A cohort study of eighty-year old residents in Jyväskylä (pop. 66,000), central Finland, was carried out in 1990 as part of the EVERGREEN-project. A total of 262 persons born in 1910 were interviewed in the cohort study. The survey data produced a fairly accurate picture of the respondents' objective situation. In order to shed further light on how the respondents felt about growing old, tape recorded narrative stories were collected from a subsample of twenty persons (10 women and 10 men). The stories revealed the subjective meanings and evaluations attached by the individuals concerned to their own aging. Being members of the same culture and the same age cohort, they also shared the same way of perceiving themselves and the surrounding world. It became obvious that there existed some kind of boundary conditions for the experience of aging. The model of boundary conditions for the experience of aging was developed on the basis of the narratives.