Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old entrepreneur in personal development from the Netherlands, has asked the courts to change his birth certificate, so that it will show he was born on March 11, 1969, rather than on March 11, 1949.
Ratelband says he feels twenty years younger than he is - doctors even told him he has the body of a younger man.
He equates the petition to the court as no different than someone asking to change their name or gender - and is not bothered that this comparison might offend transgender people.
“Because nowadays, in Europe and in the United States, we are free people,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. “We can make our own decisions if we want to change our name, or if we want to change our gender. So I want to change my age. My feeling about my body and about my mind is that I’m about 40 or 45.”
Ratelband said the judges “laughed like little girls" when they heard his request earlier this week. But after he delivered a powerful speech about modern society freeing itself from the false gods of money and government and religion, they became more receptive to his angle.
The judges still expressed skepticism but said changing the sex on a birth certificate was once impossible, as transgender people now have the right to do so.
Ratelband’s motivation to make himself young again is distinctly American, he said and came from his education under Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker in the 1980s.
“This is American thinking,” he said. “Why can’t I change my age if I want to? You have to stretch yourself. If you think you can jump one meter, now I want to jump 20. If you earn 100 grand a month, now I want to earn 120 grand."
Ratelband also gave an interview to Algemeen Dagblad (AD) indicating his logic behind his public attempt to change his age.
The AD asked: Why do you have to be 49 years on paper?
"I am going to live differently. If I am 69 years old, I will be notified of my limitations. Am I 49, then I buy a new house, I drive another car. I take more hay on my fork. If I put on Tinder that I am 69, I will not get a response. Am I 49, with that head of mine, then I'm rammed. Maybe they say: you have weak muscles for 49 years. And then I say: but not that one, you know. Come on!," Ratelband responded.
The AD then asked: Are you already living as if you are much younger than 69?
"But I am faced with it every month. I get now every month. I called the Sociale Verzekeringsbank and said: I do not want that 1200 euros. Can not. I get the confirmation every month that I am an old man. I do not want that. So I sent a letter to the municipality. He does not want to cooperate. So we go to court," Ratelband said.
There is quarter-life crisis, midlife crisis, and now it seems Ratelband has fallen victim to the later-life crisis.
Research from John Hopkins shows one in three people over the age of 60 will go through some type of psychological disorder, but Ratelband who wants to be a young stud again surfing Tinder seems to be an anomaly.
There is a silver lining to this madness, as changing the ages of seniors could be a new accounting trick for governments that could alleviate failing pension systems around the world.