At what age are people officially old?

Everyone has heard sayings about how oldness is a state of mind, but we all have our own age range boxes for young/middle-aged/old/really old. Plus, the ages often shift as we get closer to our cut-off ranges. What’s your range from when someone passes over from being young or middle-aged to old, how have they changed as you aged, and how old are you now? Of course, this isn’t a value judgement; there’s nothing wrong with aging.

Young: 0 - 29
Middle-Aged: 30 - 59
Old: 60 - 84
Really old: 85+

I mentally think of people as “old” once they reach 60.

EDIT: I’m 19.

That’s basically right but I think the early thirties is still “young”. I think middle-age starts at 35. Boost that up another five years for Old at 65 and I will be onboard.

That does bring up a pet peeve of mine though. Baby Boomers keep pushing the definition of middle-aged upward in the media. I really don’t think that we are going to have a crop of 55 year olds today routinely making it to 110. Even if they consider themselves as upper middle aged, I still don’t think 90 years before death can be expected.

I think we need a new, very distinct category between middle-aged and old.

I can work with that. At least for a couple more years until I turn 35…then middle age needs bumped to 40.

I pretty much agree with this too. I’d change young to 0-30, and start middle age at 31. I’m close enough to 25 to just call myself that. When I was really little, 25 was old, and 50+ was really old. There was no middle- aged category in my world.

Young: 0 - 40
Middle-Aged: 41 - 69
Old: 70 - 84
Really old: 85+
This is my take on it.

FTR - I’m 31.


Change Old to 70-80 and Really Old to 81+ and those are my answers too. I’m 30, and I sure as hell don’t feel middle-aged yet.

I agree with this. I’m [gulp] 59.

I remember as a child telling my parents that they aren’t old. “Old is 60 and older.”

I still agree, though my father is now 61 and my mother is 59. They are both old, I guess(well, she’s almost old).

If we’re going to make it official, when I reach those ages I damn well better get my commemorative plaque.

I work for an agency that helps senior citizens. When my mother was alive and in her sixties, I would sometimes make the mistake of telling her, “Let me tell you about this old lady I talked to today….” My mother would inquire dryly, “Really? How old was she?” And I would stammer, "Uh… about your age, I guess…” “Go on,” she would say, having made her point. Moral of the story: no one is old until they say they are.

On the other hand, at the advanced age of 52, I consider anyone under 40 to be young. When I refer to myself as old among such youngsters, they are likely to protest: “But you’re not old!” I reply: “I didn’t say I was obsolete, but old, oh yes. Will I get older? I hope so."

Old is 20 years older than whatever I am at the time.

I got mine, but it’s on my teeth.

Limiting myself to the adult years only:

Young: 18-40
Middle-Aged: 41-62
Old: 63-79
Really old: 80+

I’m 46. (I have a hard time thinking of myself as middle-aged, even though intellectually, I know I am.)

I think the “middle” in middle-aged is supposed to denote being at a stage of life midway between being truly young and being truly old, not a pinpoint of the exact middle of one’s life expectancy.

Young: newborn to 35

Middle-aged: 35 to 75

Old: Beyond 75
I’m 48, right smack in the middle of being middle-aged.

I have always looked older than I am. Even when I was 14 years old, I could get into adult night clubs. Now, at the age of 33, I am often guessed older. This contrasts how I feel inside. I am still very young inside. (ok, maybe also immature). I still go to night clubs. Many of those clubs allow females as young as 18 to enter! (males, 21 and over).

I say all that to say this. THERE IS NO WAY 30 IS MIDDLE AGED!!! Please! Please tell me you guys are pulling my leg. I mean, even as a child, I never considered 30 middle aged. Although I did consider it old.

My best friend is 31. She looks 18 and is carded everywhere we go. My other good friend is 34. She, too, is carded always. Do you all mean to tell me they are middle aged? Because if it is the contention of even 25% of the people in this thread…that I am middle aged, then I will honestly consider giving up going out to the dance clubs that allow 18 year old girls in.

This is pretty close to how I see it as well.

I’m 35 and I get carded all the time. I also get told I don’t look my age. And if 30s is “middle age” then I guess I don’t feel my age either!

I could see quibbling on your 31 year old friend, but I just can’t get behind saying that *34 * isn’t middle aged. Of course, that might change in ten years when *I’m * 34. Your friend’s just a middle aged person who looks young. Said by the person who got carded at for an R rated movie fairly recently. What would you consider to be middle aged?

I am middle-aged. I’m mostly basing this on the fact that I was informed recently that I now eligible to bump up the percentage of income I put in my retirement account without crossing some tax line. I tried to ignore the first warning sign that came a few years ago - I was politely kicked out of my Young Professionals organization. Of course, they tried to cover it up by asking me to be an “adviser” instead but I knew they were just lowering the boom.

I think old is post-retirement. I am looking forward to being old with great enthusiasm.

Clearly, I spend too much time at work.