But it can happen.
I'm 43, and managing a group of software engineers at a streaming company; my peers range from early 30s to early 50s, but there are other managers and directors here who are (at least somewhat) older than that.
More importantly, though, there are engineers here who are older than me, and who you could argue are as senior as I am, or more senior (in either the "more people listen to them" sense or the "they get paid more than I do" sense). This company also has a strong belief that you shouldn't go into management because you want a promotion or more money, so people who enjoy being engineers are encouraged to continue being engineers. There's no salary cap on being an engineer, and for pretty much as long as I've been a manager here, I've had engineers reporting to me who made more money (sometimes, significantly more money) than I do.
Having demonstrated pretty decent Individual Contributor (IC) skills, my last two bosses have always said that if I ever got tired of management and wanted to do the IC thing again for a while, they'd be delighted to find a slot for me.
But that's us. And we aren't representative of the business, I suspect. We're not QUITE the outlier -- high tech company, Silicon Valley, ~16 years in operation -- but we're definitely not your 20-person SOMA startup running on Red Bull and testosterone.
I'll tell you one life lesson my parents taught me, though, that has served me well: Figure out what you love doing, and do that. You'll occasionally be buffeted off-course. That's OK -- get back on-course.
I've been married for about 7 years now; early in our relationship, when I was an IC in another company, making a lot less money, my wife argued I should be thinking about maximizing my family's income and financial stability and go into management just because of that; she persuaded me, and I went into management at that company, and was profoundly unhappy. Finally, luckily, got laid off in 2009. We both learned our lesson, and these days my wife's only rule is "pick a job that will make you happy; if we need more money I'll go out and make it." Works well.