QUESTION: My wife will soon celebrate her 60th birthday. I'd like to give her a subscription to a magazine geared toward older readers. Any suggestions?

ANSWER: You can choose among several such magazines. Modern Maturity, with 22 million subscribers, is one of the top paid-circulation magazines in the country. The bimonthly owes its impressive distribution to its parent organization, the American Association of Retired Persons, whose annual membership dues (only $5) include the magazine subscription.The slick magazine offers upbeat features on travel and leisure opportunities, healthy food, newsworthy older folks, fitness and finances. Modern Maturity also tackles the tougher problems associated with aging and gets good marks for its informative discussions of timely concerns such as age discrimination and the nation's ailing health-care system. People 50 and older are eligible to join AARP and receive Modern Maturity. For more information, write to AARP, P.O. Box 199, Long Beach, CA 90801.

New Choices covers many of the same topics as the AARP magazine but with comparatively more features on food, travel and having fun and less in-depth coverage of aging issues. Its fashion section, featuring pricey ensembles to wear poolside, at the spa and other chic places, reveals the monthly's intent to reach upscale readers. Formerly called 50 Plus, New Choices costs $15.97 per year. Send orders to New Choices for the Best Years, P.O. Box 1945, Marion, OH 43305-1945.

Lear's, the brainchild of Norman Lear's ex-wife Frances, is targeted toward mature women and appeals to the more affluent among them. The monthly magazine gears its features on families, fitness, style and famous personalities. An annual subscription costs $18 and is available by calling 800-759-3642.

Prime Times is for "people who are in prime mid-life or at the height of their careers and planning a dynamic retirement lifestyle or second career." Its personality profiles and articles on health, fitness, travel and new research aim to please well-educated, affluent and active adults age 40 to 70. Published quarterly by the National Association of Retired Credit Union People (NARCUP), Prime Time charges credit-union members $5 for an annual subscription ($10 for nonmembers). Write to NARCUP, P.O. Box 391, Madison, WI 53701.

Fifty-Something Magazine reflects a positive, upbeat attitude toward aging with features on travel, relationships, money, health and hobbies. A two-year subscription costs $14.95. Send orders to Fifty-Something Magazine, P.O. Box 5038, Mentor, OH 44061.

QUESTION: I'm 47 years old and suffer from arthritis in my hip. The pain has gotten worse despite the fact that I take medicine regularly. A friend suggested I look into joint-replacement surgery. What can you tell me about this?

ANSWER: You are probably a good candidate for joint-replacement surgery. Last year, 150,000 joint-replacement surgeries, most commonly of the hip, were performed in the United States.

Many doctors recommend a hip replacement if arthritic pain does not subside after six months of medical treatment and after recommended weight loss has been attained.

An important consideration for anyone undergoing hip replacement is whether to have the artificial apparatus cemented or uncemented. In the case of cemented joints, the stem of the implanted device is glued to your own bone. In uncemented joints, the stem is covered with porous material to which your own bone eventually attaches itself. Physicians generally recommend un-cemented joints for people under 65 and cemented ones for people over 65 whose natural bone has thinned.