Understanding the Emotions Surrounding Aging – AARP Consumer Aging Confidence Study

There are about 70 million baby boomers and as they retire, they’re changing the way our culture thinks about age and retirement. Never content with the cultural status quo, baby boomers are already challenging the very idea of retirement. They expect to live longer, be more active and continue to go, see, do.

AARP is already ahead of this trend with the publication of the national bestseller, Disrupt Aging, by its CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. They wanted to go further by launching their #DisruptAging initiative. We were asked to help this effort by understanding emotions surrounding the concept of aging and chose Heart+Mind Strategies through a survey exploring attitudes Americans have about age and aging.

The creative study design unearthed a surprising gap between the perceptions of aging among younger adults vs. those 60+. Seemingly paradoxically, the older Americans are, the younger they feel. General levels of satisfaction with life were significantly higher among the 60+ cohort than the younger. Importantly, negative misperceptions held by younger Americans were not borne out by the experiences of older Americans.

These kinds of counter-intuitive findings illustrate the “insights spark” that Heart+Mind Strategies seeks in every study we do. They help support and drive effective decision-making right up to the C-Suite.

This fascinating report is available on AARP’s website here.