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Clint Eastwood makes my day

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Posted: 3 pm ET

At 84, Clint Eastwood isn't sitting on his laurels, taking naps and complaining about his Social Security. He's still in the game and an inspiration for anybody worried about growing old.

This week, ahead of the release of his latest movie, "Jersey Boys," he offered The Associated Press this retirement planning advice: "If you tell yourself, 'I'm too old to do that,' bulls---, you're not too old to do anything."

© Randy Miramontez/

To direct, 'you can be 21 or 81'

Age has made him a better director, Eastwood says. "You have more experience as you get older. You have more to draw on, as long as you don't lose your faculties. You can play on that if you're lucky enough genetically or you take good enough care of yourself, or a combination of the two. You can go ahead and experiment with things. There's so many different stories to tell out there. You can be 21 or 81."

It isn't the first time Eastwood has talked about retirement and the challenges of aging in Hollywood. “Everybody wonders why I continue working at this stage," he told Warner Home Video in 2010. "I keep working because there's always new stories ... And as long as people want me to tell them, I'll be there doing them.”

In 2005, at age 74, Eastwood became the oldest person to win an Academy Award for directing -- for "Million Dollar Baby." He said on Oscar night, "We're taking over. The AARP and me."

A shoutout for the 'senior guys'

At the same time, he appealed to younger industry executives not to forget older artists: "I'd like to say to the various financiers, don't forget the senior guys. The senior guys and gals are there, willing to do their best work for you."

Films directed by Eastwood have grossed about $1,294 million, according to Box Office Mojo. That's an impressive total for anyone -- not just a "senior guy."

The next time you're feeling like you're on the downward slide, let this wisdom attributed to Eastwood make your day: “I'd like to be a bigger and more knowledgeable person 10 years from now than I am today. I think that, for all of us, as we grow older, we must discipline ourselves to continue expanding, broadening, learning, keeping our minds active and open.”

Or better yet, think about Eastwood's advice to the young cop in the 1990 film "The Rookie": "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster."

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June 25, 2014 at 9:20 pm

U do what's best for U. If retirement is not your bag...make movies or what's best 4 U.

June 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Clint looks great at 84 years 'young'. I am 74 and tell others I may be older but not 'old'. A friend of mine is 88 and still works; what an inspiration! Keep thinking young, seniors, and don't lose your sense of humor.

June 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

r u still talking to EMPTY chairs clint

Gary Carpenter
June 22, 2014 at 6:20 am

I am a young babyboomer. I plan on working forever! I am having so much fun. I am in the addiction field and love it. As long as you have meaning and purpose in life then you have something to wake up too. Right Management did a survey of 415 employees asking them if they were satisfied or disatisfied with thier work, 2/3 said they were disatisfied.

You must love what you do, like Clint Eastwood!

Cheers and have a fun week, Gary

"Believe and act as if it is impossible to fail" Charles F. Kettering

Frank L. Forney
June 22, 2014 at 2:58 am

I am nearly 83, I actively operate two businesses which I keep open 59 hours a week, with part time help for nine of those hours. I have more energy than my 29 year old helper. there is an old adage, "your only as old as you feel". I have my own rendition, "your only as old as you think". I still have many things on my "Bucket list", one of which, I am going to take a walk on the wall of China!!! My tombstone has been ordered and paid for It will say "Born 12/1/1931, Retired on what ever day I die. For years I have proclaimed that I intend to live to be 100. I even have two 100 years old birthday cards from friends, younger than I that don't plan on being around. Bad planning on there part.

jan callahan
June 22, 2014 at 2:24 am

hello, Callahan, I will be 74, this Wednesday, & I try to think young. keep up the good work, clint, a big fan

Vernetta Johns
June 22, 2014 at 1:12 am

I'm almost 70 and would just like to ask Clint for a date :) We do have one very important thing in common....which is music. (not to mention being seniors)Oh well....I can dream, can't I?

Jean Hendrickson
June 22, 2014 at 12:41 am

I'm 81 pushing 82--reverse the numbers to 18 pushing 28--I look pretty good in soft light, wear whatever I please, do whatever I want, sometimes stray from the "middle road" and thank God every single day that I'm still here to enjoy and "live" life. I sooooo admire Clint Eastwood--he's an amazingly talented human being and a true inspiration for all ages.

JoAnn Lerer
June 21, 2014 at 11:28 pm

I am 80 years of age (81 next month on the 29th) and I am continually amazed at how young I feel. Yes, there are aches and pains now and then, but age is a matter of the mind. Think young, act young (be physically and mentally active). Laugh, and that includes laughing at yourself. Do not let the wrinkles bother you - do your best to hydrate your skin (staying within your personal budget to do so), know you are beautiful inside and out. Kindness to those you love, and others, makes you feel beautiful (and just a touch of facial make-up) and a smart outfit and your sitting at dinner, jazz music playing, soft lights and fun interesting dinner companion and friends and your feeling young and happy. Oh! and remember, laugh - laughter brings happiness and youth. Oh! as to our Clint Eastwood idol, does he not look as handsome today as he did decades ago - my guess music and laughter and happy company make him shine. Happiness to all. Be well.

Milan B. Lemmon
June 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm

I have been a fan Since Rawhide and I also seen a lot of his films that he has prduced.I also did not know he is 84 year old.