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"Longevity Increased by Positive Self-Perceptions of Aging"

Authored by Becca R. Levy, Martin D. Slade, and Stanislav V. Kasl, of Yale University and Suzanne R. Kunkel of Miami University

Published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 83, Number 2, July 2002

Summary of study
The research found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. This advantage held up after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness, and functional health were accounted for. The sample for the study consisted of 600 individuals aged 50 and older.

Dr. Gambone’s analysis:
This is the first scientific study proving what many of us have known about aging: Those with a positive attitude will live longer and more meaningful lives.

One thing that makes this study unique is their inclusion of the Boomer and Mediating generations. The authors say that unhealthy perceptions of aging begin long before your 60s and 70s. It means that we need to correct unhealthy perceptions of aging as early as we can in America.

Plus, when you think about it, if people with positive attitudes live 7.5 years longer, it also means that many other people die 7.5 years before they should. If we knew there was a virus in this country that cut short the life of every citizen by 7.5 years, we would be pouring billions into developing an effective vaccine and cure. The good news is that we already have a cure in the form of ReFirement and it is available to every American.

To read the entire study, go to



Despite everything written and broadcast about Baby Boomers, one major fact has been overlooked by experts and the media: Nearly 75 percent, or about 57 million Boomers, come from economically poor, working class or small family-owned business roots. The new Report, "The 75% Factor: Uncovering Hidden Boomer Values," is co-written by generational demographer James V. Gambone Ph.D, author of ReFirement, a Boomer’s Guide to Life After 50, and noted investment expert and 17-year contributor to Public Radio International’s "Sound Money," Erica Whittlinger.

The Executive Summary of the Report says that understanding where we came from and the strength of our core values is key to how we confront and interpret the significant events and crossroads of mid-life. "Millions of us are aging professionals or career-minded individuals who struggle, or will struggle, with the psychological effects of having crossed class lines," says Gambone, principal investigator for the study. The Report says that because years of research and media coverage have focused almost exclusively on the experiences of only a quarter of the population of Baby Boomers—those whose parents had a college education or were considered "white-collar professionals"—we have a very distorted view of this generation. "It is critical for all boomers, for example, to challenge the current portrayal of the generation as selfish and individualistic." When the men and women of this generation face major life-changing moments in the third stage of their lives (one boomer turns 50 every 11 seconds), they begin to look much deeper within themselves to ask the all important "Who Am I Really?" The good news, according to the Report, is that millions will answer this question from a core value perspective that will include: the importance of feeling a sense of belonging, needing to give something back and taking more personal and entrepreneurial risks.

Identifying these new core values helps to correct a distortion that has lasted too long. Whittlinger points out the value of this new boomer data to financial services companies, advertising agencies, human resource professionals, and non-profits targeting volunteer recruitment efforts at the aging boomer demographic. "Boomers are the best-educated, most affluent and upwardly-mobile generation in history. The power of this generation, when focused on a cause, is phenomenal. They’re revolutionizing aging, retirement, media, health care, and social activism." Gambone and Whittlinger conclude the Report by challenging their generation. "If 57 million of us decided to raise up the values of belonging in a society suffering from the pains of isolation—to give something back because we have been given so much and take risks to age maturely and cooperatively with all generations—we would change America in ways we could only have dreamt about in the 1960s."

The new Report involved eight years of conducting intergenerational dialogues and discussions nationally and internationally with over 1,500 diverse men and women born between 1945 and 1963. Gambone also re-interpreted existing census data that had been publicly available, but overlooked by researchers for over 25 years.

Background on the Report and ReFirement, Inc.
Gambone and Whittlinger have also teamed up to create ReFirement, Inc., a company dedicated to helping Baby Boomers transform the rest of their lives in the fullest and most meaningful ways possible.

The Executive Summary of the Report issued by ReFirement Inc. also has key census data and is available at no cost by clicking here.

The full Report is available electronically (as a pdf file) for $12
(plus sales tax for MN residents). A printed version of the report is available for $15.00, (plus shipping and sales tax for MN residents).

To order or for more information, call 1-952-472-3379 or make inquiries to

© 2019, ReFirement Incorporated