Oldness: a social construct at odds with reality that constrains how we live after middle age and stifles business thinking on how to best serve a group of consumers, workers, and innovators that is growing larger and wealthier with every passing day.
Over the past two decades, Joseph F. Coughlin has been busting myths about aging with groundbreaking multidisciplinary research into what older people actually want–not what conventional wisdom suggests they need. In The Longevity Economy, Coughlin provides the framing and insight business leaders need to serve the growing older market: a vast, diverse group of consumers representing every possible level of health and wealth, worth about $8 trillion in the United States alone and climbing.
Coughlin provides deep insight into a population that consistently defies expectations: people who, through their continued personal and professional ambition, desire for experience, and quest for self-actualization, are building a striking, unheralded vision of longer life that very few in business fully understand. His focus on women–they outnumber men, control household spending and finances, and are leading the charge toward tomorrow’s creative new narrative of later life–is especially illuminating.
Coughlin pinpoints the gap between myth and reality and then shows businesses how to bridge it. As the demographics of global aging transform and accelerate, it is now critical to build a new understanding of the shifting physiological, cognitive, social, family, and psychological realities of the longevity economy.
Joseph Coughlin is the founder and director of the MIT AgeLab, a multidisciplinary research program created to understand the behavior of the 50+ population, the role of technology in their lives, and the opportunity for innovation to improve the quality of life for older adults and their families. He is a member of the board of directors of AARP, AARP Services, and Benchmark Senior Living. Coughlin consults with major companies in the United States and internationally, including BMW, Colgate, Kimberly Clark, JP Morgan, Marriott, Johnson & Johnson, Cartier, and many others.