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Is the Best Yet to Come? Just ask Colonel Sanders.
Healthy Living, Retirement Tips

Is the Best Yet to Come? Just ask Colonel Sanders.

In this age of social media, the headlines are filled with stories of wunderkinds — tech genius billionaires who are barely 30, YouTube “influencers” on the cover of Forbes, and those ubiquitous “40 Under 40” annual roundups gushed over by the business press.

It’s enough to make an older person feel like an underachiever — especially if you’re closer to retirement than your 30s. It’s also easy to assume that these youth success stories are simply the result of extraordinary intelligence, luck or drive.

Success worth waiting for

Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that for every Mark Zuckerberg, there’s an equally impressive success story that took a bit longer to achieve. Here are seven notable examples of individuals who made their mark in later life:

Nelson Mandela — The late activist was imprisoned for more than two decades for his anti-apartheid efforts in his native South Africa. Released at age 72, he became the nation’s first black president four years later. In 1993, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk "for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa."

Dame Judi Dench — This award winning actress, known most recently in the U.S. for her roles in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and James Bond movie franchises, has earned seven Oscar nominations — all when she was over 60, including a 1999 win for Best Supporting Actress for the movie Shakespeare in Love. That same year, she won her first Tony Award for excellence in a Broadway performance. Dench is currently starring in the spy thriller Red Joan.

Colonel Harland Sanders Though he operated a relatively successful restaurant and motel, it began to falter when a large interstate opened nearby, allowing traffic to bypass his business. So at age 65, Colonel Sanders reinvented himself — honing his spice blend and quick-frying technique. When he ultimately sold his Kentucky Fried Chicken business in 1964, he had built it into a $2 million business with 900+ franchises.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses — Better known as Grandma Moses, this enduring symbol of American folk art found her calling as a painter at 76 when arthritis made it too difficult to enjoy her embroidery hobby. The self-taught artist exhibited her work internationally into her 90s. She produced over 2,000 paintings, and painted until a few months before her death at age 101. According to Sotheby’s, her paintings continue to grow in popularity, now selling for over $1 million.

Joy Behar — This high-school English teacher didn't launch her show business career until after 40, when she began performing stand-up comedy at local clubs. In 1997, Behar became one of the original panel members of the ABC’s The View, winning the 2009 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. She remained in that role for 16 years, returning as co-host for the show’s three most recent seasons.

Donald Fisher — At age 41, after too many attempts to find a decent-fitting pair of jeans, Fisher and his wife Doris founded clothing store The Gap. Today, $16-billion Gap Inc. is a mall staple with more than 3,200 locations worldwide, and is the largest specialty retailer in the U.S. The company includes six brands: Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Intermix, Athleta and Hill City.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Wilder's autobiographical Little House on the Prairie is one of the world’s most beloved children’s book series. Many readers don’t know that she didn’t publish her first novel until she was 65. More than 40 years later, the Little House on the Prairie television show based on Wilder's life aired in 1974 and it ran until 1982. The show generated further interest in Wilder, and helped create new generations of Little House readers.

Funding your next big idea

Whether you’re ready to launch a new career, finish writing a book, or simply enjoy a comfortable retirement, it’s critical to know your funding options. If you’re a homeowner, one often-overlooked source of funds is a reverse mortgage loan. This type of loan, available exclusively to homeowners and homebuyers age 62 and older, gain the financial flexibility to do more in retirement.

How does a reverse mortgage work? It’s a home-secured loan that can turn part of the equity you’ve built up in your house into funds you can use today, or a line of credit that will be there when you need it to launch a new business, fund a creative endeavor, pay for home renovations, or cover unexpected healthcare costs or other life expenses.

Specifically designed for homeowners age 62+, it offers all the benefits of a traditional line of credit that you can get from a bank but with additional benefits — including a flexible repayment feature. As with any mortgage, the title to the home remains in your name, not the lender’s, and you’re required to meet your loan obligations of keeping current with property taxes, insurance and maintenance.

Through Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF), there’s also a reverse mortgage product called Equity Elite that’s available to homeowners as young as 60,* including an option called Equity Elite ZERO that eliminates nearly all closing costs.

To learn how Reverse Mortgage Funding can help you fund the next chapter in your success story, call 888-277-1567to set up a convenient in-person appointment with one of our experienced loan specialists. There’s no obligation.

This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating;* a 5-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.


If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.

Check Eligibility

*Not applicable in all states; some states may impose a higher age requirement. Visit for details.

With this pricing option, borrower receives a lender credit covering nearly all closing costs. There is a non-refundable independent counseling fee of approximately $125 on average, which the borrower pays directly to the counseling agency. Terms and conditions apply. Not available in all states.