The Making of Generation U, and Why a New Model of Retirement Advice Is Needed Now

by Adam Felts

AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin writes in Forbes on the upcoming generation of "lab rats" who will be learning how to retire in a new era of longevity, what he refers to as Generation U:

"Unlike other generations that are defined by their birth year, Generation U is best defined as those that will not enjoy the retirement income certainty of defined benefit programs that provided a monthly pension check to many people of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations. Instead, we unwitting members of Gen U will experience the thrill ride of bodysurfing the ebb and flow of markets ...

It is not financial uncertainty alone that characterizes Gen U’s retirement future, it is the context of how life itself in older age will be far more uncertain than it was for previous generations and how most are unprepared to navigate longevity. The novel life and social context that Generation U is retiring into demands a new type of holistic advice to help them successfully navigate longer life and life in retirement."

Read Dr. Coughlin's thoughts in full here.

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About the Author

Photo of Adam Felts
Adam Felts

Adam Felts is a researcher and writer at the MIT AgeLab. Currently he is involved in research on the experiences of family caregivers and the future of financial advice. He also manages the AgeLab blog and newsletter. He received his Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University in 2014 and his Master's of Theological Studies from Boston University in 2019.

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