Flipping the Narrative on Aging

Jo Ann Jenkins is the CEO of AARP, the world’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization. By definition, as people are living longer, our overall population demographics are changing, with real societial implications posed by the aging of America. There is simply no denying that the world is getting older, and doing so quickly. The effects and consequences of a more aged population are inundating world leaders, including here at home. There are financial questions, medical and healthcare concerns, and social factors to consider. Jenkins would like to shift the conversation from the challenges, to the potential historic benefits of longer living. She calls for a new mindset.

there's a saying I don't know who deserves credit for it but it seems pretty real and apropos right now and that is that demographics is destiny and I have no reason really to doubt that so much of what drives our culture what drives our economy is tied in one way or another back to demographics and in the immediate instance what that demographics as destiny means is that we are all happily living longer and America is slowly but surely growing a little bit older and that presents a unique cluster of challenges on the one hand and great opportunities on the other and no organization is as aware of this as the leader I'm about to introduce to you Joanne Jenkins is the CEO of ARP or AARP she cautions me that it is no longer the American Association of Retired Persons it is ARP and she is
here to lead our next module of content on the very vital subject of longevity please welcome Joann Jenkins [Applause] [Music] Thank You Tyler and good morning everyone AARP is proud to convene this distinguished group of experts and to be the host of what I hope you will find to be a very enlightening and meaningful conversation normally when we think of big macro issues like climate change a lot of the energy around the subject is consumed by ongoing debates as to whether the thing in question even exists or about how its defined or on how various people believe it or won't believe it will pay out in the world but aging is different there are no aging deniers in a world where consensus is
increasingly rare there exists sweeping consensus on a simple but powerful truth that the world is getting older fast and just about everywhere 31 countries in the world will be as old as Japan is today by the year 2030 and that includes the United States on every continent leaders speak of being inundated by the effects of aging and its consequences who will pay for the pensions who will pay the medical bills or provide the caregiving services there is no doubt that longer lives create challenges and we wrestle with those questions every day but far too often we only see the challenges of aging and not the opportunities that it offers I believe there is a bigger conversation to be had focus not just on the historic burdens
but also on the potential historic benefits of living longer what if instead of seeing just dependent retirees we saw a new type of experienced accomplished workforce what if instead of seeing expensive costs we saw an exploding consumer market that could bolster our economies in fact in the US alone people over the age of 50 spent seven point six trillion dollars in annual economic activity each year and 51 cents of every dollar spent in the u.s. is spent by someone over the age of 50 what if instead of seeing a growing pool of dependence we saw intergenerational communities with new and different strengths this has implications for all aspects of our lives not just our latter years think of it this way if you knew you are going to live to be a hundred what would you have done differently how
would it affect the way you take care of yourselves your health how would it affect your work your spending and your saving habits your wealth how would it affect your personal life your relationships your education where you live yourself we need to create a new mindset around aging a new way of thinking about solutions that helps us live better lives as we age and as we look around we see this happening research and Technology are driving innovation in virtually every field of endeavor that affects our ability to live well as we age entrepreneurs and innovators are creating an incredible array of products and services to help people as they age and science is making longer lives possible and we're just now beginning to realize the opportunities those longer lives offer people are reinventing work searching for purpose
embracing technology and opening themselves up to new experiences like never before as you listen to our distinguished speakers this morning you'll discover that longevity is not just about aging it's about living it's a time filled with opportunities not just challenges and perhaps more importantly it's not just about adding years to the end of life it's about creating a bold new path for living your best life at every age

About the Speakers