Have you ever lied about your age? Wished you could stay 30 forever? Spent too much time looking in the mirror, agonizing over new wrinkles? Been upset because you’re having trouble keeping up with your kids and grandkids?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you have gerascophobia.
That’s the fear of getting old. And most of us experience it at some point or another.
But what scares us the most about aging?
According to our survey, the biggest fear among Americans is that we’ll suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia or another age-related mental illness. That’s completely valid, seeing as Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) affects between 2.6 million and 4.5 million adults ages 65 and older. Yikes.
The second most pressing concern is that we’ll run out of money. That too is understandable given that 1 in 3 Americans have nothing saved for retirement. In fact, 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings. And we’re living longer than ever… so how are we supposed to afford our golden years?
While both of these fears are very real and sometimes unpreventable, there ARE ways to reduce the chances that they’ll actually occur.
If you’re afraid of losing your mental health, make a healthy lifestyle a priority. Eat well. Exercise. Socialize often. Stimulate your brain by learning new things, reading or doing crossword puzzles.
And if you’re worried about not having enough money, it’s never too early (or late) to start saving more. With a few simple strategies (like the ones outlined in Marc Lichtenfeld’s new book) and cost-cutting hacks, you can build up your nest egg.
Do what you can to be prepared.