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Joseph F. Coughlin

Director of the MIT AgeLab

Joseph F. Coughlin is director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab ( His research explores how demographic change, technology and consumer behavior drive innovations in business and society. Coughlin teaches in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the Sloan School's Advanced Management Program. He is author of the new book The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World's Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market (Public Affairs, 2017).

What’s the New Future of Aging Services

The loudest and largest generation in history, the baby boomers, are older. Their numbers and needs will place unprecedented demands on aging services in a time of workforce shortages and […]

Investing So You Can Work In Retirement

The number one retirement financial plan for the next generation of retirees is not simply saving or investing, but rather to work longer and through many of the years we […]

What If Robots Could Cuddle?

“I make hands,” the young man said nonchalantly.  Standing in the middle of a crowd of robotics researchers and developers, he introduced himself. I must admit the phrase and the […]

Does Age Predict Technology Adoption?

A common perception is that ‘older people’ (whatever age that is) do not adopt technology as quickly as younger users. It appears some preferences may be ageless. Consider the e-book […]

Early Retirement: A Bad Idea Back Again

Youth unemployment has reached crisis levels in several European countries: 39% in Italy, 55% in Spain, and 60% in Greece. Now, early retirement, a so-called economic fix that I’d hoped […]

Innovations for a New Old Age – Slow But Coming

It is happening…but as the quote often associated with discussions of innovation suggests, “the future is here, it is just not evenly distributed….” For years, I’ve predicted, promoted and pleaded […]

Is Retirement History?

Associated Press reports that two Americans are somehow still receiving Civil War veterans’ benefits. Although I’m guessing that a good deal of the media coverage devoted to this discovery will […]

Hurry Up and Die

In most countries, if an elected official told older adults to “hurry up and die” in order to save the state money on their medical care, it would border on […]

Is 75 the New 65?

How does nearly six decades of work sound? We have all read the promising stories – ‘60 is the new 30’. According to some observers, 60 year olds may be just […]

Future of Retirement? Looks Like Work

As anyone who’s been watching the presidential debate series knows, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid comprise some of today’s pivotal political talking points, even if it’s not always clear what […]

Casting a New Dream of Old Age

When societal change happens there is rarely a moment of thunderous applause. Real change is typically incremental and then one day a shift in attitudes or lifestyles is so apparent […]

Hot Wheels, Cool Aging

Driving down the Massachusetts Turnpike I came up behind a small sporty coupe. What was striking even from a distance was the color. It was a neon green that I […]