The mission of the Mind Division is to harness the human capital represented in a growing number of mature and talented older citizens. Absent significant disease, aging is associated with an increase in knowledge and expertise, emotional stability and heightened motivation to engage in meaningful work. At the same time, the speed and efficiency of new learning typically declines with age, as does sensory functioning affecting hearing and vision. Such changes can hamper the effectiveness with which people engage with work, families and communities.
The Center aims to develop and evaluate infrastructures that channel the strengths of older people into families, workplaces, and communities. This includes improving cutting-edge technologies that compensate for deficits in hearing, vision and balance. We work to understand and improve how older people make important decisions about health care and financial matters. We also pursue efforts to distinguish normal from disease-related aging in cognition, so that interventions and policies are targeted appropriately.
Mobility is strongly associated with quality of life – the ability to move about independently at home and at work, to move about our community, to travel to distant places. Embedded in the concept of mobility is physical fitness across the life course, which is central to the notion of healthy aging. Maintaining physical fitness is a major focus of the division, including projects on exercise, reducing sedentary behavior, optimal nutrition, and measurement of fitness through wearable devices. Beyond lifestyle choices, research in the biology of aging holds promise that therapeutics may emerge that may be able to extend the period of physical fitness and delay the onset of functional decline. Technological advances also may be able to enhance functionality even in the face of physical decline associated with chronic disease.
The Mobility Division looks to improve the lives of people in all of these ways by leveraging Stanford research, bringing individual disciplines together to create larger solutions, and working with industry and government to translate academic research into products to benefit individuals and society.
In addition to encouraging and supporting research, the Mobility Division strives to be a source of unbiased, scientifically-based information amid a proliferation of confusing, and often conflicting, messages related to changes that occur during aging and how to delay, arrest, or even reverse such changes.
In an age of unprecedented longevity, a focus on lifelong individual financial security has never been more crucial. The mission of the Financial Security Division is to bring a unique interdisciplinary perspective to financial security issues facing our society by rethinking the perceived problems around an aging population, especially retirement planning and the need to work longer. By understanding the role that research, education and policy can play in solving these issues and by looking at the problems from multiple perspectives, we will drive the dialogue forward in order to facilitate a healthier state of long-term financial security for the individual and society.
We bring together the best thinkers, policymakers, and business leaders to drive innovation and change around financial security issues. We focus our efforts on three topic areas: financial capability; the new career lifecycles; and common financial pitfalls such as fraud. For each of these areas, we identify key research and policy issues, catalyze research around practical solutions, disseminate information to key stakeholders and thought leaders, and discuss ways to encourage evidence-based policy decision. More specifically, for financial capability, we will explore how to help individuals become wise consumers of financial information and prepare for financial milestones such as retirement. For the new career lifecycle, we will redefine the concepts of “work” and “retirement” in order to reflect the reality of increased longevity. Finally, our work on common financial pitfalls such as fraud will consolidate research from a range of disciplines to form a unified understanding of fraud and effective fraud prevention.
The aim of the Sightlines Project is to characterize how well Americans are doing over historical time in three key areas known to optimize longer lives: Healthy Living, Financial Security, and Social Engagement. The inaugural report illuminated where Americans need the most support. In response, since the last Advisory Council meeting, we have begun to embark upon next steps including: 1) showcase findings from Sightlines and other relevant work through our new website in order to proliferate new research, inform key influencers for policy development and program implementation, and inspire national conversation about living long and living well; and 2) conduct more in-depth analyses to determine whether and how Sightlines findings differ by various demographic contexts such as gender and geographic region to better identify subgroups that are most vulnerable.
SCL 10 Year Anniversary Celebration
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, on September 21, 2017, the Stanford Center on Longevity hosted a daylong symposium to showcase the science of longevity and articulate the societal challenges that longer lives bring.
The symposium featured preeminent individuals representing a range of disciplines, industry leaders poised to distribute innovative products and services to the public, and thought leaders who help to shape ideas that influence cultural change. Keynote speakers included Wendy Whelan, Craig Venture, Steven Austad, Paul Saffo, Chip Conley, Derek Thompson, and Natalie Warne. Special guests included Stanford University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and National Academy of Medicine President Victor Dzau.
Panel conversations included discussion around the biology of aging that promise to dramatically improve health span, how we envision an ideal longevity society and the steps we need to achieve it, as well as implications for societies when people live out their full lives. The panels were interspersed with video clips of faculty affiliated with the Center from across the Stanford campus about their research on different facets of longevity. The audience was also polled throughout the day to determine how people think about different aspects of human wellbeing. Additionally, there were interactive exhibits featuring the impacts of technology on aging that included a virtual reality experience, an age progression booth for audience members to track their aging appearance over time, and a booth set up featuring various products and services addressing aging issues that have been presented as part of the Stanford Center on Longevity’s Design Challenge competition over the last 4 years. The conference concluded with a multigenerational jazz performance featuring vibraphonist, Michael Mainieri.
The symposium was a celebration of human wellbeing over a longer life span and gave participants a greater understanding and appreciation of what individuals and societies need to do to address longevity in the 21st century.
The event was sponsored by the following entities and individuals: Target, AARP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Continuing Life, Fidelity, Halbert Hargrove, Home Care Assistance, The Jameson Family Foundation, Mercer, Palo Alto Institute, Transamerica, United Income, Drs. Kimberly Bazar and Joon Yun, Kathleen Brown on behalf of the Annenberg Foundation, James and Heather Johnson, Ned Spieker, and Rich & Linda Tarplin.
June 22, 2018 | William F. Frey: “The Millennial Generation – A Demographic Bridge to America’s Diverse Future”
SCL hosted a presentation by William F. Frey, of the Brookings Institution, who is an internationally regarded demographer, known for his research on urban populations, migration, immigration, race, aging, political demographics and his expertise on the U.S. Census. His latest report, “The Millennial Generation – A Demographic Bridge to America’s Diverse Future,” examines the demographic makeup of millennials for the nation, the largest 100 metropolitan areas, and all 50 states and discusses the impacts resulting from these demographic shifts. Bill’s talk was followed by a panel discussion led by Stanford Professor, Aliya Saperstein, further examining the changes in the demographic makeup of the US.
April 12, 2018 | Joseph Coughlin: “The Longevity Economy”
On April 12th, the Center hosted Dr. Joseph Coughlin, Founder and Director of the MIT AgeLab for this year’s Longevity Innovations Speaker Series. The event was jointly hosted by the DCI Innovation Hub and the Center. Dr. Coughlin’s research explores how longer life, technology trends and changing generational attitudes are converging globally to transform business and society. In December 2017, he published a new book, The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest Growing, Most Misunderstood Market.
During his talk, Dr. Coughlin emphasized that the discussion about aging and elderly are mostly wrong. In his book, he cites the groundbreaking research of Dr. Laura Carstensen, on Socioemotional Selectivity Theory and happiness in older age. The main point is that rather than viewing aging as years of decline, life after 65 (or 75 or even 85) can be full of possibility, exploration and learning. Coughlin believes that the business community has not yet realized this potential. He further emphasized that one of the greatest under-appreciated sources of innovation and new business may in fact be women over 50, and described entrepreneurship as the new women’s movement. According to Coughlin, the longevity economy is not just about the money to be made, but the reality that after age 65, there is much to be done. He cites there are 8000 days after age 65 that an individual should plan on. His vision of the longevity economy is about activating the full life span – so we live not just longer, but better.
MARCH 19, 2018
Finding Meaning and Happiness in Old Age – NY Times
MARCH 1, 2018
No Pension? You Can ‘Pensionize’ Your Savings – NY Times
FEBRUARY 14, 2018
5 Ways To Find Happiness As A Family Caregiver – Forbes
FEBRUARY 9, 2018
Left without a pension? Check out IRAs and 401(k)s – USA Today
JANUARY 30, 2018
No pension? Use this plan for a secure retirement – Chicago Tribune
JANUARY 25, 2018
The top retirement decisions facing older workers – CBS News
JANUARY 16, 2018
The Best Way to Spend Money Safely in RetirementNext Avenue
DECEMBER 29, 2017
In search of a word that won’t offend ‘old’ people – The Washington Post
DECEMBER 20, 2017
This holiday gift for seniors can save them a fortune – CBS News
DECEMBER 13, 2017
How to Invest for a 40-Year Retirement – Fortune
DECEMBER 8, 2017
Meet the “Spend Safely in Retirement” strategy – CBS News
DECEMBER 5, 2017
An almost perfect retirement income source – CBS News
NOVEMBER 22, 2017
American seniors are sicker than global peers – CBS News
OCTOBER 24, 2017
Stanford’s longevity center celebrates ten years – Scope
OCTOBER 2, 2017
When Did You First Feel Old? – The Wall Street Journal
SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
Why America’s Inequality Is a Threat to Living Longer – Next Avenue
OCTOBER 20, 2016
Do brain-training exercises really work? – CNN
OCTOBER 11, 2016
Let’s retire retirement – BlackRock blog
OCTOBER 3, 2016
The Weak Evidence Behind Brain-Training Games – The Atlantic
OCTOBER 3, 2016
Brain Game Claims Fail A Big Scientific Test – NPR
SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Seizing Longevity’s Competitive Advantages – Next Avenue
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
A critical missing piece in 401(k) plans – CBS MoneyWatch
SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
How Higher Education Can Aid Life Transitions – Next Avenue
The remarkable speed with which the Stanford Center on Longevity was established reflects a generous founding gift from Stanford alumnus Richard Rainwater, who recognized one of the most urgent needs of our time: adapting our society to a rapidly aging population. His gift enabled the Center to begin immediately with a core staff and with key programs in place.
Going forward, the Center’s work continues to benefit from individuals and organizations that recognize the importance and urgency of redesigning long life. During 2017-2018, the Center received generous funding from individual donors as well as from AARP, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Davis Phinney Foundation, Eskaton, Fidelity Investments, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Great West Financial, Halbert Hargrove, Home Care Assistance, JP Morgan Chase, Mercer, The Society of Actuaries, Sompo, Stoneridge Creek and Target.
Gifts help the Center embark on new research projects, develop educational programs, collaborate with faculty and disseminate research findings so they can be put into practice. To discuss opportunities for partnering with the Center, please contact:
Nancy Easterbrook, Director of External Affairs
Phone: (650) 721-7997
Stanford Center on Longevity
Littlefield Center, Room 350
365 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305
Gifts to the Stanford Center on Longevity are tax-deductible under applicable rules. The Center is part of Stanford University’s tax-exempt status as a Section 501 (c) (3) public charity.