An article in the Wall Street Journal on choosing where to live in old age features thoughts from AgeLab Founder and Director Dr. Joseph F. Coughlin.
He frames retirement planning around three questions from his new book, The Longevity Economy: "Who will change your light bulbs?" "How will you get an ice cream cone?" And "who will you have lunch with?"
“Life is made of these little moments—not punctuation points like Christmas dinner and a trip to Italy—but the little moments: getting a newspaper, getting a cup of coffee,” Coughlin says. “You have to understand when you’re doing retirement planning, what are those little moments, those little things that only you, not even your spouse, know that will make you smile? And from a transportation point of view: Do you have access to it?”
“Having money is great,” he goes on, “but unless you have those additional services to enable you to live well, then that’s not necessarily a good retirement. That’s a subsistence retirement.”
Coughlin adds, “Isolation is perhaps the greatest pandemic facing an aging society. Because you’ve spent an entire life, generally speaking, where things come to you, people come to you, you’re in the flow that work and society and volunteering and church and everything gives you. And as you age, you’re likely to do less, get out less. As a result, fewer people are coming to you.”
It’s therefore crucial, he says, that part of preparing for retirement “is to make sure you put yourself in the flow of constant chance collisions of new friends and relationships.”
Read the full article here.