"In my 20s, I would have thought the 60s were bad, but they're not so bad at all," said Lynn Brown, 64, a retired legal assistant and grandmother of 11 living near Phoenix in Apache Junction, Ariz.
Overall, they're upbeat about their futures. Americans born in the population explosion after World War II are more likely to be excited about the positive aspects of aging, such as retirement, than worried about the negatives, such as declining health. A third of those polled feel confident about growing older, almost twice as many as find it frustrating or sad. Sixteen percent say they're happy about aging, about equal to the number who say they're afraid. Most expect to live longer than their parents.
A strong majority of baby boomers are enthusiastic about some perks of aging - watching their children or grandchildren grow up, doing more with friends and family, and getting time for favorite activities. About half say they're highly excited about retirement. Boomers most frequently offered the wisdom accumulated over their lives as the best thing about aging.
The AP-LifeGoes-Strong.com poll was conducted from June 3-12 by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, Calif., and involved online interviews with 1,416 adults, including 1,078 baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. The margin of sampling error for results from the full sample is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points; for boomers, it is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.