What do you wish you would have known when you were in your 20s?
“1. Don’t be afraid to start a business at a young age.
2. Surround yourself with people you aspire to be.
3. Never take your health for granted.
4. Always do what is right over what is easy.
5. Marry well. Realize that this is the foundation of all life’s happiness.”
— Dwayne J. Clark
Founder, Chairman/CEO Áegis Living
“I look to my grandfather who lived until he was 94 and my father who will turn 90, as my role models for aging gracefully. I think valuing loving and supportive relationships, and accepting yourself and others is important for aging gracefully. A good sense of humor helps too.”
— Christine Takada
President and CEO, National Asian Pacific Center on Aging
“What I didn’t have in my early 20s was the appreciation of how differently people think. It’s not something you can get in a classroom. What I learned over the years is that people have skills manifested in different ways. As I get to know people, it’s a good assumption that people have both strengths and weaknesses; they show their colors in different ways. I respect people more as I age.”
— Tay Yoshitani
CEO, Port of Seattle
“Graceful aging means maintaining a healthy lifestyle, planning ahead, staying well-informed of all your healthcare options for now and the future. As Kin On expands its campus to include a Healthy Aging Community Center, Assisted Living Facility and Adult Family Home in the next two years, we welcome you to connect with us and let us walk alongside your successful aging journey!”
— Sam Wan
Kin On Health Care Center
“Each stage in life offers wonderful opportunities to grow and learn . We all know the importance of taking good care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually, especially as we age. Including fresh veggies in my diet is a conscious effort, as was exercising. So for ten years now I have been taking fun dance classes as well as tai chi – all geared for seniors – through Nikkei Horizons. What a difference it’s made in my life! (But I still have to force myself to eat my veggies.)”
— Gei Chan
“Remove as much stress out of your life as you can. Let go of old baggages, negative thoughts, and build your mind with positive thoughts, people and experiences.”
— Nate Miles
Vice President of Government Relations, Lilly
“In my 20s, it would have been nice to know and think about investment strategies for retirement. Saving and investing early pays off handsomely in the future. Open a ROTH IRA account and put in the maximum allowable amount each year (up to $5,500). Get financial advice on how to invest the funds, then watch your nest egg grow, tax free. You can also withdraw from your ROTH IRA without penalty for buying your first home.”
— Doris Koo
AARP Board Member
“Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have encountered and be mentored by many who are “experienced” in life…the following values are what I learned from each of them and how I try to age gracefully and be of service: appreciative, dignity, humble, gracious, respectful, perseverance, giving and positive.”
— Jeffrey Hattori
CEO, Nikkei Concerns
“To age well, keep moving! The Boomer Generation has the opportunity to embrace aging by staying active – physically and mentally. Today’s senior centers are a place to engage both the mind and body, with social connections and a wide variety of classes and programs. Older adults with chronic conditions can also take on health challenges and maintain control of their lives. For those who need assistance, Senior Services helps with nutrition, transportation, minor home repair and more.”
— Paula Houston
CEO, Senior Services
“We should appreciate that we are living well, and we successfully faced and solved all of the difficulties in the past. We should appreciate that we have ability to raise our children and help them become independent. We should appreciate we have good friends that we can share our joys with. Don’t be greedy and competitive. We need to acknowledge that we’ve already got. We need to remember that we have nothing when we entered the world and will be the same when we leave. Last but not least, illness and death are natural, do not fear it.”
— Ken Tao
President, Indo-china Chinese Elderly Association
“To stay healthy, first recognize we are part of nature and creation. Eat only nature’s whole foods, unprocessed, unrefined, nothing artificial. Exercise. In our times, added vitamins and minerals are very necessary for optimal health. Detoxify from the myriad of unnatural chemicals.”
— Dr. Jonathan Wright
“I wish I could have learned patience at an earlier age. It’s okay to wait, and to be good with the waiting. I didn’t need to get things done instantaneously or worry about those things that didn’t happen as quickly as I wanted.”
— Patrick Yalung
“You can choose what you want to do as you get older. Do not be constrained by what may be the prevailing attitudes. Be at peace with the choices that you make. It’s your life. You may choose a path that can be contrary to those around you and can cause great consternation, but you then need to look into yourself to see if the path you have chosen is your true calling. I have known women who have lived a conventional life because they thought that was how it was supposed to be; they are often very disappointed in their later life. The women I know who have followed their heart and life-long love are living a very fulfilled life; when it is time for them to leave this earth, they just know that it is time.”
— Dorothy Wong
Executive Director, Chinese Information and Service Center