The WNYC Studios podcast Death, Sex & Money will leverage its radio connections this month with a pair of special episodes that will also be live radio programs. The Getting Real About Getting Older series features the voices of people aged 60 and older with stories crowdsourced from podcast listeners around the country. Next Wednesday, January 13 (8-10pm ET) the podcast will become a national radio call-in special for older listeners to share their own perspectives.
WNYC Studios says the project was inspired by a listener’s feedback that Death, Sex & Money host Anna Sale – who is 40 – did not understand aging. It was a comment that came in last year, at a time during which the value of people of a certain age was being challenged and questioned, whether it was Joe Biden’s competency for the job of President based on his age or how COVID-19 has impacted seniors.
“We started this project after hearing from a listener who said, ‘Sale doesn’t understand aging.’ And it’s true,” said Sale. That led to the series’ creation with Colorado Public Radio’s Jo Ann Allen, who is 67 years old, guest-hosting.
“Aging affords an introspection that flows from the accumulation of time,” said Allen. “When I signed up for Medicare, I wondered how other sexagenarians felt about getting older: Do they celebrate it, despise it, or never think about it? I’m curious about their plans to resolve social, emotional, and financial issues that often crop up in the latter years. I’m hoping this project provides encouragement to live out loud and proud as we age.”
The effort kicked off with an episode featuring the voices of people aged 60 and older. It discusses everything from financial instability and loneliness to shifting family and romantic relationships. Throughout January, the Getting Real About Getting Older series will continue with additional episodes featuring famous guests over 60, including actor and activist Marlo Thomas and singer-songwriter Beverly Glenn-Copeland.
WNYC and Colorado Public Radio will co-produce the live radio call-in (8-10pm ET) that it says will convene an intergenerational dialogue about the stories and issues raised on the podcast and provide a space for listeners to share their own thoughts on aging.
“I have learned so much listening in on the conversations Jo Ann has had with some of our older listeners,” said Sale. “Juicy, secret stuff about this layered, complex phase of life that I am thrilled to hear about in such detail.”
The Death, Sex & Money podcast was hatched when Sale, who was then a political reporter at WNYC New York, submitted her idea during an internal station contest. It launched in 2014.