60 Seconds with ... Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., CEO of AgeWave
Q: How will boomers - 28% of the U.S. population - experience aging differently? A: We (baby boomers) will find ourselves with more free time than we've had in our lives. The average life expectancy has skyrocketed from 47 at the beginning of the 20th century to 76 today. In a manner unprecedented throughout human history, people routinely have begun to remain healthy and vigorous into their 70s and 80s, and tomorrow's mature men and women will, in all likelihood, live even longer.Q: In your latest book, The Power Years, you propose that the basic nature of career paths has changed from working at one place for an entire career to multiple experiences. What other employment-related conventional wisdom is changing?
A: Many of us won't have the same options our parents had. For one thing, government and employer-sponsored entitlements have questionable futures. Demographic trends threaten to foist an unprecedented labor shortage on the world economy. At the same time, these years present a unique opportunity. The notion of staying in the game longer — of not having to step aside at a set age — will liberate us.
Q: How will changing demographics challenge eldercare services?
A: The aging of the population is a tribute to the successes of modern healthcare, but it also reveals the weaknesses and limits of our current approach. The irony of our success is that we have produced legions of long-lived elders who struggle with exactly the chronic problems —heart disease, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's — that our healthcare system is ill-prepared to handle.