“The Longevity Catch Up” provides opportunity to learn from lived experiences and think anew about your own personal and financial well-being
By: Jean Accius
Senior Vice President, AARP
How lucky we are to wake up in the morning and have another day of life to learn, love, earn, and lift others up on our journey. As a Black man in America, I want as many days as I can get to make this world a better place for my wife, my children, my friends and colleagues, and those who will come after me.
Growing older happens to all of us, and it seems to be one thing we’re afraid to talk about, plan for, or embrace. Thanks to advances in medicine over the past 20 years, we know that all bodies are different and the ways in which we age are different. While there’s not one playbook that works for everyone, there are core practices we know that support our body’s good health and development and we can find the ways to apply those practices that work for us. We know that health and wealth are interconnected, and we must remove barriers in our culture that rob young people from building a healthy personal and financial foundation to live a long, happy, productive life.
In this series, “The Longevity Catch Up”, Bill Bellamy, Al B. Sure, DeAngelo Hall, LeToya Luckett, Jalen Rose, and Miles Sanders talk candidly about what it’s like for Black men and women to grow older and realize what we wish we had done differently when we were younger. They talk about the things they’ve learned to be able to take better care of their health and how good health has an impact on our financial well-being. And, they talk about how all of us need to show up differently than generations prior in how we serve and support our relationships, be vulnerable and learn from others, and embrace change to be more secure in our well-being.
Bill, Al, DeAngelo, LeToya, Jalen, and Miles provide insights and reflections based on their own lived experience, and we all hope viewers feel the energy in our doing the work to ensure our sons and daughters get to grow up in a better societal environment than we did, and that they will have equal access to opportunity to live a long, healthy, and productive life.
We came together to film this series because, culturally, we have been taught to fear growing older. Women, especially, are told and conditioned that aging is the enemy. You’ve seen the stories and heard the commentary about 60-something actors being paired with 20-something actresses in relationship roles. You’ve also heard– and maybe even said – how good someone over 40 looks “for their age”. We need to be mindful of our words and actions and how a cultural fear of aging holds us back from being all that we are. We need to practice call-in culture instead of call-out culture and bring people into conversations when we see and hear outdated and dangerous tropes. Yes, there are times to put people and ideas on blast, but when it comes to learning and lifting one another up to integrate real change into the culture, we need to call one another in. We need to listen to experiences – and the how and why those beliefs are out there – and work one on one to change this way of thinking to strengthen our pathway to a longer, healthier life. That’s what this series aims to do, and we are happy to have you join us on this ride.
Here are some of the highlights from the series and some lessons learned that we hope you will bring up in your group text, at brunch, and at dinner with your family and friends:
● Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders is interested in real estate and ensuring people who need a place to live have one. He also is on a mission to make sure kids learn what schools aren’t teaching them. “Kids need to know about finances and taxes, and learn about better ways to live.”
● Sports analyst and former NBA player Jalen Rose is focused on leadership initiatives for young Black men and women and acknowledged the importance of young people saving their money and not splurging when those big paychecks come in. He shared that, even when he got his first big NBA salary, he wanted to buy his mother a house and she refused to accept it because she wanted him to build wealth and set a path for future wealth building and growth.
● Bill and LeToya Luckett have a wonderful conversation in the series about how to talk to younger people in their twenties and teens about the need to focus on health and wellness and the platform it provides to be able to change the world. LeToya even said, “We can change generational wealth if we start to dig into all of this.” They both acknowledged that they waited too long to focus on this for themselves, and they want their kids to learn about health and money now.
● Al B. Sure thinks we need to treat our bodies as well as we treat our computers and phones. Technology has continuous upgrades and improvements, and Al thinks we need to pay more attention to making sure we upgrade our own internal software to ensure we’re operating at optimal capacity. He also said we need to be the coaches of our own health and wellness: “You gotta be in charge of your star player, and that is you.”
No matter how you choose to integrate what you learn from these “Catch Up” conversations in the way you think about your own health and wellness, we hope you will be clear in your intentions and allow them to shape whatever action plan you come up with. Below are some ideas you can use to get you started:
Intention #1: I will be who I am because there is no one else like me. I will not hide, be afraid of, or run away from aging and growing older because my life has value, and my experiences lift others up. I will make every effort to be age inclusive in my thoughts, words, and deeds and not contribute to ageism in our culture.
Intention #2: I will be thoughtful about nutrition and exercise so that, no matter my body’s age, it will carry me on the journeys I want to go on for as long as I am on this earth. The better care I take of my body strengthens me to carry those I love along with me and gives me a healthy and strong platform from which to launch younger people into their own new orbit to change the world.
Intention #3: I will embrace a lifelong practice of learning and earning and know that those older and younger than me have knowledge and wisdom I can benefit from listening to. There are always new things to learn to strengthen my well-being, increase my knowledge and financial power, and provide opportunity for those who need it.
We are living longer than ever. Our children and our children’s children are being born into the opportunity to live to be 100 or older. AARP is here for every generation. You don’t have to be 50 to take advantage of our resources and information. Watch The Longevity Catch Up on the Impact Network on Saturdays starting at 3PM EST all August.