toward retirement and aging were likely to live seven years longer, while those with a negative outlook were twice as likely to die of a heart attack.
The best way to change people’s thinking is by sharing anecdotes of people who see aging as an opportunity rather than a time of decline. Inspiring stories like that of Ironman triathlete Sister Madonna Buder can help change our outlook on getting older.
Having a sense of purpose and keeping ourselves engaged are the secrets to living an extraordinary, long life. Retiring to something rather than from something is key in establishing that sense of purpose and facilitating living as opposed to simply existing. Volunteering to, i.e.: cuddle premature babies, gives retirees a meaningful responsibility and a reason to get up in the morning.
Mindset, attitude, and beliefs drive behavior, so don’t fear aging or try and fight it. Redefine it!
Connect with Kelly Ferrin
What’s Age Got To Do With It? Volume II by Kelly Ferrin