Ken Dychtwald

Futurist, Psychologist, Entrepreneur and Author
  • Served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum
  • Guides Fortune 500 companies in product development
  • Predicts industry trends based on demographic changes and research
  • Advises audiences on solutions for navigating successful aging as a country

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Over the past 45+ years, Dr. Ken Dychtwald has emerged as North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, health care, economic and workforce implications of the age wave.

Ken is a psychologist, gerontologist, and best-selling author of 19 books on aging-related issues, including Bodymind, Age Wave: The Challenges and Opportunities of an Aging Society, Age Power: How the 21st Century Will Be Ruled by the New Old, Healthy Aging, Gideon’s Dream: A Tale of New Beginnings, A New Purpose: Redefining Money, Family, Work, Retirement, and Success and What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age (an Amazon #1 bestseller in both the retirement and business marketing categories) and Sages of Aging: A Guide for Changemakers. His memoir has recently been updated and enriched and will be re-released in September 2023 as Radical Curiosity: My Life of the Age Wave. He was the executive producer and host of the highly rated/acclaimed PBS documentary, The Boomer Century: 1946–2046 which aired over 2,000 times on PBS stations nationwide as well as the public television special, Life’s Third Age. Sages of Aging is Ken’s latest national public television program featuring profound conversations with twelve of the leading pathfinders in the fields of aging.

Since 1986, Ken has been the Founder and CEO of Age Wave, an acclaimed think tank and consultancy focused on the social and business implications and opportunities of global aging and rising longevity. His client list has included over half the Fortune 500. He has served as a fellow of the World Economic Forum and was a featured speaker at two White House Conferences on Aging. Ken has twice received the distinguished American Society on Aging Award for outstanding national leadership, and American Demographics honored him as the single most influential marketer to baby boomers over the past quarter century. His article in the Harvard Business Review, “It’s Time to Retire Retirement,” was awarded the prestigious McKinsey Award, tying for first place with the legendary Peter Drucker. He was honored by Investment Advisor as one of the 35 most influential thought leaders in the financial services industry over the past 35 years. Ken and his wife, Maddy, recently received the Esalen Prize for their outstanding contributions to advancing the human potential of aging men and women worldwide. In 2018 he was awarded the Inspire Award from the International Council on Active Aging for his exceptional and lasting contributions to the active-aging industry and for his efforts to make a difference in the lives of older adults globally. In 2020, he was the first recipient of the Pioneer Award from the Retirement Coaches Association.

During his career, Ken has addressed more than two million people worldwide in his speeches to corporate, association, social service, and government groups. His strikingly accurate predictions and innovative ideas are regularly featured in leading print and electronic media worldwide and have garnered over twenty billion media impressions.

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Speaker Video

An Introduction to Ken Dychtwald

Ken Dychtwald's Virtual Keynote - Beacon Virtual 50+ Expo

A Boomer/Millennial Smackdown With Ken and Zak Dychtwald

Interview on CNBC's Squawk Box

The Biggest Untapped Market Opportunity -- It's Hiding in Plain Sight!

These dynamic forces are shaping your business; are you prepared?

  • Men and women over 50 now make up 33% of the total U.S. population and 44% of the adult population but control more than 70% of total wealth.
  • Due to the combination of rising longevity, declining fertility, and the aging of the Baby Boom generation, this group is now bigger than the entire market of most countries.
  • As active and curious consumers, they are responsible for:
    • 45% of new car and truck purchasing
    • 53% of all food and grocery purchasing
    • 55% of all travel and leisure consumption
    • 68% of OTC drugs
    • 77% of all Rx drug consumption; and
    • 80% of all retirement accounts.

Dr. Ken Dychtwald, who has been North America’s leading visionary and original thinker about the “age wave” for more than 45 years, will explain how your business can best target this massive, misunderstood, misrepresented, and wildly untapped new market. He’ll illustrate why 20th century notions of “lifetime brand loyalty,” “retirement,” and “seniors” have become obsolete and how with impending breakthroughs in precision medicine, living to 100+ will soon become commonplace. And he’ll provide a mind-stretching preview of the products, services, marketing, and advertising that will succeed at meeting the needs and aspirations of this new “Third Age” while eliminating the ageism that has impeded shareholder value for too long.

The Future of Retirement: New Timing, New Purpose, New Funding – and New Planning Help Needed

With the convergence of rising longevity, the aging of the massive Boomer generation, and widespread financial insecurity, there is a greater need than ever for trusted, holistic financial guidance. Americans want financial professionals who seek to understand what matters most to them and their families and can help them achieve their goals.

This new presentation by Dr. Ken Dychtwald, the nation’s foremost visionary and expert on longevity, aging and retirement, draws on his new book, What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age, as well as cutting-edge new research that spans five generations.

Dychtwald will outline the forces shaping retirement planning today and offer ways that financial professionals can ready themselves to demonstrate greater empathy to deliver targeted solutions that safeguard a well-lived retirement for these uncertain times.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Why has financial peace of mind become far more important than wealth?
  • What are the greatest worries for pre-retirees and retirees in achieving a financially secure retirement?
  • What are the “generational generosity” watchouts for financial professionals and their clients that could jeopardize retirement?
  • In what ways is women’s rising financial power transforming the field of retirement planning and how should you respond?
  • How will the demands of eldercare, sibling care, grandparenthood, singlehood, and “rehirement” impact retirement planning?
  • How can financial professionals best manage the greatest generational hand-off in history and guide clients to leave a legacy?

Radical Curiosity for Life

Based on his newly updated book, Radical Curiosity, Dr. Ken Dychtwald reveals in this special presentation the critical importance of maintaining lifelong curiosity in today’s ever-changing world. Through his enormously entertaining stories about mind-boggling encounters with an impressive cast of characters—from hippies to Hells Angels to presidents, CEOs and world-leaders—Ken shares key lessons about the challenges and opportunities of continuing to grow as we grow up.

He playfully examines how curiosity has guided him through every era of his life, from his humble beginnings in Newark, New Jersey to his “enlightening” years spent at the world-renowned Esalen Institute in Big Sur during the height of the human potential movement, and from igniting the holistic health and healthy aging movements to his fellowship at the Davos World Economic Forum and ultimately creating his globally acclaimed company Age Wave, with a client list that includes half the Fortune 500.

Ken’s fascinating journey is replete with trials and errors every step of the way, and eye-opening lessons for all ages learned from a rich life that’s still a work in progress.

Breakthroughs at the Tipping Point: The Future of Health, Medicine, Aging and Longevity

Rising longevity and the aging of Boomers worldwide are radically altering both the demographic landscape and every aspect of our personal, social, financial, and political lives.  

How will these irreversible trends toward increasing longevity impact healthcare, medicine, nutrition and environmental safety? As the massive global Baby Boom generation ages, how can we also ensure that our healthspans and brainspans match our lifespans?  And how can we ensure abundant lifelong health for all – not just the wealthy?

In this revealing glimpse into the future, Age Wave Founder and CEO, Ken Dychtwald, PhD, will address the implications of rising longevity and how your organization needs to envision the future to prepare for it.

  • How will maturity change as tens of millions of us live to 80, 90 or 100+?
  • With continued breakthroughs in longevity, at what age will old age begin?
  • Will the boomers opt for "pro-aging," "anti-aging" or "ageless aging?"
  • How will boomer women and men approach aging differently?
  • Who will pay for the multiplying needs of a multiplying cohort of older adults?
  • How will we match our healthspan to our lifespan?
  • Are we prepared to reengineer many of our products and services to meet the needs of aging boomer consumers?
  • How will boomers deal with "right-to-death" issues?
  • Can our political system handle the demands that tens of millions of elder boomers will place on our social and economic infrastructure? 
  • How will your business be ready for this unprecedented longevity revolution resulting in dynamic forces that will forever change our relationship with health and medicine?

Alchemy of Travel: In Search of Peak Experiences

Amidst our high-tech, high-anxiety, and workaholic culture, there is an awakening appreciation for the immeasurable value of great times with friends and loved ones, the satisfaction of continued personal growth, and the excitement of encountering new people, places, and cultures. Fueled by COVID fatigue as well as the dual Boomer liberations of empty-nesting and retirement—and turbo-charged by Millennial FOMO—hundreds of millions of men and women worldwide are hoping to enjoy more “time affluence” than at any other point in history.

This dynamic new presentation by Age Wave guru and author of his new memoir, Radical Curiosity: My Life on the Age Wave, explores the forces causing an unquenchable curiosity for stimulating and nourishing “peak experiences” of every form and flavor.

Dr. Ken Dychtwald will uncover the abundant opportunities for both entrepreneurs and industry leaders who understand how to serve this emerging new travel consumer.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Longevity: more life, more time, more personal reinventions, more travel
  • How will the unprecedented “age wave” demographic phenomenon both boost and transform the travel marketplace worldwide?
  • Why the “freedom zone” is now the most liberated and liberating time in life?
  • Life’s true valuables: the growing importance of experiences over things
  • 2.5 trillion hours to fill: tapping the enormous “longevity economy”
  • How can you transform your marketing strategies to meet the needs of today’s discerning travelers searching for “peak experiences?”

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