So, What is Old Age?

Judging by the Major World Leaders

Tatiana Androsov
3 min readMay 13, 2024


Seems a bit weird that we consider that someone who is sixty-five or so is old, especially when we look at the age of the leaders of so much of humanity. Hey, I am seventy-six but, given that age, run at least ten to fifteen miles a week, do yoga, write, etc. Funny, if I look at the stick figure which the United Nations uses to depict the elders of the world, which it characterizes as those over sixty. That figure is not only bending but holding up thanks to a cane.

And those leaders? The two in the USA are way over that entry point. Biden is eighty-one and Trump seventy-seven. But it is not very different in the other heavy weight countries. Xi of China is seventy, Putin of Russia is seventy-one, and Modi of India is seventy-three. There are two exceptions, if we look at countries that are so often mentioned. France’s Macron is only forty-six while Great Britain’s Sunak is forty-four. There, I have covered the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus India. Ah, there is the Secretary General of the United Nations, too. At seventy-five he falls above the old age entry point!

Interesting to note that world life expectancy has gone up from less than fifty in 1950 to over seventy at present. At the same time life expectancy in Europe has gone up from a little over sixty to almost eighty. I am not giving exact figures because they depend upon the source. In the USA, however, it has only gone up about ten years from the high sixties to just under eighty. Again, different sources give different figures. Some of the greatest gains have been in China and India where it has more than doubled from around thirty-five to over seventy.

Considering this and the people you know, where would you put the entry point into ‘old age’? I know what I would do. I would redefine all age groups, especially as we see that education and, generally, preparation for life, has also gone up, so much so that many people in their twenties are still studying or looking for ways to be ‘independent’. Science also tells us that the brain is not fully developed until we are around twenty-five.

So, I would say that those first 25 years should be under some category of ‘youth’, the next 25 adulthood, the third 25 middle age, and only 75 mark the entrance into old age. After all, insurance companies now make it possible for parents in the USA to cover their offspring under twenty-five, if they meet certain criteria.

Hey, I have placed myself in the old age group! I don’t mind, as we can have different types of old age. I worked with and was close to someone who was active until his middle nineties and knew an incredible lady who was still putting in half a day in her office until her late nineties.

What I do mind is that we are not redefining age groups as we should while having ‘leaders’ who certainly are older than those who preceded them. Besides, I remember when, as a thirty-two-year-old, I went to what we now call an upscale department store, asked for a good cream for my face and was told point blank, “but you are too old for that”. Who would even consider saying that to any woman today? Yet, in the nineteen seventies that was not unusual. Times and perceptions have changed, so we need to change the labels that we give to people.

Today I had a great conversation with a ‘young’ man over the phone while going over some insurance quotes. I made him laugh though I ended up not going with his company. He called me ‘futuristic’! I hope I am as that future is positive and not negative.



Tatiana Androsov

A novelist on the sea of life coming, cresting and breaking having traveled near & far from a post WWII immigrant childhood to a UN world of poverty and riches.