When installing Halogen lighting in a house it is important to remember that Halogen lamps do burn a lot hotter than incandescent lamps. It is not unreasonable to place the lamps a couple of inches or more from a combustable surface.In fact it is recommended that you do so.
The wiring in a sixty year old house should be fine as long as you don't overload the circuit and the wiring is in good shape.
Halogen lights do burn brighter per watt than the standard incandescents, but if you are planning on installing a lot of lamps in your home consider this. The halogens will produce heat that your A/C unit will have to get rid of and the lamps cost more but don't neccessarily last any longer than incandescents. Lastly if you do go this route do not touch the lamps with your fingers when installing them. The oils in your hand will lessen the life of the lamp dramatically.