Genetic studies have bestowed insight into the biological mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in susceptibility to (or resistance to) organisms’ aging. Recent advances in molecular and genetic epidemiology provide tools to explore the genetic sources of the variability in biological aging in humans. To be successful, the genetic study of a complex condition such as aging requires the clear definition of essential traits that can characterize the aging process phenotypically. Phenotypes of human aging have long relied on mortality rate or exceptional longevity. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been shown to present an unbiased approach to the identification of new candidate genes for human diseases. The GWAS approach can also be used for positive health phenotypes such as longevity or a delay in age-related chronic disease, as well as for other age related changes such as loss of telomere length or lens transparency. Sequencing, either in targeted regions or across the whole genome can further identify rare variation that may contribute to the biological aging mechanisms. To date, the results of the GWAS for longevity are rather disappointing, possibly in part due to the small number of individuals with GWAS data who have reached advanced old age.Human aging phenotypes are needed that can be assessed prior to death, and should be both heritable and validated as predictors of longevity. Potentially, phenotypes that focus on “successful” or “healthy” aging will be more powerful as they can be measured in large numbers of people and also are clinically relevant.We postulate that construction of an integrated phenotype of aging can be achieved capitalizing on multiple traits that may have weak correlations, but a shared underlying genetic architecture. This is based on a hypothesis that convergent results from multiple individual aging-related traits will point out the pleiotropic signals responsible for the overall rate of aging of the organism. An approach would be to investigate traits that are linked to the state of many vital functions, disability, and ultimately survival rates, to identify common biological pathways that govern aging processes in humans. New composite aging phenotypes must be validated by predicting all-cause mortality, major chronic disease and disability late in life.