Living Longer: The Pros and Cons of Aging

"If elderly men are scarce for elderly women, they may turn to other elderly women. So we may see a boom in elderly lesbianism," says Dubner.

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

But how will elders fill their time during all those extra years? Dubner believes we shouldn't underestimate the abilities of older people because there aren't too many things that they can't learn, be it languages, music or computers.

In our segment, we wanted to put that to the test and see if older people can really learn a new skill such as juggling. Professor K. Anders Ericsson of Florida State University and professional juggler Don Rapp taught a group of 8 to 12-year-olds and a group of seniors. After only three days of training sessions, they found that many older folks were getting the hang of juggling just as well as the younger kids.

"As you age, you continue to be able to learn. This juggling experiment shows that there's not much difference in people's capacity as they age," said Professor Ericsson.

At the end of his lessons, 80-year-old Rapp said that teaching an old dog new tricks is vital for living longer.

Imagine the possibilities: a second career in your 60s or third career in your 80s. Dubner says life will become just like a series of short stories. And as we're able to live longer, the doors to all kinds of opportunities will be open to us.

"There will come a time when being old is cooler than being young, because what being old will represent is power — it will represent money, predicts Dubner.

"It will represent having survived. It will represent wisdom."

Purchase a copy of the Barbara Walters special, 'Live to Be 150' on DVD.

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