Ken Dychtwald

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Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D.
Ken Dychtwald.jpg
Born Kenneth M. Dychtwald
1950
Residence Orinda, CA
Occupation Gerontologist, psychologist, author, consultant, professional speaker
Spouse(s) Maddy Dychtwald
Website
www.agewave.com

Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. is a gerontologist, psychologist, educator, lecturer, consultant, entrepreneur, and foremost expert on aging-related issues; has appeared in numerous films and TV interviews; and is the author of sixteen books. He is also the founder and CEO of Age Wave,[1] a company that conducts benchmark field research and provides consulting services to corporations and non-profits organizations worldwide on a broad range of issues relating to aging populations.[2][3]

Dychtwald was named the 2013 recipient of the American Society on Aging Leadership Award. The ASA is the largest association of professionals in the field of aging/gerontology. Dychtwald's article in the Harvard Business Review “It’s Time to Retire Retirement” won the first place McKinsey Prize as the best article of the year. A sought-after public speaker, Ken Dychtwald has presented to more than two million people worldwide. He has served as a fellow and presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos and was a delegate and featured presenter at both the 1995 and 2005 White House Conferences on Aging.[4]

Background[edit]

Ken Dychtwald grew up in Newark, NJ. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Union Graduate School. In 1973, at age 23, he became co-director of the SAGE Project.[5] Funded by the National Institutes of Health, SAGE investigated how newly popular mind/body disciplines, such as yoga, meditation, nutrition therapy, and biofeedback could improve the health and well-being of older adults. At age 27, he published his first book, Bodymind,[6] based on his doctoral thesis. In 1982, Dychtwald joined a panel created by the Office of Technology Assessment, a think tank for the US Congress, to examine how population aging would impact America in the 21st century.[7]

In 1986, Dychtwald founded California Bay Area-based Age Wave, a consultancy to major corporations, helping them develop products, branding, marketing, and distribution strategies for the “mature market.”[8]

Dychtwald produced and hosted the 2007 two-hour PBS special, The Boomer Century: 1946-2046.[9] His most recent PBS special With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance In Work and Life aired nationwide in 2009 to coincide with the book release of the same title.[10][11]

In 1996, Dychtwald received the American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership in the field of aging.[12]

In 1983, Dychtwald married Maddy Kent Dychtwald, a professional lecturer, author and co-founder of Age Wave.[13] They have two children, Casey and Zak.

Consumer and Social Theories[edit]

Age Wave[edit]

Ken Dychtwald developed the concept of the Age Wave, which refers specifically to a massive population and cultural shift caused by the converging global demographic forces of the baby boom of the middle twentieth century, increasing life expectancy, and the declining fertility rates of the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Dychtwald argues that as the boomer generation continues to mature, life’s second half will be further transformed and that, in the next several decades, this age wave will shift the epicenter of consumer activity from a focus on youth to the needs, challenges, and aspirations of maturing consumers. According to Dychtwald, the Age Wave will also put unprecedented pressure on families, communities and governments as multiplying numbers of older adults strain entitlements, eldercare, healthcare delivery and pensions.[14]

Middlescence[edit]

In 1988, Dychtwald began popularizing the term “middlescence" a theory which suggests that with the modern postponement of old age due to extended longevity, and the multiplying numbers of people who were reinventing themselves post-youth, a new middlescent lifestage was rising up between 45 and 65.

Books[edit]

  • Bodymind, Tarcher Putman, 1986[15][16]
  • Age Wave: How the Most Important Trend of Our Time Will Change Your Future, with co-author Joe Flower, Bantam Books, 1990[17][18]
  • Healthy Aging: Challenges and Solutions, Aspen, 1999[19][20]
  • Age Power: How the 21st Century Will Be Ruled by the New Old, Tarcher Putnam, 2000[21][22]
  • Leaving a Legacy: The Essential Resource for Financial Professionals, with co-authors Mark Zesbaugh and Catherine Fredman, Age Wave Press, 2006[23]
  • The Power Years: A User's Guide to the Rest of Your Life, with co-author Daniel J. Kadlec, Wiley, 2005[24][25]
  • Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent, with co-authors Tamara J. Erickson and Robert Morison, Harvard Business Review Press, 2006[26][27]
  • Handbook of the New American Workforce, with co-authors David Baxter, Tamara Erickson and Robert Morison, 2006[28]
  • Gideon’s Dream: A Tale of New Beginnings, HarperCollins 2008, co-authored with Maddy Dychtwald, Grace Zaboski, and Dave Zaboski (who also illustrated the book)[29][30][31]
  • With Purpose: Going From Success to Significance in Work and Life, with co-author Daniel J. Kadlec, William Morrow, 2009[32][33]
  • A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement, and Success with co-author Daniel J. Kadlec, Harper Paperbacks, 2010[34][35]

Film and TV Work[edit]

  • Age Power! With Ken Dychtwald: How the 21st Century Will be Ruled by the New Old, PBS, 2000[36]
  • The Boomer Century: 1946-2046, PBS, 2007[37][38]
  • With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance In Work and Life, PBS, 2009[39]
  • The Arc of Life: Huston Smith on Life, Death & Beyond, mondayMEDIA, 2012[40][41][42]

Career Highlights[edit]

  • 1974 Co-founded the “Holistic Health Council” – from which evolved both the SAGE project (which he co-directed for five years) – and the wider holistic health movement.
  • 1977 Authored Bodymind, which is still in print in 12 languages.
  • 1982 Served as advisor to the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress. Forward-looking project focused on how the aging of the population would alter America in the 21st century.
  • 1986 Coined the phrase “age wave” and then founded Age Wave. Inc. - the world’s first/foremost think tank/consultancy focused on the challenges and opportunities of a maturing society/marketplace.
  • 1987 Produced and hosted the twenty part multi-media medical education learning program “Caring for an Aging Society.”
  • 1989 Coined the term “eldercare” and then coauthored two books on the subject: Implementing Eldercare Services and New Directions in Eldercare Services.
  • 1989 Coauthored Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Society, which is still in print.
  • 1990 Featured on the cover of Inc. Magazine for a groundbreaking feature story entitled “Redesigning America.”
  • 1991 Coined the term “middlescence” and was retained by CBS television and Time Inc. to present a solo landmark conference on “The Shifting American Marketplace: Middlescence and Beyond” to their 2,000 top advertisers.
  • 1993 Coined the phrase “healthy aging” and from 1993–1994, in partnership with Merck, created/directed “The Alliance for Healthy Aging,” - a consortium of 50 health insurers nationwide seeking to better meet the medical needs of our aging nation.
  • 1995 Delegate and featured presenter at the White House Conference on Aging.
  • 1996 Received the American Society of Aging national leadership award for outstanding national leadership in the field of aging.
  • 1998 Featured presenter at the Business Council annual meeting of the chairmen of America’s largest and most powerful corporations.
  • 1998-2000 Featured presenter at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Spoke on: “Active Ageing: The Challenges and Opportunities of the Coming Age Wave,” “New Developments in Biotechnology and Healthcare,” and “The Growth and Opportunities of the Mature Market.” Also addressed both the travel and food/beverage governors on “How the Age Wave will Transform the Marketplace, the Workplace and Our Lives.”
  • 1998 Conceived of both the “Ageless Heroes” PBS special and national award program, sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Co-chaired the awards presentation with President George H. Bush.
  • 1999 Authored Age Power: How the 21st Century will be Ruled by the New Old, which is still in print.
  • 2000 Chosen by Peter Jennings and ABC News to serve as the global expert on demographic shifts for the new millennium on New Year’s Day during the acclaimed worldwide Y2K media coverage.
  • 2001 Completed and disseminated a groundbreaking study of the past, present, and future of retirement in conjunction with SunAmerica – titled Re-Visioning Retirement.
  • 2001 Delivered feature presentation at the International Monetary Conference, to a group of 70 central and top-level bankers from 70 countries around the world.
  • 2002 Featured presenter to 15,000 human resource professionals at the Society for Human Resource Management global conference.
  • 2003 Featured on 60 Minutes in a special report on “The Age Wave.”
  • 2003 Honored by American Demographics Magazine as the country’s most influential marketer to aging baby boomers over the past quarter century.
  • 2004 Conducted a comprehensive examination – titled Demography is De$tiny - of population/demographic changes, generational worker attitudes and behaviors, and company best practices in partnership with the Concours Group and 30 leading global corporations.
  • 2004 Testified before the Senate Committee on Aging on “How the Aging of the Boomers will Impact the Labor Markets,” with Honorable John Breaux presiding.
  • 2004 Co-authored “It’s Time to Retire Retirement” in the Harvard Business Review and won the first place McKinsey Prize as the best article of the year.
  • 2004–2006 Served as senior advisor on global aging to the Chairman of HSBC and oversaw studies about the future of longevity and retirement in twenty countries. The initiative received unprecedented global attention and received the UK's Prestigious CIPR Excellence in Corporate Communications Award.
  • 2005 Conducted the New Employee/Employer Equation Study to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that impact worker engagement, in partnership with The Concourse Group and 30 leading corporations.
  • 2005 Was the subject of a feature profile article in Fortune Magazine “The Pitchman for the Gray Revolution.”
  • 2005 Delegate and featured presenter at the White House Conference on Aging.
  • 2005 Featured presenter at the Financial Services Roundtable annual meeting, the premier executive forum for the leaders of the U.S. financial services industry.
  • 2005 In conjunction with Merrill Lynch, oversaw and disseminated a groundbreaking national study - the Merrill Lynch New Retirement Survey that revealed how baby boomers envision their retirement and the coming decades of their lives.
  • 2005 Co-authored The Power Years: A User’s Guide to the Rest of Your Life.
  • 2005–2006 served as editorial director of special section in the New York Times Sunday Magazine “The Power Years.”
  • 2005 Collaborated with Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America and Harris Interactive to conduct the most comprehensive study on intergenerational wealth transfer, The American Legacies Study. Co-authored Leaving a Legacy book.
  • 2006 Served as Yahoo’s first retirement columnist.
  • 2006 Co-authored Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent.
  • 2006 Designed and oversaw a landmark study, TV Land’s New Generation Gap Study, to develop a new understanding of how aging boomers relate to media, entertainment and advertising.
  • 2006 Delivered a keynote address at News Corporation’s Global Executive Management Conference –other keynote speakers included Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Al Gore and Bono.
  • 2006 Envisioned and conducted The New Retirement Mindscape Study in conjunction with Ameriprise Financial. This was the world’s first study to map out and name the five stages of retirement: imagination, anticipation, liberation, reorientation and reconciliation.
  • 2006 Collaborated with Allianz to design, conduct and disseminate a landmark research initiative, The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study, to better understand women’s emerging new relationship with money and investing.
  • 2007 Featured presenter at the US Chamber of Commerce “Committee of 100” meeting.
  • 2007 Produced and hosted a two-hour PBS special “The Boomer Century: 1946-2046” which aired over 2,000 times.
  • 2008 Conducted and disseminated a comprehensive four-generational study on retirement – and how each generation feels about the others - in conjunction with Charles Schwab, titled Rethinking Retirement: Four American Generations Share Their Views on Life’s Third Act.
  • 2008 Featured Presenter to 5,000+ financial professionals at the Million Dollar Roundtable global conference.
  • 2008 Co-authored Gideon’s Dream: a Tale of New Beginnings, an illustrated children’s book about metamorphosis and transformation in adult life.
  • 2009 Co-authored With Purpose: Going from Success to Significance in Work and Life. Released in paperback in 2010 as A New Purpose, Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement and Success
  • 2009 Oversaw a timely national survey, Retirement at the Tipping Point: The Year That Changed Everything, to learn precisely how recent economic disruptions have altered people’s retirement-related hopes, worries, and needs.
  • 2010 Delivered the keynote presentation and chaired a panel of the nation’s leading experts on “The Aging of America: Triumph or Tragedy?” for the joint conference of the American Society on Aging/National Council on Aging conference.
  • 2010 Collaborated with Genworth to better understand the impact of increased longevity on long-term care preparation. Oversaw both the America Talks: Protecting Our Families' Financial Futures study and the Our Family, Our Future: The Heart of Long Term Care Planning survey.
  • 2010 Delivered an executive briefing on “How the Age Wave will Transform Health and Healthcare” for the American Medical Association Board of Trustees.
  • 2010 Co-authored New York Times op-ed “The Age of Alzheimer’s” with Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner. Was republished and reposted over 50,000 times within one week.
  • 2010 Oversaw the Health and Wealth Planning for Retirement study in conjunction with LPL Financial and UnitedHealthcare.
  • 2011 Became a trustee for the American Society on Aging.
  • 2011 Presented at the annual G100 meeting for Mr. Jack Welch and a private group of corporate CEOs on “The Age Wave: Challenge or Opportunity?”
  • 2011 Was selected by J Walter Thompson as the leading national expert on “Positive Aging” and was featured in their Top 10 Trends for 2012 Report.
  • 2011 Appeared on the cover of Investment Advisor magazine and was the subject of the feature article focused on the past, present and future of retirement.
  • 2011 Was profiled in Forbes magazine article as "The Prophet of the Coming Aging Boom.”
  • 2011 Oversaw a vast study examining how the last decade has altered retirement – entitled the Re-Visioning Retirement Study in partnership with SunAmerica Financial Group.
  • 2011 Wrote an extensive report on the five changes needed to cure our aging healthcare system that was featured in CARING Magazine entitled “Riding the Age Wave: How Health Care Can Stay Afloat.”
  • 2011 Oversaw a landmark study on The Five Myths and Realities of Continuing Care Retirement Communities in conjunction with Vi, a leader in senior living.
  • 2012 Served as interviewer and expert in a documentary entitled “The Arc of Life” with renowned religious scholar Dr. Huston Smith focused on aging, death and beyond.
  • 2012 Gave a briefing on Capitol Hill focused on “The Age Wave, Triumph Or Tragedy?: Four Critical Course Corrections Needed for a Century of Successful Aging.”
  • 2012 Delivered the keynote presentation and chaired a panel of leading national experts including Arianna Huffington, Gail Sheehey, Fernando Torres-Gil and Rhonda Randall on “How The Boomers Will Transform Aging and How Aging Will Transform the Boomers" for the joint conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging.
  • 2012 Participated in the Milken Global Congress and presented on “The Longevity Economy: An Aging Population Creates Market Opportunity."
  • 2012 Joined the Alliance for Aging Research Board of Directors.
  • 2013 Became Senior Advisor to the G100 - with a special focus on how demographic shifts will impact both the workplace and the marketplace.
  • 2013 Winner of the American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership in the field of aging (which he previously won in 1996).


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