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bewailknot's avatar

Will you take bigger risks when you are old?

Asked by bewailknot (2875 points ) June 23rd, 2012

I was watching the documentary on J.L. Rountree, who became a serial bank robber in his 80s. I have always wondered what robbing a bank would be like. Not getting the money, but the heart pounding, adrenaline rush of doing something so criminal.

Is there anything dangerous and/or completely out of character that you would like to try? Would you be more likely to try it if you were very old or believed you didn’t have much longer to live?

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15 Answers

chyna's avatar

Not knowing for sure, I would say no. If I knew I only had a few weeks, months left, I would still want each and every day I had left to be as healthy as I could be. For example, I wouldn’t go snow skiing on a black diamond course knowing I am not that skilled, because I don’t want my last weeks to be spent lying on my bed in a body cast.

wundayatta's avatar

People tend to get more cautious as they get older. They know how valuable life it. It is young people who are willing to take the biggest risks. They haven’t yet come to realize what risk means and how much they have to protect.

I am turning into my father. I drive so slow, these days.

Coloma's avatar

I’d be more inclined to risk spending money than my physical well being.
I’d risk going in debt to travel more but I wouldn’t risk breaking my bones bungee jumping.
I had all of my bone breaking action in my teens & 20’s, 30’s when I was an avid white water rafter and endurance rider with my horses. I went up in a hot air balloon a few years ago, now THAT was amazing!

Sunny2's avatar

Mostly, risk-taking is part of one’s character and doesn’t change much as one ages. If you’re a daredevil type, you might change the field in which you take chances, like robbing a bank instead of driving very fast. But if you never took chances (I know people who live in suburbs of New York City and have never been in the city) you’re not likely to take big chances at the end. It isn’t built into you.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

For me, I think it will be that way. I’ve kind of aged in reverse, all serious and careful as a kid but as an adult around 30 then I started to “live”. I’m still working on my bucket list before the physical endurance or capability of my body prevents what I want to do.

Pandora's avatar

Nope but I’ve seen plenty of elderly people drive like they have nothing to lose on the highway. Of course it could be they simply can’t see the road or speed.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What an interesting question. It’s always the young we assume are being risky and reckless.

When I am in my 80s, I want to start writing torrid romance novels for young gay men. Why the hell am I not doing that now? That’s another good question. I want to have action and romance that leads right to the edge and leaves them wanting more.

janbb's avatar

I am doing new things every day now that I am single. In the last week, I have tried kayaking, gone in the ocean at night in my clothes, visited a gay sing-along bar and am about to go to a mini-reunion of high school folk I don’t remember well. I’m not sure if these are the risky things you are talking about, but I am making myself a much richer, freer life.

ucme's avatar

I shall probably fart in a queue & leave my wizened penis hanging out of my pants, both done with wild abandon & not a care in the world.

bewailknot's avatar

@ucme Well, I guess that might be a little dangerous for your poor willy.
@janbb I think it is great you are doing new things. Keep it up.
@Hawaii_Jake I can just picture you becoming a famous author, touring to promote your writings with a wheelchair and your trusty attendant.

ucme's avatar

@bewailknot Leave my pet hamster out of this.

bewailknot's avatar

@ucme You made me laugh out loud – thank you!

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. I’m a lot smarter than I was when I was younger.

Symbeline's avatar

I denno, but it reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes strip, where Calvin doesn’t understand why the older people get, the slower they do everything. Calvin figures that the less time there is for him to live, the more he’ll be going like a maniac before he dies.
Tried the find the strip online, but I can’t. :/ Damn Watterson, even evading the net, haha.

PurpleClouds's avatar

No, the older we get the more careful we are about dangerous behavior. Now, if you are talking about risks with money, if you have accumulated a lot of it then sure, you might take bigger risks now.

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