Becoming 'Them'

Lee, Shelley A.
November 2002
Journal of Financial Planning;Nov2002, Vol. 15 Issue 11, p17
Academic Journal
This article presents the author's opinion on the works of Ken Dychtwald, who has spent almost 30 years studying aging, older adults and the latter part of life. during a recent conversation with Dychtwald, his reference to aging and graying boomers gave me a little bit of an out-of-body experience, I just kept thinking that he was talking about some other, very abstract, very different person or group of people than me and my peers. To think in terms of one day being a boomer-elder is especially jarring. It is not particularly well, cool. But, as Dychtwald points out, the elderly are not them--they are us just a few decades into the future. The retirement age has now plummeted to 62, notes Dychtwald. Yet according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, the average 60-year-old today will live another 23 years. Your clients will need you more than ever during these last 20-plus years of adulthood. Understanding the paths they will travel--the needs, fears, complaints, dreams, visions and expectations--they will have will challenge our society, our political will, our corporate leaders, our health care system and our current notions of financial planning. Dychtwald believes that we are woefully unprepared, and willfully unable to picture old age as desirable. Yet, he notes, we are already experiencing the beginnings of a mini-wave of elder heroes back on tour, with an average age of 59.


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