Whatever happened to adulthood?

Somehow, the Canadian Association of Retired People — CARP — has moved from being, well, an association of retired people, to “50-plus”, to — wait for it — 45 and over.

45 and over? At a time when Freedom 55 is stretching to Freedom 65 and there is debate about moving out the qualifying age for the Canada Pension Plan to 70, what’s the rationale behind this? Being inclusive of dot-com millionaires? Do people really want to be considered seniors for a full half of their lives? With “youth” stretching into the thirties, this moving of the goal posts leaves a mere decade or so of pure, unprefaced adulthood.

If you’re really that eager to move into what will surely feel like an endless last phase of your life, good news! According to the CARP website, “you don’t need to be 45+ or retired to join CARP.” Wow — you mean I can start fretting about my golden years RIGHT NOW? Fantastic.

It’s all kind of explained by the fact that Moses Znaimer — who actually is 65+, I believe, though not retired — is now the executive director of CARP (new slogan: A New Way of Aging). He’s after readers for his magazine, Zoomer — free with your CARP membership! — and, it seems, has adjusted the CARP catchment to match the desired demographics of his magazine. I frankly think he runs the risk of turning off a lot of people in the process — retired people who feel like they’re being shoved aside in favour of courting younger, hotter-looking adults, and the younger, hotter-looking adults who are in the middle of raising elementary school-aged children and not really feeling they are in the same place as their parents. But maybe Moses knows something I don’t.