Ken Dychtwald, PhD & Ken Cella: July 2, 2021


 Milestone Study Highlights the Silver Linings from the Pandemic

KEN DYCHTWALD, PhD, Co-founder and CEO, Age Wave

KEN CELLA, Principal, Client Strategies Group, Edward Jones


The COVID-19 pandemic shook all Americans’ long-standing concept of retirement to its core, with 69 million saying the pandemic altered their retirement timing. Despite the disproportionate effect of the virus on retirees, they reported greater optimism than other generations, with a majority (61%) indicating that the pandemic has given them more appreciation for what makes life meaningful.


According to Edward Jones and Age Wave’s latest study, “The Four Pillars of the New Retirement: What a Difference a Year Makes,” following a year of unprecedented volatility across economic markets, physical and mental health and social justice issues, 76% of Americans credit the pandemic with helping them refocus on what’s most important in life.  Recently released as a follow up to the landmark study from 2020 which explored the four pillars of living well in retirement, the study reveals Americans’ well-being across health, family, purpose, and finances. In particular, the study found that the role of purpose has proven to be critical, as nearly all of retirees believe it’s important to feel useful in retirement (93%) and that purpose is key to a successful retirement (92%). Many derive this sense of purpose from family and friends, with 67% of retirees indicating that spending time with loved ones provide them with the greatest source of meaning, purpose and fulfillment.


The long-lasting effects of COVID-19 have expanded to the widening gender gap. When it comes to financial security, women report resilience has been harder hit than men’s (35% vs. 28%), and 31% of women active in the labor force said the pandemic hurt their job security, compared to only 23% of men. Among pre-retirees, the difference among female and male pre-retirees is even more glaring, with 39% of women vs. 20% of men saying the pandemic hurt their job security. Yet, inspiring hope, there are positive signs for American’s financial lives as most respondents (70%) have seen the pandemic as a financial wake-up call, saying it has caused them to pay more attention to their long-term finances.


Retirement expert Ken Dychtwald at Age Wave, and Ken Cella, Scott Thoma or Alison Carnie at Edward Jones are available for interviews to discuss this latest survey, what this means for retirees and where people can find more information about comprehensively planning for all four pillars in retirement.


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Ken Dychtwald, PhD is North America’s foremost visionary and original thinker regarding the lifestyle, marketing, healthcare, economic, leisure, and workforce implications of the age wave. Ken is the co-founder and CEO of Age Wave, an acclaimed think tank and consultancy focused on the social, health, financial and business implications and opportunities of global aging and rising longevity. He is a psychologist, gerontologist, and best-selling author of 18 books on aging-related issues.



Ken Cella leads the Edward Jones Client Strategies Group (CSG), which includes advice and guidance, products and marketing. CSG equips client teams with insights, advice and guidance, products and solutions throughout the client journey.

Ken also serves on the Edward Jones Executive Committee, the team responsible for defining the future state for Edward Jones to fulfill its purpose to partner for positive impact – to improve the lives of clients and colleagues and, together, better communities and society.

Ken began his Edward Jones career in 1990 as a financial advisor in O’Fallon, Mo.

In 2002, Ken was named a principal and relocated to the firm’s St. Louis headquarters, where he was charged with expanding the Edward Jones Trust Company. He proved to be a versatile leader, and over the next six years, Ken’s responsibilities grew to include mutual funds, insurance, banking and advisory products.

Ken helps others realize their potential by serving as the senior executive sponsor of the Hispanic Business Resource Group. He also serves on the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Board of Directors, Executive Committee and the Private Client Wealth Management Committee.

Produced for: Edward Jones

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