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By Larry Hayes, ActiveOver50


Not a question you normally ask yourself when you’re young and healthy. But when you suffer a major jolt later in your life, the question may come up.

At age 86, legendary longevity expert Dr. Walter M. Bortz received a
tremendous jolt last year with the passing of his wife Ruth Anne after 62 years of marriage.

He received another jolt this year having undergone 8 hours of ablation surgery to repair an irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation).

Introspectively, Dr. Bortz asks himself: “Am I still necessary?”

His answer? A resounding yes as he continues to teach at Santa Barbara City College, write a blog for the Huffington Post and work on his 9th book: “Aging Is Negotiable.”

Life does not stop but goes on for one of America’s most distinguished scientific experts on healthy aging.

I was asked a question by my CPA recently. “Why do you still publish ActiveOver50? You’ve been doing it for 12 years and you’re not getting rich or any younger.”

A fair question from those who look at life from a bottom line perspective. I ask myself at age 77: “What keeps me going?”

Crazy as it may sound but since my grad days at Syracuse University in 1970, I’m always wanted to be a publisher. Along the way, I worked as a newspaper reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, created and managed marketing programs worldwide for high tech companies and then launched my own marketing and advertising agency in 1983 at age 43.

Twenty-two years later at age 65, I launched ActiveOver50—my dream of becoming a publisher come true, even though it took 35 years to fulfill. The passion remains the same today as then—to provide useful, interesting information to help boomers and seniors enjoy a longer, healthier life.

The other day I met one of my neighbors, 83, taking his daily stroll.
Rain or shine, he walks around the block several times everyday.

“Your magazine helps me a lot. Thank you for the book.” He calls it a book. I call it my calling.

His comment made my day and reconfirms why I still work. It’s not about the money. It’s about the people I meet and help along the way.

Meeting people like Dr. Bortz and my neighbor inspire and keep me moving. Am I necessary? You bet. And life goes on.