Ken Dychtwald

Ken Dychtwald, PhD

Foremost Visionary in the Aging in America
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Program Descriptions

A New Vision for 21st Century Aging: Five Course Corrections Needed for a Century of Successful Aging
Most 20th-century approaches to aging are defunct. How can we prepare for the coming age wave? Can our country afford to have tens of millions of citizens living past 80? Will existing entitlement programs survive? How will our health care system and medical science handle the onslaught of chronic degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s? Are our leaders capable of fairly distributing limited government resources among many generations, each with its own distinct needs, fears, and political priorities? Who will emerge as role models of the new aging? This presentation illuminates the urgent problems of the coming age wave and their five interlocking solutions.

How the Age Wave Will Transform the Marketplace, the Workplace and Our Lives
Increasing longevity, declining fertility and aging baby boomers are triggering an enormous “age wave.” This demographic tsunami has the potential to create ground-breaking marketplace and work/talent opportunities—and equally compelling social and financial challenges. This informative, motivating and entertaining presentation will explore: How will people use their newfound “longevity bonus?” Why will the “cyclic” lifeplan replace the traditional “linear” model? How will aging boomers change established paradigms of work, leisure, learning and retirement—as well as lifetime brand loyalty? What’s the most effective way to market and sell to “middlescent” boomers wishing to enrich the quality of their lives, while forestalling aging? Why is managing a four-generation workforce the new diversity mandate?

Re-Visioning Retirement: New Timing, New Purpose, New Planning, New Funding
Everyone’s retirement clock has been reset as a result of the recession. But highly acclaimed Age Wave research reveals a surprising finding: This could be a good thing, for individuals, the consumer marketplace and financial planning professionals. This presentation will explore: Why financial “peace of mind” has become far more important than “wealth” in the new American dream. How women’s rising financial power is transforming their attitudes and behavior toward money, their family dynamics and the field of retirement planning.

How the adult lifestage demands of eldercare, sibling care, grandparenthood, singlehood and rehirement will dramatically impact retirement preparation and funding. We’ll also discuss the products, services and guidance people now seek from financial professionals to safeguard a successful retirement while avoiding the five retirement “wildcards” that could shatter their dreams.

The Cure for Our Aging Health Care System
Whether we live our increasingly longer lives with vitality and purpose or with sickness and suffering will greatly depend on our ability to reshape the skills, services, and incentives of our current health care system. This presentation provides a visionary glimpse into the future, outlining the critical course corrections required to support healthy aging and productive longevity. Topics covered include: preventing, delaying, and eliminating horrific diseases of aging (such as Alzheimer’s) with scientific breakthroughs, training health care professionals to become “aging-ready,” making disease prevention a national priority, shifting from hospitals and nursing facilities to home-based care with new technologies and emerging community services, and establishing a humane approach to end-of-life care.

Optimizing Generational Diversity: Four Cohorts Rethink Work, Money, Family, Retirement and Success
For the first time in history, four generations of active adults are simultaneously participating in the workforce and marketplace. Each has its own lifestyle values, attitudes about work and money, means of connecting and communicating, role models and marketplace preferences. This high-impact presentation will examine: What key social forces have shaped each generation and produced their distinct, core lifetime characteristics? What does each generation hope to get from—and give to—their jobs/careers? How do you manage and motivate each generation, from “encore” workers seeking stimulation and self-worth, to older workers looking for balance and purpose, to mid-career workers trying to reboot their enthusiasm for a longer and more demanding worklife, to young workers struggling to enter the workforce during tough economic times. How does each measure success? This presentation can focus on how to attract and retain valuable talent and enhance productivity through the creative use of flexible work arrangements, innovative learning, mentoring and sponsoring opportunities, sabbaticals, retraining, re-careering, flex-retirement, and creative compensation and benefits programs. Alternatively, it can orient toward the most effective ways to reach out to—and connect with—Millennials, Gen Xers, Boomers and members of the Silent Generation.

How the Modern Family Is Transforming Aging, Retirement and Community
We are all familiar with families like the Cleavers or the Simpsons—Dad, Mom, and 2.5 kids happily living under one roof in the suburbs. But over the past 100 years, significant demographic and economic changes have dramatically transformed the American family and communities across the country. We no longer live in a world where most people are the member of a “nuclear family.” How is today’s modern family—or post-nuclear family—different? How do—and will—family changes impact health and care needs, the workforce, housing, legacy, leisure, social services, and financial planning? What are the implications for businesses and aging service providers? How do we navigate the potentially complicated relationships and compelling challenges faced by modern families in retirement and later life, such as blending families together and bridging the miles between relatives living in faraway communities? This presentation covers four trends that, in concert, have transformed and continue to profoundly influence today’s families: Unprecedented longevity, family complexity, financial interdependence, and women’s rising influence.


Biography Read more

Over the past 35+ years, Dr. Ken Dychtwald has emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare and workforce implications of the age wave. He is a psychologist, gerontologist, documentary filmmaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of sixteen books on aging-related issues, including Bodymind, Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Society, Age Power: How the 21st Century Will be Ruled by the New Old, The Power Years: A User’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life, Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent and a children’s book, Gideon’s Dream: A Tale of New Beginnings.

His most recent book is A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement and Success. In 2007, he had his debut as a documentary filmmaker and host with the highly rated/acclaimed PBS special The Boomer Century: 1946-2046.

Ken Dychtwald has served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and a two-time recipient of the distinguished American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership in the field of aging. American Demographics Magazine honored him as the single most influential marketer to boomers over the past quarter century. His article in The Harvard Business Review, “It’s Time to Retire Retirement,” was awarded the prestigious McKinsey Award, tying for first place with the legendary Peter Drucker.

In 1986, Ken became the founding President and CEO of Age Wave, a firm created to guide Fortune 500 companies and government groups in product/service development for boomers and mature adults. His explorations and innovative solutions have fertilized and catalyzed a broad spectrum of industry sectors— from vitamins and cookies to automotive design and retail merchandising to mutual funds and health insurance.

Dr. Dychtwald has addressed more than two million people worldwide in speeches to corporate, association, social service and government groups. His strikingly accurate predictions and innovative ideas are regularly featured in leading print and electronic media worldwide, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Financial Times, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, The Economist, HK Daily News, South China Morning Post, The Standard, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, Today Show, PBS, NPR, Huffington Post and BBC.

Through highly acclaimed presentations, breakthrough research and consulting initiatives, and his leadership within both the social science and business communities, Ken Dychtwald has dedicated his life to battling ageist stereotypes while promoting a new, vital and meaningful role for life’s second half.

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“I was thrilled to be a part of your Court of the Table presentation. In my opinion, you were by far the best speaker at the meeting. Your presentation was energetic, informative, and clearly right on target.” 
--Top of the Table, Million Dollar Roundtable

“The feedback on your session was off the charts. You allowed us to end the day on a real high note.” 
--American General Life Companies

“Ken provides a perfect blend of style and content for a truly riveting presentation. His session at our annual meeting received both a standing ovation and record-high ratings.” 
--LIMRA International

“I have heard only superlatives as people still talk about your presentation. Ken, I consider you to be one of the most studious, knowledgeable and entertaining speakers of all time. You know your subject and presented a first class show.” 
--First Command Financial