Next Avenue: Would you rather be useful or youthful? Here’s what 83% of older adults said in a survey.

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Stock Market

This article is reprinted by permission from Ken Dychtwald has been watching, measuring and forecasting the aging of America for almost half a century, so it is hard to believe he could be surprised by much in his research any more.

But like any curious and open-minded researcher, the 73-year-old founder of the Age Wave consulting firm in Orinda, California, was delighted to learn from a survey his firm had commissioned that a majority of survey respondents aged 65 and over say they believe their best years are happening now or are still ahead of them. That optimism is not unlike the tone of Dychtwald’s memoir, “Radical Curiosity,” which he has updated with stories about the COVID pandemic and a harrowing account of his daughter-in-law’s battle with a flesh-eating bacteria.A conversation with Ken Dychtwald recently took time to talk with Next Avenue about his research and memoir. Following is a transcript of the conversation, edited for length and clarity. Next Avenue: Age Wave had the Harris Poll survey more than 2,000 adults in the U.S., including more than 900 people aged 50 and over, about shifting perceptions of aging and longevity. You have been asking similar questions and recording the answers for many decades. Was there anything in this survey that you found unexpected or new? Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, there was actually. We asked people over 65 when was the best time in their life. Popular lore is that the best time in your life is when you’re young. But 71% of the respondents — a …

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