Illustration by Wes Tyrell

While millennials are hitting traditional milestones later in life, the older generation is enjoying youthfulness, mid-life and old age all at once.

Item A British child psychologist has suggested that the definition of "adolescence" should be extended to age 25.

Item In Canada, 30 percent of millennials aged 25 to 29 are still living at home with their parents, compared to 12 percent when the baby boomers were that age.

Item A new study just released in the U.K. indicates that 25 percent of men over the age of 85 have had sex in the past year.

Item The younger generation is getting married later and having kids later. For the boomers, the average age of first marriage was 20 for women and 23 for men. Today, it's 27 and 29.

Item The fastest growing age group in percentage terms is the centenarian. Since the average age of becoming a grandparent for the first time is about 55, this means many people will spend almost half their lives as grandparents.

What's going on here?

Nothing, it seems, is unfolding "on schedule"—at least, not based on the traditional milestones and expectations that used to determine how we looked at any particular age.

We already understand this when it comes to the "older" age groups. We know that the Zoomer generation is "reinventing aging"—displaying attitudes and behaviours that, in years past, would never have been expected of people of that age. Sixty is the new 40, 80 is the new 60…you know the story. And it's reflected, in all its groundbreaking glory, in every issue of this magazine.

But what's less obvious—and has equally serious implications—is the "reinvention" of other age groups as well. If the "older" people are acting younger, it seems the "younger" people are acting younger still. If 60 is the new 40, can 30 be the new…um…15?

Next: Youngsters are considerably less mature

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