In the twentieth century there has been a recurrent negative theme about old age and it has a long pedigree. One of the popular myths of the past was that elderly people who were without means ended their days in the workhouse. 'Poverty' is most often defined as a threshold which corresponds to a minimum acceptable standard of living and by 'poor' is meant those whose incomes fall below the level of Income Supplement. Americans were fortunate that several lifespan developmental psychologists were able to obtain funding for longitudinal surveys and an evaluation of ageing. The most famous of which, was established in Seattle in 1956. The differences between the experiences of people born before and after World War II are considerable. The 'baby boomers' of the 1940s were born in a period of immediate post-war austerity, with food rationing and selective education.