Joe Coughlin Pens Two Articles on Serena Williams' Warning Shot to 'Retirement'

by Joseph F. Coughlin

Joe Coughlin writes in Forbes and on LinkedIn about Serena Williams' retirement announcement - and what it means for those who are in the business of selling 'retirement.' He writes on LinkedIn:

"Tennis GOAT Serena Williams recently announced her "retirement" in the pages of Vogue. Williams said she did not like the word 'retirement' saying it sounded like a dated idea to her. Williams preferred to say she was "evolving." In her words in Vogue:

“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me....Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”

The financial services industry and the business of advice should take note. Words in academic journals or market reports have far less influence on how people think about their lives than when an entire life stage is called out in the popular media by a respected social icon. Williams effectively fired a warning shot signaling to the financial services industry — retirement is being retired." 

Read more via LinkedIn.
And more thoughts from Dr. Coughlin on Ms. Williams' provocative announcement via Forbes.

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About the Author

Photo of Joseph F. Coughlin
Joseph F. Coughlin

Joseph F. Coughlin, PhD is Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab. He teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the Sloan School's Advanced Management Program. Coughlin conducts research on the impact of global demographic change and technology trends on consumer behavior and business strategy. He advises a wide variety of global firms in financial services, healthcare, leisure and travel, luxury goods, real estate, retail, technology, and transportation.

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