PHILADELPHIA — Whether you’re a woman or a man who wants to turn back the clock on aging, plastic surgery and nonsurgical procedures such as injections and fat grafts are becoming a top anti-retirement expense.
Margaret Cipparrone, for one, is not ready to retire. She works as a county assistant prosecutor and spends a lot of time in front of juries.
“When I have the ‘elevens’ in between my eyebrows, I look too stern,” she says, referring to her least favorite worry lines on her face.
“Juries don’t like that; they want women to look pleasant. If I’m stern or assertive but I look pleasant, they accept what I’m saying,” says Cipparrone, 63, who recognizes that “juries talk about me, what I’m wearing, and how I appear. I have to look the part.”
To postpone retirement, she went to physician Karen Harkaway for some work. Cipparrone isn’t yet having true plastic surgery — “I’m still paying for my kids’ college and graduate school educations,” she says — but Harkaway gave her Juvederm nonsurgical injections.
“I’ve had Botox as well, but it didn’t last,” Cipparrone says. “And I realize I can’t go back in time. But it helped me keep and obtain a job.” She graduated from law school at 40 and is one of a team that tries cases.
“I’m financially stable, and I’m going to keep working,” she says. “I like my job, and I don’t think it’s time for me to retire. I want my kids’ school loans paid off and to remain in the workforce. You have to fit in.”
Baby boomers are “having a lot of work done to stay competitive in the workplace,” says Leigh Hope Fountain, spokeswoman for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “It’s very ageist, but it’s the unfortunate reality.”
Private lenders are stepping in to finance nips and tucks. Graham Anderson, director of health care marketing at San Francisco-based Prosper Healthcare Lending, says the firm sets up relationships with plastic surgery centers. The lender’s data show people in their 80s asking for loans for plastic surgery, including face-lifts, eyelid lifts and tummy tucks.
“Health care lending has been around 30 years, as costs have grown dramatically. A lot of that is due to deductibles rising under Obamacare and general health costs going up,” Anderson says.