Here’s a question to ponder during Healthy Aging Month: What is “old?”

Statistically, the median age is 37.8, so when you pass that mark, you are older than 50% of people. But studies show that people don’t start feeling old until their 60s, and in a recent poll, respondents said 68 was the average age when old age begins.

So what? Christopher Mele, writing in The New York Times, explores the journey into old age with several experts, who offer perspective and advice. Take it seriously, they say, with good planning and a sense of realism. But don’t get caught up in the stereotypes. Embrace what’s working and learn to compensate for what’s not.

As one expert sagely put it: “What is the alternative to aging? It’s dying young.”

Healthy Aging Month was started 20 years ago to draw attention to the myths of aging. The observance encourages adults 45+ to re-invent themselves and improve their physical, mental, social and financial well-being.