By 2050 a million Americans will be at least 100 years old. What to do with our 30 extra years? Plan for them for the next generation!

This article has encouraging, empowering ideas. Since we’re likely to live longer, and healthier, than our parents and grandparents, let’s do the best we can with those extended years.

A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health and Financial Security in an Age of Increasing Longevity was written by Laura Carstensen, PhD at Stanford University, and aims to help the nation and world live better, not just longer. Here are a few of Dr. Carstensen’s fascinating ideas.

Most people believe myths about aging. Dr. Carstensen dispels those aging myths:

  • Old age is not primarily poor health or loneliness.
  • Seniors are not an economic drag, nor do we block younger adult’s career progress.
  • DNA is not destiny. We have immense impact on what our health and life will be like in our bonus years.
  • The decades between retirement and passing are too important to focus on self-serving consumption. We have a life of skill and capital. Both can benefit others after we pass.
  • Retirement-age folks have more contentment than any other age group, including young adults.

Dr. Carstensen’s central question is, “How will we use our wisdom, perspective, and energy in our second half? What is long life for?” She is keen on helping the next generation and society, and vigorously contends that most folks in their 80s, and often beyond, are healthy and make good choices. In looking toward our bright futures, Dr. Carstensen suggests:

  • Envision ~ imagine your better futures and keep mentally, socially and physically active.
  • Design ~ set up systems and arrange your home, habits and investments to increase the likelihood of good results in all aspects of your life.
  • Diversify ~ not just your finances, but your social life. Studies show that longer and brighter lives accrue to those who have meaningful relationships with younger people, and folks outside the immediate family.

As your thinking broker, here are my suggested applications to you as a successful investor:

  • Enhance your legacy: Set the next generation up for success. You will retire, but don’t let your capital fall into unattended retirement. Harness inflation; put it to work for your family for the next 20 – 30 years. If your rental property is out of depreciation, acquiring a new asset would probably increase your cash flow and lower income taxes. A fresh project can be good for your mental health. Working with the next generation on another property will employ your wisdom, and some of their energy, to enhance your legacy.
  • Ensure that your real estate equity is prudently invested. It should give you good cash flow and shelter income. Most investors older than 60 have not fully harnessed inflation. In other words, prudent leverage and a bigger asset can expand your beneficial impact now, and for following generations.
  • Apply your knowledge and experience to build a more robust financial legacy. Your adult children don’t have your decades of investment wisdom. Most of us can make at least one more trade up, obtaining better cash flow and more tax shelter. Your capital should NOT be passively retired or in sleep mode for 30 years. Keep your equity working!

Contact Terry to receive his extended summary of Dr. Carstensen’s thought provoking and attitude changing book. For more than 40 years Terry Moore, CCIM has helped families make wise choices about money. In the last 20 years he has helped more than 300 owners of income property improve their apartment investments, their returns and their values. Reach him at 619-889-1031 or or All conversations are strictly confidential.

This article was originally published in the San Diego Daily Transcript and can be found HERE.