Golf to Gerontology

Have you ever thought, ‘Wow … a Gerontologist would be great for my business, great for my life?’ I’ll bet you’ve never even met a Gerontologist before … but I’m sure it was on your ‘bucket list’ of things to do, so now you can wipe it right off!

Do you know what a Gerontologist is? Gerontology is the study of aging, but I’m not your typical Gerontologist … and believe it or not, for those of you in the financial space, we’re in the same line of work.  You obviously do it from a different perspective than I do, but we have the privilege and pleasure to help people make the right choices in their lives.

Now probably like many of you wondering how you got to this point in your life or career to be getting input from a Gerontologist, I had no idea I’d be a Gerontologist when I grew up! I actually went to the University of Southern California (USC) on a golf scholarship, and came out a Gerontologist!  Anybody see the connection there between golf and Gerontology? Although I competed with kids my own age, who did I spend most of the time with on the golf course? Older adults, retirees … right. So at a very early age subconsciously, not even aware of what was going on at the time, I started looking at aging with a totally different vibe.  I saw healthy, active, working, traveling, volunteering, etc. The interesting thing was, when I got into the academic side of aging – and this was at the top school in the nation for the field of gerontological studies — a University with hundreds, if not thousands of graduates in other disciplines, there were five people in my graduating class!  That’s why most of you have probably never met a gerontologist before — there are not many of us around.  And if any of you are familiar with the coming demographics in this country, that should be a little unnerving … that we’re indeed becoming an aged society, yet very few people specialized in the field of aging.

So I’m actually a retirement specialist. I’ve spent the last fifteen years working exclusively in the financial space – helping the industry, advisors, clients, and consumers kind of rethink the whole longevity journey, the changing look of retirement, what we need to be thinking about, talking about, how we need to be planning, and even positioning products in perhaps a little different way.  Some of you have probably heard of Financial Gerontology, which is actually a blending of our two industries, to better understand and address the financial ramifications of longevity. So in real simplified terms, let me put it this way … as a Gerontologist, I can’t talk about successful aging, successful retirement without talking about financial planning … nor do I think those of you working in this space can be as effective in the work that you do without really understanding and incorporating the longevity story into your work.

Be sure to tune in next time as we rethink the outdated image of aging and retirement to discover how this mindset effects people’s planning … or lack there of.

‘The Longevity Corner with Kelly’ is designed to empower you with new ideas, thoughts, and insight on retirement and living long — particularly from the consumer side — by providing an enlightening perspective and understanding of what their needs, fears, and concerns are in order to help you do your best work … so clients can live their best life!

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